Value Heroics: Donna Borden – A Value Hero Who Understands that Value is Just as Important as the Tech

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Throughout the summer, DecisionLink is honoring the Value Heroes of organizations as a part of “Value Heroes: A Summer of Recognition.” We are sharing Value Hero stories on our blog of the leading influencers in value management, which were submitted by the value heroes themselves or by the sales professionals that they have supported. Our celebration of Value Heroes concludes on August 13 with our “Value Heroes Summit,” a town hall, virtual forum where value and sales professionals can connect, share stories and best practices, and engage with like-minded professionals.


Value Hero: Donna Borden, Customer Solutions Director, SAP

I’ve been blessed to support some of the best salespeople in the world.

I’ve built my career in pre-sales, understanding both the technology and the business side of the transaction. Why? Because business value is the single most important consideration for any software purchase.

Customer executives will ask, “How will this impact my bottom line? How will this make things better for my customer? How will it bolster my brand? How will it positively impact my employees? How long will this take to implement and provide value?” As a Pre-Sales Director, I must ensure the customer is as comfortable with these answers, as he/she is with the functionality of the solution.

As an example, a large multi-level marketing beauty provider was forced to reassess their business solution, as their global “social commerce” model exploded. They were unable to source their products, unable to expand globally due to complex financial and regulatory requirements, unable to manage fulfilment across thousands of sellers, unable to manage product development on the scale required of a global company, etc.

I worked alongside the sales and the technical solutions team to develop a concise value proposition that outlined the financial and business benefits that come with adopting an enterprise ERP system. How did we measure this?

We considered and determined the financial impact of several items:

  • Higher productivity with real-time data and the ability to take action immediately
  • Better business insights with real-time financial data
  • Real-time reporting that allowed for dashboarding and drill-downs to see what is happening as low as the transaction level (quickly identifying problems)
  • Fast, accurate and compliant financial close with reporting available to thousands of individual sellers
  • Improved business agility in product development, cutting off days or weeks via collaboration and supply chain management
  • Real-time visibility into inventory and distribution

While this list is not exhaustive, it gives a view into the responsibilities of a Pre-Sales Director to ensure that we always identify and articulate the value of software purchase. I am grateful to always have an interesting customer, with a unique business problem. Providing business solutions that give customers a way to differentiate their business is always the greatest challenge.

Just remember, always tie your discussions back to the bottom line!