How to create a ROI during a technical evaluation

Published on: November 12th, 2021

Return on investment (ROI) is a key metric for every enterprise which helps them evaluate different products and pick the right one. The buyers of your product have to justify the purchase in their organization. This is where sales engineers can use their technical and sales expertise and provide a customized ROI to their prospects. This will help aligning ROI with your product and help your customer with presenting it along with the business case.

An ROI gives information that prompts key discussions that informs and urges purchasers to make a buy. When you demonstrate the correlation between your product and your goals, they become advocates for your product when they take the information to their organization for approval.

ROI helps your buyer in understanding how well your product performs and what areas of improvement it needs. Implementation of ROI calculators distinguishes your offering from the competition, establishes your credibility as a trustworthy consultant, and strengthens your position in the market. The following are few of the ROIs that can be mentioned during your product’s technical evaluation.

Business growth

Start with a clear understanding of your prospect’s biggest concerns or pain point and find what part of your product ROI  influences their business.

The ROI may include higher sales, increased revenues, reduced production costs, reduced expenses, more productivity etc. Depending on the product, it may also empower your prospect’s business with better customer satisfaction and increased brand reputation.

Describe how your product reduces their costs on third party tools- it is the best method of measuring cost savings to your prospective customers. Show how your product can increase sales and revenues without increasing their costs. This leads to good business growth and provides better profitability for their organization.

Easy User adoption

Sometimes, value isn’t found in closed deals or dollars saved. But, they are found when users adapt to a product. Successful user adoption explains why the product is important, how the product can be used, and what will happen if the product isn’t used correctly. Explain how the investments are made in the form of time, research and training.

If a product is confusing, if employees aren’t properly trained, and if it isn’t felt required, the users feel hesitant to adopt. But, you can change their perception by presenting training as a solution benefit and building it into your business case. When customers understand the connection between training and faster realization of ROI, it’s easier to persuade them to invest in your product. Make sure you also provide documentation resources to the prospects for a smooth user adoption. 

Business reputation

Managing the business reputation has become the most ideal way of accomplishing trust, sales, growth, and success. A positive business reputation is the impression of their brand and how it is seen by the clients, partners, and the market as a whole. 

Justify how your product helps the prospects with competitive advantage, customer loyalty, increased sales, higher profits and credibility in the market. Create a product that boosts customer satisfaction, improves retention, and makes a positive presence of your prospect’s business in the market. It can also help your prospect’s business by calculating their lost revenues due to negative feedback.

Highlight Savings in OPEX and CAPEX

As many companies shift from traditional hardware and software to as-a-service models, the businesses reconcile on how to classify their costs. 

Explain how your product makes it much easier to save money in OpEx and CapEx . The CapEx purchase of a product is often unfavourable since it’s a long term purchase that continues to age more than it is on a monthly payment under a SaaS arrangement.

Emphasize on how your product identifies which areas can be put under CapEx and OpEx based on their pros and cons. Some systems must be owned outright while other applications can come and go as the need and staff changes.

Best practices of creating an ROI

  • Implement real life scenarios in calculating the numbers– Talk about before and after scenarios of using your product and mention the financial metrics.
  • Cover both tangible and intangible ROI– Explain both quantifiable and measurable ROIs and also the ROIs that don’t have a monetary value.
  • Match your process to the set up – If you know your customers environment/use cases try mapping it closer to the ROI
  • ROI Calculator– Create a ROI calculator in a spreadsheet that your customer can play with and produce accurate and credible insights.

Every business decision usually requires an ROI analysis. SEs usually do not present ROIs to their customers. This makes them underestimate the value of your product. Or, in some cases it’s left to Account Executives. But having advantage of both technical and sales knowledge, SEs are the best positioned to talk and present ROI to customers. Provide them with a plethora of scenarios and successful client stories. An insightful business case and ROI is key to accelerating the sales process and closing more sales.

Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

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