In this series, we ask tech executives to describe the why and how of their solution. We call it Sales Tech Simplified.

This week I interview Tom Pisello, Founder & CEO of Alinean.

Nancy: Why does the industry need your solution?

Tom: According to buyers, your sales reps are still very important to the purchase decision process, but are falling way short of expectations. Buyer surveys indicate that:

  • 74% of sales reps are too focused on features / price vs. value
  • 48% fail to articulate unique business value. (Gartner)

There is a distinct Value Gap, between what buyers want, and what sales reps are delivering, and this is having a real and significant impact on your sales performance.

According to 71% of sales leaders, the number one reason sales reps fail to make quota is the “inability to articulate business value” (SiriusDecisions). If you are like most organizations, where 59% of sales reps failed to make quota last year (according to MHI Global), you have to address the Value Gap challenge, today.

With the buying experience such an important competitive differentiator, you have to get sales reps from “show up and throw up” to business value-focused. New content and tools are needed to help your sales reps engage with customers differently – to discover and assess needs and interactively communicate and quantify the unique business value you can deliver to that particular prospect.

Nancy: Where does your solution fit in the Hierarchy of Revenue Needs™?

Tom: This one is easy, as you have a whole category in the hierarchy dedicated to Communicating Value, reflecting the importance of this category in the technology stack, and the need to, “get it right.”

Nancy: How mature is a typical organization’s sales stack before adding your technology?

Tom: Unfortunately, Communicating Value hasn’t gotten the attention or investment it’s needed over the past several years. Perhaps this is why it’s been the #1 reason why sales reps have missed quota for six straight years in a row: more important a success factor than training, leads, product, or social selling (SiriusDecisions).

It’s really vital to invest more in value communication and quantification now, the right value content and tools, before significant investments in content management and playbooks, not after.

Nancy: What are some of the challenges your solution solves for Marketing/Sales?

Tom: When asked, 60% of organizations admit that they need to significantly improve or overhaul their business value selling tools and approach, according to MHI Global. This means making it easy for sales reps to interactively:

  1. Assess and discover needs, in a structured and repeatable fashion
  2. Benchmark and deliver unique insights
  3. Quantify the cost of “do nothing”
  4. Communicate and quantify differentiating business value and superior ROI
  5. Present the right success stories to build trust and prove that the business value / ROI is attainable.

This can empower your sales reps to challenge buyer’s status quo, engage earlier and higher, and convey personalized value to all decision stakeholders in the consensus sale.

Comparing those that elevated their business value selling program to those who that have not, the research indicated significant benefits, including:

  • Advancing win rates to 51% (from 37%)
  • Elevating the percentage of reps meeting / beating quota to 69% (from a paltry 47%)
  • Boosting average revenue plan attainment to 87% (from 77%)

Nancy: What are some good resources if someone wanted to learn what questions to ask, what others are doing, or purchase considerations?

Tom: Here’s a couple of great educational resources to learn more: