This is the fifth in a series of articles dealing brought to you by Robert White - CEO of Lucidus Ltd with the subject of 'Value' in the sales process.
In this installment, we discuss the tools you might need when identifying value.
Back in out discussion of Symptoms and Causes we identified three basic hurdles to be overcome;
We dealt with unidentified value in the identifying value section, so now we will discus tools.
So given that unidentified value can be unlocked, the right tools become fundamental to the effective deployment of that new found value. The wrong tools will continue to have a negative effect, as we will see later - hence tools being the second of our three hurdles.
So what might the fundamental attributes of the right tools look like?
Well the customer must be able to change data and assumptions to simulate the performance of their enterprise and to observe the likely impact of using the vendor's products and services in scenarios of their choosing. And perhaps more importantly be able to test the veracity of the results by being able to understand how the results were actually calculated. By this I mean the logic strings from base customer data to projected value must be physically visible, must be easily understood and therefore easy to challenge and change. The act of changing their data and assumptions is the final act of ownership.
They must also be able to understand the means by which they will be able to track the calculated and agreed value through to actual delivery.
In combination, these attributes will help to create an incentive to invest, the confidence to invest and the confidence to change in order to release the value - because no change, no value.
Well, it's now very clear that the standard TCO or ROI spreadsheet isn't the way to do it, as we will see later, customers are heartily sick of what they perceive to be biased sales tools that they don't understand or trust. But why should this be?
Well, determining value is as complex as determining tomorrow's weather - neither weather nor complex value prediction is done on a spreadsheet. Why? Because of the multitude of variables and their complex interactions and inter-dependencies that must be understood, managed and communicated.
Customers know it's a good deal more complicated than most vendors suggest, but they also know that they struggle to do it successfully themselves, so any vendor that can truly help in an unbiased way is going to be welcome.
In the next part we will discuss the last of our hurdles; Processes and Skills.