Impact Pricing Blog

ROI Calculators: Busting Myths and Building Trust in B2B Sales

I HATE ROI Calculators (when used incorrectly). However, they certainly have their place. Let’s start with two contradictory assertions. 

  1. In B2B, buyers trade money for value that is measured in incremental profit. ROI calculators determine how much value customers could expect. ROI calculators should be valuable to the sales process. 
  1. Buyers don’t believe ROI calculators. Think of the last time you saw an ROI calculator for something you were considering buying. The ROI calculator probably showed you a huge return, but you didn’t believe it. You thought they were playing a trick, or only showing you part of the story. This is what your customers think when they use your ROI calculator. 

What should you do? 

Here are two recommendations. First, if you are selling a relatively low-priced product without direct sales involvement, go ahead and put an ROI calculator online. Even if most people won’t believe it, some people will. If your buyers care about ROI, this is much better than not telling your story. 

Second, and most importantly, is for when you have a direct sales force. They should NOT use an ROI calculator. If they ask specific questions of the buyers, then plug the answers into a spreadsheet to show a great return, the buyer doesn’t believe them. They probably believe that even less than if they had filled out the calculator on their own. Because nobody trusts salespeople until that trust is earned. 

Instead, a salesperson should BE the ROI calculator. Imagine if they ask general questions about what problems the buyer is hoping to solve. They go on to ask what results they hope to achieve and what KPIs are used to measure those results. Then they ask about the expected or hoped for future values of the KPIs.

Finally, they work with the buyer to determine how much incremental profit the company could make if the KPI changed as expected. The salesperson may be doing the exact same thing as an ROI calculator, but the buyer is giving every answer. In fact, make the buyer do the math. They believe it even more. 

Being the ROI calculator helps build that trusting relationship with the buyer. You aren’t trying to trick them. You’re simply working with them to see if your product is a good value for them. However, it takes curiosity. It takes knowledge of your buyers’ businesses. It takes business acumen. It may not be simple, but it’s a caring, believable, and trustworthy skill. Doesn’t that seem worth it to you? 

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Tags: pricing, roi calculator, sales, value

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