The Value of Metrics in the C-Suite
The key to using C-Suite metrics like DSO’s, ROA, ROE, etc. in the sales process is to understand the importance and relevance of your products or services to your prospect’s financial levers that lead to strategic buying decisions.
For example, if you sell a product that has a significant impact on DSOs, it is critical to:
- Understand the meaning of DSO
- Understand the calculation for DSOs
- Articulate your value as it relates to lowering DSOs
The “C-Suite Effect” takes place when you are able to communicate your value as it positively affects your prospect’s C-Suite metrics. For example, an uninformed sales professional might say, “Gee, Mr. Customer, we can lower those DSOs for you, no problem.” A better approach would be, “In the past we have lowered our customers DSOs by as much as 10 days. In fact, last week I was talking to ABC Company and we helped them reduce DSOs by almost three weeks.” Note that in the second statement you are specific as to the impact and provide proof of your success at other customer’s sites.
Let’s try another example. An uninformed sales professional might say, “Our products can help you sell more.” A better approach is, “We have increased revenue as much as 10 percent in the past, leading to higher earnings and an increase in net profit. In addition, when you talk to our customers, you will hear them talk about the 5 – 10 percent increases in profit margins.”
When you are initially identifying a prospect’s issues, pains or goals (what we call “pain discovery”), it is more important to direct your discussion toward metric impact like net profit margins, earnings, and operating costs than to revenue increases or cost reductions. The financial levers C-Suite executives rely on are based on the metrics, not the total revenue increases or cost reductions. Remember that the pain defined has a direct impact on the metrics the C-Suite is using to make a strategic buying decision. Your conversation may sound something like this, “I understand your issues with rising labor costs and its effect on your financial reports. However, our automated system can help you with labor cost reductions and put more profit to your bottom line, reducing your operating costs and increasing your net profit.” This statement better defines your value as it relates to your prospect’s financial goals and levers. Your impact is not only labor cost reduction, but operating cost reduction and increases in net profit margin leading to higher earnings potential.
The fact that you mention the effect on your prospect’s strategic financial levers will set you apart from competitors who are still selling features, benefits, and ROI. With a new focus on impact to the C-Suite metrics, you will be able to shift the paradigm from you as a sales professional to you as a consultative sales expert.
Michael is a best selling author of business books. He is available for speeches, workshops, and web based training. Contact Michael at 262.338.1851 or visit www.roi4sales.com for more information.