Alinean Research Reveals Sales Enablement Practices to Fight Frugalnomics

Updated: March 31, 2011

Alinean, presenting at Forrester's Technology Sales Enablement Forum 2011, revealed several important best practices to effectively fight Frugalnomics, improve sales success and reduce sales cycles

These were revealed at the San Fransisco event in the workshop presentation Fighting Frugalnomics - Engaging and Selling to Economic-Focused Buyers presented by CEO Jefre Futch and Alinean customer, ShoreTel's Mark Arman, Vice President of Business Development.

With two recessions over the past 10 years, research reveals that B2B buyers have become focused on quantifiable bottom-line proof points. And this trend is expected to continue even as the recovery takes hold. The reign of the economic-buyer is called Frugalnomics, where buyers require significant ROI, fast payback and superior value from each purchase.

In the face of frugal buyer sentiment, a majority of B2B vendors are now requiring more leads to generate the same amount of sales and are reporting a substantial increase in buying cycle time. The inability for sales to engage buyers with value messaging has currently been cited as the number one reason for sales not making quotas.

Alinean's research revealed that new sales enablement strategies and investments are required to fight Frugalnomics. Here are a few tips:

  1. Engage Earlier - Empowered by the Internet, IT buyers are doing more research online, often having set a strategy, allocated budget and selected potential solutions before sales has been invited to the first meeting. For sales to be relevant and successful, sales teams need to engage earlier in the buying cycle and higher in the organization to help executives proactively set priorities for formal budget allocations, and be in front of strategic decisions with new ideas to capture discretionary spending allocations.
  2. Make the Case for Change - Buyers are inclined to not make significant investments or changes in a time of austerity, and as a result, sales needs to be armed with the tools to "make the case for change" and prove that there is a "cost of doing nothing." Further, there are more decision makers involved in the purchase process, especially more involvement from CFOs and financial executives. To be successful, sales teams have to engage multiple stakeholders including executives, finance, business leaders, purchasing, operations and technologists, with a compelling value message personalized to each stakeholder.
  3. Differentiate Value - The focus on value from each investment has never been higher, and sales teams must quantify the advantages of their solution versus the competition, or stand being knocked-out in later critical buying decisions cycles. Proving total cost of ownership (TCO) savings and superior value is vital to competitive wins.
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