Are Your Sales Reps Failing to "ROI Justify" Their Proposals?

July 21, 2016    |    David Mears

The sales reps and managers I talk with agree on one thing: to close deals, you must “ROI justify” your proposals.   You have to be able to present a compelling case that shows customers your solution works.


Here’s the rub: a majority of sales professionals believe the training they receive doesn’t help them get the job done.
According to the 2015 CSO Insights Sales Enablement Optimization Study, “ROI/Justification Training” was at the very top of the sales training failure list.

In fact, 69.9% of sales professionals polled believe their training in this area “needs improvement” or a “major redesign.”1


It takes more than numbers to persuade your buyers.
Most companies attempt to help their sales teams ROI-justify their proposals by providing case studies and ROI calculators, as well as training on how to use these tools.

But too often these fail to persuade buyers, who remain skeptical that vendor-supplied data are objective.


What are customers really looking for?
Ask yourself, “Why do our buyers demand ROI data from us?”

In most cases, your customer’s request goes beyond a desire for quantified proof that your solution works.


When customers ask for ROI justification, they’re likely sending you a more disturbing message.
That message could be:

  • “I'm not seeing how your solution connects to the business issues or needs that keep me up at night.”
  • “I’m not clear on what you’re proposing, so I’m skeptical about whether it would work.”
  • “I don’t trust you or your company enough when you explain how you’ll fix my problem.”

In short, your customer’s demand for ROI justification is often a symptom of a deeper problem related to your sales messaging and/or sales approach. 


Now, what can you do about it?
Here’s the bottom line: in sales, numbers are just numbers and customers often don’t see them as accurate or credible.

And numbers by themselves — no matter how compelling — won't establish buyer trust.

If you expect your sales training to help your sales team ROI justify their sales proposals to customers, you’ve got to go beyond simply providing case studies, numbers, and ROI calculators.

You need to provide your sales team with the skills and tools to credibly present the ROI justification message:

  • with clarity;
  • with a strong connection to the challenges customers care about most;
  • and in ways that build trust rather than erode it.


Want to learn more about how to accomplish this and improve your team’s sales results?
Download Mandel’s complimentary eBook, Credible Messaging: The Missing Driver of Business Performance.




1 CSO Insights 2015 Sales Enablement Optimization Key Trends Analysis