“Show me the money.” From the 1996 Jerry Maguire film starring Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr., these lines are recognized as some of the most famous words ever uttered on film. While in the movie, the money refers to improving employment terms, I see it inextricably intertwined with the business of selling. However, what might surprise you is that I don’t see the application through the salesperson’s lens, but as the buyer.
And here’s why.
For over twenty years, I have worked in business development. I have held senior sales positions and leadership and mentor positions and spent time nurturing and growing existing relationships as an account manager. Most of my experience has been in the computer software industry, where I have helped start-ups and established public companies alike continue to meet and exceed expectations. While sales approaches have morphed over the years, I have found that one winning philosophy I adopted and revert to time and time again stems from a prior mentor. He believed that any sales presentation or communication’s real focus should be less about the wonders of the product and more about how it can positively impact the customer by driving change. Essentially getting behind something that ties the value of whatever you are positioning to real tangible business impact – how x will transform y.
Value-based selling in action
The reality is that all companies want a way to increase revenue and decrease costs. How they accomplish this differs for each industry. In a previous role, I sold software focused solely on the customer experience by leveraging the voice of customer and analytics to drive repeat business and new organic growth through word of mouth referrals. Before I approached any new prospective customer, I spent time researching them. I wanted to understand and identify their challenges, so when we spoke, I could spend our time together focused on how we could solve for their competitive gaps while mutually sharing in a vision for what their success could look like as they obtained a greater share of wallet.
In one example, we designed a model that considered the client’s unique inputs combined with real industry data and proven outputs from the platform. The result was a substantial increase in revenue attributable to the average customer that walked through their doors. Once we understood this data then we could predict the right actions to take and what levers to pull to drive tangible business impact.
As I transitioned out of the customer experience space to the marketing industry, once again, success was achieved by leveraging the same principles – creating separation in the marketplace by establishing a proven way to drive change and deliver real business impact. Using a similar value-based model, we focused on demonstrating to prospective customers how our technology could help their marketers be more efficient with their time and useful in their actions to reach more potential customers. The result was lower operational costs and increased revenue. Again, the focus was less on the product’s features and more about the real business change that we could create.
What are the levers for global payroll professionals?
I now find myself in the financial services industry, where the need for efficiency and accuracy has never been greater. For example, payroll is one of the highest expenses of running a business. The cost is not merely the total figure; it is the reputational cost that awaits an organization if an employee does not receive their correct pay or, even worse their correct pay delivered on time. Research shows that almost half of US employees will start a new job search after experiencing two problems with their paycheck. In other words, no one should ever underestimate the pivotal role payroll plays in all organizations. Whether payroll is deemed essential during these strange times or it’s a given that it’s essential that it needs to be done accurately and timely certainly is not for debate. Payroll done first-time-right is the lifeblood of every organization.
With this in mind, let’s consider the criteria an organization will look at to determine a global payroll platform’s value. For example, what KPIs can prove a direct correlation between the platform’s value and the impact on the business?
- Is there a reduction in time to collect, collate, input, and send payroll changes?
- Can you approve payrolls faster?
- Can you create and generate HR, Finance, and payroll-related reports sooner?
- Is there a drop in the amount of time it takes to create a General Ledger (GL) file?
- What are the overall savings?
- What are the total time savings across all key activities related to payroll processing and reporting?
My maxim is wherever possible – quantify. I am happy to talk about the amazing design and how intuitive the technology is, but unless I can show you how the product will add real day-to-day value to the end-user along with predictable accuracy for the business, then we need to re-engineer the conversation. To reinforce this fundamental principle, in collaboration with the talented Immedis leadership team, we designed the Immedis ROI calculator – a model for calculating and quantifying true business impact through the lens of global payroll. Now companies can get a personalized report within 24 hours that will delineate time saved for the end-user and the savings an organization can enjoy utilizing the Immedis Platform.
Immedis is a fully managed consolidated Global Payroll Platform that is leveraging the power of integrations to deliver first-time-right payroll globally and seamlessly. Our solution is purpose-built for organizations looking to enjoy the economies of scale of multiple countries through one single user interface.