Vocus is a leading provider of online software for corporate communications. In today’s increasingly complex communication environment, Vocus provides organizations with software to manage a unified and consistent communications process, increase positive media coverage and measure the effectiveness of corporate communications campaigns.
Hobson & Company’s challenge was to help Vocus position their product suite to Corporate Communications Departments that have very small technology budgets. The value that Vocus provides was well known in the industry but creating a tool that quantified these benefits was essential in order for their prospects to get internal financial backing for the Vocus solution.
“Our sales team has been using the ROI Calculator with much success to help close deals that need ROI justification. It’s helped us acquire some of our largest customers; and typically helps us close 2-3 new deals per quarter .” — Bill Donnelly – Vice President, Sales
Hobson & Company conducted extensive internal and external interviews to uncover benefits and to validate pre and post implementation metrics. The ROI Calculator helped illustrate the positive, quantifiable returns that PR departments can enjoy by using Vocus; and the validation learning helped strengthen the sales story in the field. “
“By using the Hobson & Co. ROI Calculator we’re able to quantify the specific benefits and cost savings of the Vocus solution to our customers.” — Bill Donnelly – Vice President, Sales
To complete the Vocus ROI initiative, Hobson & Company also trained the sales force; created an ROI Report template for prospect specific analysis; and authored a white paper that captured the pain points of PR departments, the key sources of value created by Vocus, as well as many favorable customer testimonials from primary research learning.
Our client is the leader in the emerging Business Services Management (BSM) space. BSM is the on-going process of monitoring, managing and reporting on technology and the business services it impacts in order to reduce IT operational costs and improve service levels. Managed Objects launched the BSM market with the introduction of their Formula platform in 1997 and further defined the business value created with the launch of their ROI tool in 2001.
“The Hobson & Company ROI model has been very helpful in moving a number of our deals past the selection committee and through to approval.” Stacey Wells, Director of Marketing
The challenge for Hobson & Company was to help communicate and quantify the cost savings and revenue gains that a premium BSM solution offers relative to the status quo (basic network monitoring tools). The end result was a clear presentation of the key operational and business benefits that Formula delivered to this new and complex category.
“ROI analysis has also helped us up-sell current customers and build validation cases. One client even agreed to lead an ROI webinar after better understanding and realizing key sources of value.” — Stacey Wells, Director of Marketing
Our client continues to work closely with their prospects to equip them with the custom ROI and communication tools required to move deals up and through the economic decision maker. They believe the key is to showcase the depth and breadth of the prospect-specific benefit set in order to enhance the credibility of the exercise, while also educating the prospect.
Our client is the leading provider of group housing technology to the hospitality industry. Since 1996, they have been selling to the various stakeholders in the multi-hotel event market (meeting planners, convention bureaus, travel agencies) using a transaction based pricing model. The challenge for Hobson & Company was to help sell the Passkey product suite to hotel chains with the right value proposition, pricing model and price points.
“The key measure of our success with the Hobson & Company ROI tools has been our five times growth in our average deal size.” — Greg Pesik, CEO, Passkey
The ROI Calculator helped position the breadth of Passkey’s hotel offering, which helped the company close their first million-dollar deal. The model dimensionalized the magnitude of cost saving, productivity and revenue enhancing returns that Passkey enabled, and supported key claims with strong validation data from existing customers.
“By showcasing and defending the breadth of value Passkey provides, we closed a key Enterprise Solution deal at a price that was 5 times greater than our initial quote.” — Tim Durant, SVP Marketing & Sales, Passkey
In order to ensure continued success with ROI-based selling, Hobson & Company also trained the Passkey Sales Force on when and how to use the model. A white paper was created that captured customer insights in the areas of pain points and Passkey sources of value. Finally, Hobson & Company created an ROI report template to facilitate a professional approach to ROI analysis with future prospects.
Our client was a Partner Relationship Management company focused on helping companies better manage their channel activities. ChannelWave’s sales force was not only selling during tough economic times; they were also faced with very skeptical CEOs and CFOs that have invested heavily in CRM technology with little payback in sight.
Hobson & Company was brought in to build a proprietary ROI calculator to help its client’s sales force objectively model ROI for their prospects. The model was built after a review of several PRM implementations. Cost savings and revenue enhancing benefits were modeled and validated with customer experience and industry benchmarks.
Although extremely thorough, the model was also designed to be completely transparent, so the client and customers could use the model to analyze which levers had the greatest impact on ROI. Case studies were built based on actual customer data and have equipped our client’s sales team with early ROI success stories. For example, one specific customer is on track to deliver a $1.9 million three-year NPV behind a $400 thousand investment. Most importantly, ROI modeling is helping our client’s sales reps close more business. ROI modeling recently helped close a Global 2000 company. This customer engaged actively in the ROI exercise and believed the return predicted by the model to be three times more conservative than its own estimate.
Our customer was a leading provider in the enterprise communications space servicing an international array of Fortune 500 clients. They were focused on live online interaction and collaboration, rapid knowledge transfer and deployment.
Interwise’s sales force was challenged with continually shrinking IT budgets during tough economic times coupled with the burden of introducing a paradigm shift in the way large enterprises can communicate, collaborate and share knowledge. Hobson & Company, working closely with the product management team and sales force, developed several tools for the Sales team to both qualify and close more business.
A simple, low-input, preliminary ROI calculator was developed to “open doors” and get a prospects attention by demonstrating the enormous cost savings associated with the client’s services. Then, a more sophisticated and complete private label ROI calculator was developed that could be used on sales meetings and board presentations to demonstrate a thorough and defensible ROI and TCO. Lastly a usage calculator was developed to demonstrate, to existing and prospective clients, the growth of usage that occurs as adoption of the technology takes place. This tool also demonstrates the value and defends price points of our client’s services.
All of these tools were developed through an extensive internal interview and collaboration process and then validated with several existing and prospective customers. Hobson & Company assisted with introducing and training the sales force on utilization of the tools, as well as, participating in several sales calls involving the tools. To date, these tools have been involved in dozens of sales opportunities and have met with enormous success in both moving deals to close and actually closing the deals. Our client’s sales force is utilizing at least one of Hobson & Company’s tools on every sales call.
Our client is a leader in content management, with numerous Fortune 500 clients and award winning products. Faced with the economic realities impacting many enterprise software firms, this company’s sales reps were losing deals because CFOs and CIOs were reluctant to approve projects without rigorous proof of the ROI.
Hobson & Company developed a customized, private-labeled ROI model and questionnaire. We then trained the client’s sales force on the financial theory underlying the model and how to use the model itself. Finally, we are working with the company on an ongoing basis to update the model and to assist with specific implementations.
Sales reps have complete control over if, when and how to introduce the model to their prospects or customers. Often it helps arm their “champion” with information to present to upper management and get a check signed. Other times, it is used early in the sales cycle as a way to keep the process moving. Since the implementation of the ROI program, our client has used the model with numerous potential prospects, often engaging several clients each week. The model is also used to generate leads via webinars and promote the company to partners at conferences.
Most importantly, the ROI model developed by Hobson & Company is helping this client’s sales reps close more business. Specifically, our client estimates that the ROI model has had a moderate impact on 70% of deals where used and a significant impact on the remaining 30% of deals where used.
Context Media is the leading player in the Enterprise Content Integration (ECI) industry. The company’s solutions organize content across disparate repositories in an extended enterprise to improve the company’s collective knowledge, revenue opportunities and content management processes.
“The ROI work has helped us close and upgrade a few very big clients (>$500K) and continues to help propel our large enterprise deals. Our prospects have been very pleased with both the custom business case and tools we provide to support their internal selling process.” – Shane Lennon, VP of Marketing, Context Media
The challenge for Hobson & Company was to communicate and quantify the benefits of Context Media for their prospects who consider buying a competitive solution (CIS), building a solution themselves (Custom Code) or remaining with their current, disparate and chaotic system of retrieving corporate-wide data. Customer, analyst, and prospect interviews helped validate the superior cost position of Context Media’s Solution versus these alternatives.
“Business users and CIOs want more ROI analysis and strong validation. Hobson & Co. provided us with a powerful and flexible tool to meet these needs.” – Michael Gear, Sales Manager, Context Media
Our client consistently uses the ROI Calculator to defend pricing and to demonstrate the value of the investment incremental to centralizing on one content management system or custom built solution.
Our client is the leading provider of speech recognition software for customer call centers. They were looking for a competitive sales tool that would also help them defend list pricing. The key obstacle in NetByTel’s sales process was how to overcome the Fortune 500’s building momentum to purchase and manage an on-premise call center solution versus outsourcing with them. Prospective companies were the first to agree that there was a lack of cost information in the public domain to help guide them through the build-versus-buy analysis.
“Our buyer was very grateful for the framework, benchmarks and in-depth operating understanding we could provide. The TCO analysis was critical in expanding their consideration set and ultimately to closing the deal”. -Jason Hersh, Director of Business Development, NetByTel
The Hobson & Company TCO work helped NetByTel close their largest deal to date with a F100 technology company in the Communications industry. The analysis gave them a tool for engaging Motorola while the company was strongly considering an on-premise solution. The TCO model brought a detailed framework to the build-versus-buy analysis as well as just the right amount of compelling new data. The analysis ultimately drove the customer from building to buying and to buying NetByTel’s solution.