Quantifying prospect pain or cost of the problem on a virtual sales call using a spreadsheet

One of the key parts of a consultative selling approach or the Sandler Selling System is to quantify the cost of the problem the prospect is having. By getting clear on the cost of the problem, it allows the prospect and sales professional to determine if the solution will provide a positive ROI for the prospect’s organization.

It is often not easy to quantify the pain in a concrete dollar amount since there are a number of factors that need to be considered. Too often a sales professional uses a generic example hoping that the prospect will identify with the assumptions used. Instead of hoping the generic example works for this prospect, why not get the prospect involved in calculating their pain amount?

If you only use slides in a virtual sales call, you need to think outside the slides to stand out from your competition. Set up a spreadsheet that has the key inputs at the top and the total cost of the problem at the top. Put the calculations below so they are visible but still leave the top as the area of focus. Open the spreadsheet on your desktop before the call.

When you want to quantify the amount the problem is costing the prospect’s organization, switch to sharing the spreadsheet window in the Zoom or Teams call. With the prospect, fill in each input figure so the calculation is specific to their situation. Briefly review the calculations so they can see that your spreadsheet is trustworthy. Then focus on the total cost amount. Often it is a surprise to the prospect and will make them more open to discussing your solution.

Take a screen capture of the spreadsheet with their figures and drop the image into the meeting chat. This will allow them to refer to it later in the call. Send the screen capture to the prospect in your follow up email so they can share it with others. Copy the image into your CRM so you and other sales team members can refer to it in future conversations.

Use this problem cost amount when presenting the ROI of your customized solution. It demonstrates that you are a partner with the prospect’s organization because you are providing a specific solution to their specific problem.

Go beyond just using slides in a virtual sales call. Using a spreadsheet to quantify the problem cost is one of the 6 ways you can improve virtual sales presentations with content other than PowerPoint slides.

1 or 2 screens?
Teams, Zoom, or Webex?
Windows or Mac?

Sign up to download my best tips for your virtual presentation situation and stay updated as the technology changes.

Where to go next
–>More articles on virtual presenting –>Training for your team on presenting virtually
–>More articles on virtual & hybrid sales presentations –>Training for your sales team

By Dave Paradi

Dave Paradi has over twenty-two years of experience delivering customized training workshops to help business professionals improve their presentations. He has written ten books and over 600 articles on the topic of effective presentations and his ideas have appeared in publications around the world. His focus is on helping corporate professionals visually communicate the messages in their data so they don't overwhelm and confuse executives. Dave is one of fewer than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams communities. His articles and videos on virtual presenting have been viewed over 4.8 million times and liked over 17,000 times on YouTube.