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How One HCM Sales Rep Wins More Deals with Nonprofits

Posted by Kit Dickinson on Nov 29, 2016 8:03:01 AM
Kit Dickinson
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non-profit CFO shaking hands with an HCM sales rep

Many sales reps avoid selling time, payroll, and HR solutions to non-profit organizations because they don’t have money and they’ll never sign. But the fact is, non-profits are very willing to spend money if you can show ROI—and especially if you can be creative with financing.

One of our partner sales reps has had tremendous success selling to non-profit organizations. Herb Brohn is a workforce management sales consultant on the West Coast. We interviewed him to ask about the secret of his success. Read on to find out what he does. Spoiler alert: IDI’s Time Bank is a major advantage.

How to Successfully Sell Payroll Solutions to Non-Profits

IDI: What makes non-profits and grant-based orgs different from selling to other businesses?

Herb Brohn: In my year-and-half of sales experience with my current company, selling to non-profits is all about cost and difficult-to-earn introductory meetings. Traditionally, non-profits treat HCM providers as commodity vendors. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to gain access into these accounts unless they’re experiencing challenges with their current providers, such as service support, technology functionality, or tax audit investigations.

When a non-profit decides to evaluate its existing partnership, they typically consider multiple vendors, and the chances of winning the business are very low.

But I’ve found that if you can provide something that adds a lot of value to them from a workflow perspective, they’re more open to tell you what their budgetary figures are and what number you need to beat for them to make a decision. Once you earn credibility that you want to help them improve their business, you can ask them directly, “Can you give us an idea what your budgetary number is, so we can work around that?”

Tell me about your strategy of leveraging IDI to differentiate your company.

I first start with an email campaign providing the YouTube link to IDI’s product videos, along with PDF attachments I have on file. I follow up each targeted email with a phone call to all levels of finance within the organization. Ultimately, you have to have a direct conversation with finance contacts to understand their current process of allocating hours for grants. If the contacts aren’t taking my calls, I schedule targeted drops with our company and IDI printed material.

I can send emails with links to IDI’s videos and follow up with a phone conversation, and the leads are immediate.

What kind of impact does it make to your sales numbers to have a partner like IDI?

So far in our fiscal year, I’ve been able to secure approximately $85K in sales with non-profit organizations. The primary reason why we won the business was that we offered Time Bank’s automation of hourly/salary/PTO calculations. There were some implementation cost concerns, but we handled that by using promotional offers and amortizations.

IDI helps me secure $50K - $60K deals with non-profits. I have a deal coming up, and the reason the CFO took the meeting was because of the Time Bank solution.

I was on another demo last week, and we showed IDI’s product videos. The response from the CFO and head of accounting was, “If you guys can put this in writing (we’ll sign with you). This would make our life so much easier.”

What advice would you give to other sales reps about working with non-profits?

A few items:

  • Lead with your ability to automate allocations of hours for grant audits instead of the traditional HCM talk track and how your technology compares to the competition.
  • Use the IDI-provided collateral for salary/hourly/PTO calculation automation solutions, along with YouTube videos provided by IDI.
  • Develop an email template and target the finance leadership or director-level contact to speak to them about the solution.
  • Emphasize that the competition doesn’t have the ability to support grant allocations!

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Topics: Nonprofit Industry Solutions