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Beyond ROI: Exploring Business Value


In the world of business, the pursuit of Return on Investment (ROI) often takes center stage. Companies invest substantial resources in their products and services, aiming to demonstrate significant ROI to their customers. This pursuit seems logical, driven by the belief that the math should speak for itself.

However, a recent conversation with a head of customer success highlighted a fascinating paradox. Despite showcasing impressive ROI, many customers choose not to renew their contracts. It leaves us wondering - why do businesses make seemingly irrational decisions when the math appears to be in their favor? The answer lies in understanding the human aspect of business.

The Allure of ROI

Picture this scenario: a business invests $100,000 in a two-year contract. Over those two years, the service provider manages to deliver a quantifiable and substantial ROI, potentially reaching tens of millions of dollars. It seems like a no-brainer decision to renew, right?

The Role of Subjectivity

Here's the catch: business is not a realm of pure objectivity; it's the realm of subjectivity, governed by human decisions. Despite the apparent objectivity of ROI calculations, businesses are operated and influenced by humans. Their decisions are always contextual and influenced by a myriad of factors, many of which are subjective.

The Human Factor

While math is universal, business is uniquely subjective. Business decisions are not just based on numbers; they are influenced by a complex web of human interactions, emotions, and competing priorities. The decisions made are inextricably tied to the larger context of what a business is trying to achieve.

Context Matters

Consider this: what if your product or service is number five on a list of three essential tasks that a business must complete? No matter how impressive the ROI may be, it's competing against other priorities. The math may add up, but the broader business context can push it in an entirely different direction.

Balancing Business and Human Elements

The allure of ROI often leads businesses to present their offerings as math problems. However, business value isn't just about numbers; it's about the human conversation. To truly understand business value, you must delve into the context of the math. What's happening inside the organization? Where does your offering fit in with their broader goals and priorities?

Championing the Human Conversation

In the end, business value is not merely about calculations; it's about understanding the human element in every decision. It's about recognizing that business success is not solely defined by numbers but by the intricate tapestry of human connections and priorities that shape every choice.


In the pursuit of business value, don't be misled by numbers alone. Recognize that while ROI may be a critical component, it's just one part of the larger human conversation. To unlock the true value of your business, remember to consider the context, priorities, and emotions that drive every decision. In doing so, you can build lasting relationships and help businesses achieve their goals in a truly holistic way.

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