Cathy Bennett from sales consultancy Vertical Sales shares her tips for creating a smart and sustainable value proposition.
I watched an excellent video by Simon Sinek recently on how great leaders inspire action. His ‘Golden Circle’ theory was so enlightening – how your customers buy WHY you do what you do, not simply what you do. Talk about clarity!
We’re often asked to help businesses define their value propositions (VPs) – what makes people buy from them – so they can hit their customers’ buying hot spots to accelerate results and outflank their competitors. Many of the companies we work with already have VPs, but haven’t updated them recently, while their marketplace and customers’ buying habits have changed beyond recognition. Just as you need to keep pace with your market, your VP must change to mirror your customers’ fluctuating demands and behaviour.
So here are the five steps we take to help companies either define their VPs or get them back on track. They share some of Simon’s insights, while creating a VP that can change with your market – and even anticipate that change:
1. Hear it from your own business
Talking to a cross section of people from your company, not just sales, can really help you get under the skin of your business and distill what you have to offer. Working with a company recently, we mined a wealth of information from every level of the business to find key detail about the service provided and the lengths people go to deliver it – some of which the senior directors were totally unaware. Yet in this detail we found the key differentiators that set the business apart from its competitors: why customers chose it over its rivals.
2. Ask your customers
One of the best ways to drill down into exactly why your customers are buying from you is to ask them. We help companies do this by constructing a carefully targeted survey. Often we ask the sales team to carry it out face to face with customers rather than a research team doing it remotely. This not only provides invaluable feedback for your VP, but also helps build stronger customer relationships. Plus it’s a great way to gather opportunities for repeat business, and deal with any problems head on.
Click here for instant access to our Value Proposition customer survey.
3. Harness the power of your business
Tapping into the thoughts of your people by setting up a think tank is a great way to develop and test the ideas you’ve uncovered. When using this technique, we’ve found the feedback really creative, yet practical and commercially focused, leading to a VP that’s deliverable across the business from sales to operations. This approach also helps to generate real buy-in from staff, while also being highly motivational as it makes people feel a valued part of the business.
4. Communicate with customers
In our experience, it’s then worth sharing the findings of your research into your VP with your customers. We find this can help to hone your VP, ensuring it delivers what the market wants. Plus it reinforces the high value you place on your customers’ opinions, building loyalty and giving them that all-important feeling of ownership of your business.
5. Train your sales team to bring your VP to life
Once we’ve helped a business define a VP that meets its customers’ needs and desires, the work doesn’t stop there. We then help to train the sales team to deliver it in a consistent and compelling way. We find using a mix of learning techniques, including workshops, allows the team to practice delivering the VP across various real-life scenarios. Then it’s time to unleash the new VP on the market!
Your value proposition should be about what makes you different. It should be compelling and resonate not only right across the business, but also with your market. It really pays to get your staff and customers involved so that your VP accurately reflects your business and your audience. And don’t forget to keep the communication channels open to maintain an active dialogue that ensures your VP changes with your company and your market.
If you want to explore how to create a compelling Value Proposition for your company or discuss using the customer survey, contact Cathy Bennett on 0118 952 6993 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to watch Simon Sinek’s video