Value Proposition

What is a Value Proposition? A Value Proposition is a benefit statement or series of benefit statements that are specific to a product or service offer and targeted to a specific buying decision maker to highlight to that decision maker why they should buy from you and not your competition.

Why is the Value Proposition important? In the absence of a clearly articulated and targeted Value Proposition, you are asking the buying decision maker or makers to try to figure out on their own what the benefits are that specifically apply to them.

What is the difference between your Unique Sales Proposition and your Value Proposition? For some reason a lot of online resources suggest these are the same thing but they are, in fact, very different. In very simple terms, the USP is brand level and the Value Proposition is product or service specific. Going a bit deeper, you can have multiple Value Propositions for each product or service depending on how many decision makers you might need to address in the sales process. If you have multiple offerings, you will have a single USP and many Value Propositions.

The Value Proposition must cater very directly to the role of every individual who influences the buying decision. If you are lucky enough that this is only one person that makes in simple. The more complex the offer and the larger the buying decision maker group the more challenging this will be to develop and present. In a B2C offer this could be a couple (husband/wife or partners, etc) where each views the purchase benefits very differently. It is also now quite common in the B2B world to have to address at least 3 or 4 different buying decision influencers or decision makers. These typically include

  1. The person who will implement and/or operate the solution. They will look for benefits with respect to how to implement, training requirements, disruption factor, ease of use, etc.
  2. The person who looks at this from a pure financial point of view including total cost of ownership, ROI, capital or operating budget, etc.
  3. The person who is technically responsible to integrate or support, especially if your product or service is IT related.
  4. The business leader or manager with over final signing authority who may have to weigh the feedback from the other folks in the process before committing.

A value proposition is not a single statement. It should include the following parts

  1. Confirmation of the customer ask or requirements.
  2. Highlight or demonstrate how your offer directly addresses the customer requirements. If there are many requirements, each has to be addressed.
  3. Highlight your differentiation with the competition. A couple things you can do to be unique include
    1. Focus on the benefits. Do not just list features.
    2. Try to find alignment with the values of the buyers. If selling B2B the company buying may have their core values on their website and you can use sites like LinkedIn to try to learn as much as you can about the individuals involved.
  4. Offer proof using references, testimonials and the like.

Where possible you should try to present your offer in person or virtually. The least effective way to present a proposal and the associated value proposition is using an email. Think about it from this perspective; when was the last time you received a proposal for business or personal purposes. You started by looking at the price and if it seemed okay you might review the rest but if the price seemed high you went no further, especially if you had or were getting other proposals or quotes.

By presenting your proposal, you are more able to control the ‘conversation’, allow the buyer or buyers to ask questions and ensure they fully understand your proposal and the benefits and value it offers.

Understand as well that the ICP does not stand alone. It directly feeds into 3 other Silver Bullets including the USP and Guarantee, Tactical Marketing Plan and Sales Management System and underpinning all of this is what I call the Prospect and Sales Continuum.

To learn more about how to put together your Value Proposition and how it is a key component of lead and revenue generation book a call with me at your convenience by clicking on the button below.