When you sell to the corporate market, having a strong value proposition is a necessity. Without one, you’ll never be able to get your foot in the door.
In my book, Selling to Big Companies, I define a value proposition as a “clear statement of the tangible business outcomes that a customer gets from using your product, service or solutions.”
The very best, most enticing ones include metrics and are customer-centric, meaning the customer “knows” you have a depth of understanding about his business, direction, issues & challenges.
Let me give you a couple examples:
Web Design Company
- BEFORE: We help our customers with website redesign, search engine optimization and e-commerce.
Boring! So does everyone else. And what difference does it make for your customer???
- AFTER: Our clients typically see 26-32% (METRIC) increase (MOVEMENT) in average order size from their online sales (DRIVER).
Now this works! You give this message to the right decision maker and within a nanosecond, they’ll want to set up a meeting to learn more.
Sales Training Company (my firm)
- BEFORE: We offer a one-stop shopping for all your sales training programs.
That is so Yuck! Get rid of that “one-stop shopping” stuff immediately.
- AFTER: I help salespeople crack into corporate accounts, speed up their sales cycle and win big contracts (KEY DRIVERS + MOVEMENT). One of my recent clients won a verbal commitment for $5M in business in just 90 days. (METRIC)
This always captures my prospects’ attention! Immediately they say, “Tell me more” – which is exactly what I want to hear.
As you can see, these are not customized for specific prospects. However, they deal with areas of prime importance to the decision makers you want to reach and show tangible value.
Another key thing to consider in your value propositions is the POSITION you’re calling on.
CFOs have different biz concerns than the Director of Technology or VP of Sales. So use different messages when you call on people who have different business drivers.
Many sellers have difficulty articulating their value proposition. The best way to find out the impact you have on your customers’ business is to ask them!
Call 3 customers who started using your product or service in the past 6-12 months. They know what things were like BEFORE they started working with your company. The “old way” of doing things is still fresh in their minds, so they can most readily tell you the value of your offering.
- What impact have we had on your business?
- Have we eliminated costly problems? What was the value of that?
- How did our work (product) help you achieve your objectives?
You might be surprised at what you learn!