Value Proposition

So What?

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We often write about Differentiating Value (i.e. DV) as it is fundamental to any strong selling system. You will hear it called value proposition, unique selling proposition, differentiation, and son on. We have an entire process to help companies define and refine their DV which will affect the entire selling process.

But let’s talk about a quick, simple approach you can use on your own to start refining your DV. Take a look at your present DV and ask yourself, “So what?”

The approach sounds indignant, but it works. The goal is to refine, or distill, your DV down to its essence because that is the point where it has the most power.

Existing DV: “We provide excellent service to our customers.”

So what?

“Our customers know we will take care of them if they have a problem.”

So what?

“If our equipment breaks down in the middle of a production run, we will have techs on-site fast.”

So what?

“We provide the fasted response times in our industry which allows our customers to know they will hit their production goals.”

Once you distill the topic down to the point where asking “So what?” sounds flippant, you have reached the essence of that particular DV. Now, you might find that it is not a compelling DV which may lead you to constructing a new DV all together.

Try this exercise as you work on your next DV messaging. As frustrating as it may get, in the end you will have a tight, impactful message. If you need assistance, we can help.

DV Week Part 1-Drive Your Margins

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

We are spending the week on the most fundamental aspect of successful selling - Differentiating Value (DV).

There is an old saying in sales, "Price is what you pay, value is what you get."   Keep this in mind when you are formulating your DV.  People revert to price because it is the easiest metric to use when comparing like solutions.  If I can't truly differentiate between them, I'll just buy the lower priced solution.  You can't blame the prospect in this instance - they made the correct decision.

But shame on the salesperson.

A buying decision should never boil down to price.  If it does, the salesperson has failed to accomplish two mission-critical tasks:

  1. Differentiate their solution from all of the others
  2. Translate that differentiation into the prospect's world

Number 1:  Prospects, especially those in procurement, will spend great energy to remove your DV.  Their goal is to get your solution entered into a spreadsheet tracking prices.  Unless you are successfully running the lowest-priced solution, you are done if you end up here.

Value = margin, just ask Apple.  They don't sell nearly as many cell phones as Samsung (315 million units for Samsung vs. ~215 million units for Apple).  Yet, most everyone has heard of Apple becoming the first $1 trillion company.  Value = margin.

The salesperson's first priority is to establish their DV.  Differentiating their solution from all the other competing solutions provides the ability to qualify for fit.  Your solution will not be a fit for every prospect.  Testing for "fit" using your DV is crucial for qualifying whether you have a viable prospect or not.

Photo by  Frankie Guarini  on  Unsplash

Number 2:  Prospects will not translate your differentiating value into their world.  How does your DV show up in their world?  What pain does it fix?   Whose life will be easier with your solution?  What is that DV worth (beyond money to time, resources, reliability, etc.)?

DV is what you do that is unique or better than your competition.  It exists in the prospect's world.  It is not features and benefits.  It is not quality, service or support.

DV is what the prospect will lose if they decide not to do business with you.  This fact is the keystone to building your DV into the prospect's world.

You have to answer these questions to approach translating your DV to the prospect's world:

  • What value do you bring to your prospect's world?
  • What do they lose if they do business elsewhere?
  • How does your absence show up in their world (what, when, where, etc.)?
  • Who is most affected by your absence?

When you can articulate your answers to these questions, you will have defined your DV.  We have further questions and techniques to refine DV.  If you could use some assistance with your DV, please contact us today.

CRO Rule #2 - Are You Worth More?

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CRO Rule #2
If you’re not clear about what makes you worth more, you will always compete on price.

We call it Differentiating Value (DV) and it is a foundational truth to any and all successful selling.  In essence, it is the key to what makes you worth more.  No DV, no deal…outside of having the lowest price.  The reason why?  From the Chief Revenue Officer! book:

1. Prospects do not invest the time required to fully understand all of your products or service “brilliance,” and even if they try, they frequently map your promoted feature/benefit data points into their world incorrectly.

Because of that fact…

2. Prospects make better decisions when you translate your unique product or service capabilities into their world for them.

Defining Your Differentiating Value

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The first step moving from a features & benefits-based, go-to-market model to a Differentiating Value (DV) approach is defining your Differentiating Value.

In B2B revenue models, the first question to ask is: How does my product / service improve the customer’s business? Forget the traditional quality, service and support pontifications. In B2B, quality, service and support are simply expected and all three are claimed by every competitor anyway so you get no differentiating points on these issues.

Look at the transaction from the prospect’s world and define how their overall performance is improved by having your product / service. That is your Differentiating Value and you can never have too much DV. Most prospects are already buying from someone else today so the more DV-based improvements your products deliver to the prospect’s business, the better platform you have for revenue growth.

The question always comes up…“What if they are happy with a competitor’s product and there doesn’t seem to be a benefit to making change?” This happens every day in sales. Our observation is one of two situations typically applies. If your product delivers substantial, compelling DV to your market and the sales rep has asked all the Critical Qualifying Questions for Motivation but the prospect is not responding, your rep is 1.) not connecting with the emotional buyer or 2.) the prospect is not a ‘fit’ for your DV. Assuming the prospect is not a fit for your DV, it is better to know that as early as possible in the sales cycle so you don’t waste time pursuing and forecasting dead end deals.