Growth Driver #2 – Increase Your ValuePosted: November 6, 2012
Increasing your value to customers depends on your ability to Identify, Demonstrate, and Deliver value.
Providing value is important at every stage of the life cycle, but it is especially critical in the growth stage. Early in the growth stage, you must motivate early adopters to buy your product, and later in the stage you must compel new customers to switch to your product. In both cases, you must communicate a compelling reason to buy. To increase your value to your customers, follow these steps.
1. Identify Value
The first step in identifying value is to assess each customer segment’s – if not each customer’s – value chain and identify opportunities to create value. To do this, we like to create a customer value tree that describes how customers grow revenue and make a profit. With this picture in hand, it becomes far easier to begin to identify sources of value from the customer’s perspective, and this step has the added benefit of educating everyone who touches the customer. The second step to identifying value is to sort value creating opportunities into: critical pain points, areas of insecurity or risk, and opportunities for future gain. This sorting exercise typically yields a prioritized road map for value creation, beginning with big pain points, then areas of risk, and concluding with longer term opportunities. To double check this road map, we recommend testing it with customers to determine if your prioritization is accurate and if your performance claims are differentiated versus your competitors. This step will allow you to re-prioritize value creating opportunities and highlight those that require additional investment to improve their performance.
2. Demonstrate Value
Armed with a prioritized road map, you are in a much better position to start demonstrating your value. But you’re not ready to dive int just yet. Before you begin demonstrating your value you must do three things:
- Identify which stakeholders in the customer organization care most about each of your value propositions.
- Determine when in the sales process to communicate your value propositions.
- Select the right person/medium, based on the customer’s expectations, to deliver your value propositions.
In today’s rapidly evolving and increasingly populated selling environment, it is critical to ensure that your value propositions are delivered at the right point in the sales process (frequently, earlier), to the right stakeholders, and by the right member of your team (increasingly not just the sales rep). Doing all three well ensure you have maximum opportunity to differentiate your products and services and share of mind with each stakeholder.
3. Deliver Value
The last step and, frequently, the linchpin of short and long-term success is delivering value. Delivery of value requires confirmation, planning, education, and reporting. Before you are ready to deliver value, you must:
- Reconfirm the value stakeholders are expecting you to create and how it will be measured.
- Develop a plan to deliver with your team, including, sales, operations, and customer service.
- Educate the project team (your team and the client’s) on your implementation plan to deliver value.
- Report value as it’s created for your customer.
Don’t make the mistake so many sales people make and assume that value is delivered at closing.
If you have recently worked to increase your value or enhance your value propositions, please comment below, or shoot us a note.