I read an interesting article the other day, called “How to Write Your Value Proposition.”
This is good foundation information, but the buyer environment has undergone radical changes over the past 5 or 6 years.
The advent of the ‘hidden sales cycle’ (the stages of the buying process that buyers are conducting on their own, without sales people) have made the value of the age-old value proposition formula become less and less effective. Buyers are engaging with sales later and later in the process, getting to a short list of vendors before ever speaking to any one of them. The pithy one sentence value proposition that is product or service focused does not work as well in that environment.
Rather than just delivering a description of the value your company brings to the buyer, we need to communicate the value the buyer seeks in achieving their goals or solving their challenge – in their language. Buyer-centric, not product- or service-centric. To engage the buyer in the hidden sales cycle, we must rely more and more on effective content marketing because the sales process is happening there without the sellers. This results in an evolved value proposition creation process that fully feeds all the content needs.
We have been working with customers on developing their own value proposition playbook to deliver a messaging platform that feeds the content needs of buyers. The game has changed – and the value proposition development process needs to move with it.
Lisa Dennis is president and founder of ValueProposition.expert and Knowledgence® Associates. She is an international marketing and sales consultant, trainer, writer and strategist. Her forte is in helping organizations develop and integrate customer-focused value propositions into the marketing and sales mix of B2B companies across a broad range of industries.