– Miller Heiman, Sales Best Practice Study
Too often we see the same issue negatively impacting sales performance at B2B companies: features and benefits taking precedence over the deeper, more meaningful value a solution provides customers.
Value belongs at the forefront of nearly every client conversation and needs to be absolutely clear and compelling to your target audience. When you only have seconds to make a connection, it’s essential that you highlight the real and overarching value that your solution provides in a way that resonates with your target. Speaking to the key issue that is most valuable to your target audience grabs their attention and keeps them engaged as you tell the rest of your story.
While features and benefits may be important, these aspects of your story are more appropriately conveyed later in the conversation and become the reasons why customers will believe in your ability to deliver on what you promise. For example, a car manufacturer isn’t selling anti-lock brakes; they’re selling a safer driving experience. The inner workings of the anti-lock brakes substantiate the value: safety.
To ensure you are consistently communicating the higher-level “value” you deliver, ask yourself these critical questions:
- Have we fully inventoried our services, products, capabilities and all other aspects of what we do? Have we captured the supporting reasons to believe in each of these areas?
- Based on this inventory, have we surfaced the “collective, higher-level value” that we provide our customers? Have we captured and elevated that single, overarching value in our story?
- Have we validated that this value is, in fact, “meaningful” to our customers? Does the value we deliver connect with our target audience in a personal way? Does it connect in a way that drives business performance?
- If so, do we substantiate that value through relevant proof points to ensure our target believes in our ability to deliver on that promise?
- Do we anchor every conversation and interaction we have with prospects around this core value message?
- Have our employees been trained to make accurate distinctions between features, benefits and value, and to utilize them properly in delivering our story?
- Can employees articulate our value proposition in a clear and consistent manner?
Value represents the deepest, most meaningful advantage that your customers will derive from working with your company. Making it the cornerstone of your story will ensure you secure the highest return on every communication investment that you make.