How to Improve Your Sales Value Proposition
Are you scratching your head, wondering why your prospects aren’t responding to your emails and calls? You may think you have a strong value proposition, but chances are you can make it even stronger. Sometimes, as a salesperson, you can’t “see the forest for the trees,” and you lose sight of what customers truly want and need.
To improve your value proposition, you’ll want to focus on the “why” instead of the “what.” Of course, you know the benefits of your product or service, but why should customers open their wallets for you? What change will they experience, and how will their lives improve? In this article, we explain how you can start improving your value proposition and increasing your profits.
What is a value proposition?
If this is sounding like so much word salad to you, we’ll do a quick rundown on what a value proposition is and what it’s useful for.
At its heart, a value proposition is simply this: what do you have to offer a potential customer, and why should they spend money on it? Then, you distill this need-versus-cost into a simple mission statement or pitch for potential clients and customers.
In essence, a value proposition should be at the center of every piece of marketing or communication your business does with the outside world.
Ask your current customers about your value
One of the best ways to identify your true value proposition is to ask your past and current customers how you were able to improve their lives.
You can ask informally or through a survey.
If they have statistics to back up their claims, then numbers are even more valuable than anecdotes since you can share them with prospects in case studies and even in casual conversations. Your customers may even tell you something about your product or service that you hadn’t previously considered.
You can even use that customer feedback to improve your own referral program.
Try to predict value based on past data
Do you know how much value your product or service will bring your prospects in the long run based on previous data? If so, you can try to show them how much money or time they’ll save or how much easier their lives will be.
If your company isn’t doing case studies, now is the time. We already talked about asking your customers how your product improved their lives. Now it’s time to collect that data across your entire customer base and organize it into actionable intel. How have profits been improved by using your service? Has there been a consistent average growth in leads or sales? Time saved? Increase in their customer reviews? Greater word of mouth?
Once you have this data across a broad spectrum, you have a possible predictive model to judge future clients, customers, and business against.
Predicting value can be tricky since you don’t want to make promises you can’t keep. However, you can present the data in an honest and transparent way.
Recognize the difference between a feature and a value
Features and values are often confused — something your product/service does versus the need it fulfills.
Only hobbyists and other companies in your field are really interested in all of the bells and whistles of your product. In fact, customers generally aren’t interested in your product at all! What customers want is to eliminate a problem in their life, save themselves time on a process, or be titillated by something. Your value proposition needs to find that pain point and target it. This process is sometimes called finding the “voice of the customer” or seeing things from their perspective.
If you’re selling a pizza, for instance, you wouldn’t say “we have bread, sauce, cheese, toppings, all cooked together and served in a convenient carryout box.” Instead, focus on how hungry the customer is and how quickly you can get that pizza to them.
It’s a tough pill to swallow because when you create a product or service, you get excited about it. You spend every day working on it, improving it, making it better. Features are the focus of most of our daily work, so it’s easy to talk about them.
But the job of your value proposition isn’t to wax poetic about how many things your product can do — instead, it’s to remember the customer’s pain point and how your product eases that pain.
Make your value proposition relevant to your customer
Even if you only target customers within a specific demographic, you’ll still have some variations among those prospects. Are you presenting the same exact value proposition to every prospect? If so, you could be missing the mark since every individual has unique needs.
By taking the time to do your research and crafting different versions of your value proposition, you can begin to understand how to optimize it for each situation.
Stop scratching your head about why your value proposition isn’t working and start taking steps to refine it. Once you’re able to personalize your value proposition and back it up with historical data, you’ll feel more confident about sharing it with your prospects.