11 Nov Tips for discovering your company’s customer value proposition
Your company’s customer value proposition is defined as the sum total of benefits that your company promises its customers in exchange for their payment or donation. This can be tricky — and it’s something you’ll need to iterate on over time — but you’ll need to have a starting place.
Your value proposition should answer these basic questions:
- What is the product or service that your company sells to its customers?
- What is the primary product or service that your company sells to its customers?
- Are there secondary products or services that your company sells? Are they related (upgrades, support packages) to the primary product or service?
- What is the product or service that your company devotes the majority of its time and resources into?
- What are benefits or advantages a customer receives if they use your product or service?
- What are the specific ways your customers life is made easier by your product or service?
- What are the specific ways your customers life becomes more enjoyable or desirable by using your product or service?
- How much time will a customer save by using your product or service?
- Who can and should use your product or service?
- Do you sell to consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B)?
- Do you sell globally or just in your local market?
- Do you sell to hobbyists or professionals?
- How is your product or service different from the products or services offered by the competition
- Are you introducing a new or innovative solution to an existing problem?
- Does your product or services have useful, desirable features that a competitor does not offer?
- Are you significantly less expensive than a competitor?
- Do you offer a different support experience than a competitor?
- Is your product better for the environment than a competitors?
- Is your manufacturing process better for the local economy than a competitors?
Spend some time answering these questions with the people in your company that have the most domain knowledge with your products or services, audience, and competition. In many cases, you might want to form an interdepartmental group so that you can get a bigger perspective.
Sales can speak to:
- Why they might lose a sale to the competition.
- What the most common pre sales questions might be.
Support can speak to:
- What features customers struggle with the most.
- What features customers understand the most.
- What features customers request the most.
Marketing can speak to:
- The size of your brand’s audience.
- The size of your brand’s possible market.
- Messaging and topics that resonate with your audience and possible market.
Again, don’t expect to end up with the perfect customer value proposition the first time you go through this. You just need a good starting point to continue onto the next step of this discovery process. Have your colleagues start playing with this messaging across a few different mediums.
- Try some of it out in a sales conversation.
- Bring it up in a conversation with current clients on a support call.
- Have the CMO record a talk he gives where he uses some of the new messaging.
- Even try to explain what your company does to a relative or friend that doesn’t understand it yet.
Folks will start getting a feel for what soundbites work better than others and you’ll be on your way to clear custome value proposition. You could compare this part of the process to an actor and director going over lines and deciding what to keep from a script versus what sounds better improvised. You’re trying to find messaging that will resonate with your customers, so if it sounds boring over dinner with a friend, it will sound boring to a potential customer. This is an exercise you’ll do time and time again, so that you can keep improving your messaging and make people care about how they will benefit from your products or services.