In many organizations, marketers find it difficult to earn a seat at the adult’s table where real decisions are made and strategies are developed. They’re often left scrounging for the support and resources they need to truly add value.
Creating and implementing a quantified value proposition (QVP) is a proven method marketers can use to showcase the significant impact they can have on the organization, but many marketers struggle to implement it effectively. Why is that the case when doing so is vitally important to their success?
In most cases, they are struggling due to one or more of the following five challenges:
1. Customer value… what’s that?
In many businesses, the culture is product-centric.
The focus from initial product development through the sales and fulfillment process is based around features and technical specifications, but businesses find it hard to relate these directly to customer value. They simply aren’t used to thinking that way.
As a result, forward-thinking marketers trying to develop and implement a QVP run into a brick wall because the company’s culture won’t readily support focusing on the value the customer derives from purchasing a particular product or service.
2. Fear of customer reactions
It’s easy to hide behind words.
When you market a product by calling it “the best in its class” or other similar banalities, it’s easy to convince yourself you’re helping the customer make a decision when in fact you’re just adding to the noise. These kinds of messages are easily ignored, which results in no feedback from the customer.
When you present a customer with a QVP, you can expect questions such as:
- How did the provider come up with this quantified value?
- Does this claim apply to every customer?
- What assumptions were made?
Answering these questions effectively can be challenging, so many companies avoid it by failing to quantify their value proposition. But meeting that challenge can create an incredible marketing advantage.
3. Lack of appropriate skills
Many marketing teams simply don’t have the skills necessary to create a QVP. They are too focused on what they’ve always done - creating marketing materials and running events to support the sales team - rather than elevating their activity to a more strategic level.
While these activities have their place, adding the necessary skills to take that step forward can add far more value for the marketing team and the entire organization. Some of those specialized skills include:
- Value analysis
- Customer segmentation
- Building of value models
- Data analysis and synthesis
Without these and other skills in place, a marketing team will not be able to effectively develop a QVP.
4. Lack of leadership support
Regardless of the level of skill and ability on the marketing team, if they do not enjoy support from key decision makers, they cannot move a marketing program forward.
Many business leaders believe that the path to growth and greater profitability lies in hiring more salespeople, re-engineering their products, innovating in design, or cutting operational costs. There is simply little understanding of just how much value an excellent marketing organization can provide.
As a result, marketing teams trying to develop a QVP run into another wall as their efforts lack the resources and respect needed to get off the ground.
5. What’s the point… Sales won’t use it
In many business cultures, the sales team is given plenty of independence and autonomy. This is a good thing as it inspires creativity and allows quality salespeople to adapt to what’s happening in the field in order to close more deals.
However, the challenge comes in when sales teams get so set in their ways that they resist changes, even if these changes could improve their success rates.
Salespeople can become so focused on developing their customer relationships and closing the next deal at all cost that they refuse to utilize a QVP handed to them by marketing.
Any effort to advance marketing excellence through the development and implementation of a quantified value proposition is likely to run into at least one - if not all - of these challenges along the way. By identifying and preparing for them ahead of time, a marketing team can boost its chances of success.
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