We’ve spent a lot of time in the last month discussing why a Quantified Value Proposition (QVP) is one of the most effective marketing and sales tools you can invest in creating, and exactly how to go about doing so . But, assuming you’ve already put in that time and effort and you have a beautiful, functional QVP in hand, now what do you do with it?
Enabling the sales team to sell on value instead of just on relationship is the number one game changer that the QVP affords companies who invest in creating it.
Most sales teams historically sell on relationship: they spend a lot of time and effort networking with prospects, courting leads, and schmoozing with current customers. And there are plenty of good reasons to do so. These strong, cultivated relationships provide a refreshing human touch in an increasingly automated, digital business world.
However, relationship selling has one great downfall: If a hot prospect or a current customer is being courted by the competition too, the only option your sales team has to win or preserve the sale is to offer discounts or pile on added services. The competition can just as effectively cultivate strong customer relationships. Especially, because customer loyalty is more of a myth than reality in today’s unlimited marketplace.
When a powerful QVP is in play, your sales team can take a very different approach to gaining new business and maintaining existing customer relationships. They can preach - and prove - the actual unique financial value of what they’re selling.
This removes the focus of every discussion from the price of your products and services to the value of what you’re offering, and it also provides powerful differentiation. Most likely, your competition isn’t doing this. It even trumps a strong customer relationship because smart businesspeople like your customers will purchase something they know has tremendous value even if they don’t like the salesperson who’s selling it.
In addition, a functional QVP allows widespread sales teams to maintain a consistent message and playbook because their discussions are no longer based primarily on individual salespeople and individual buyers. Approaching the market with a common approach based on QVP standardizes the message to ensure that successful sales outcomes remain in the organization even if star salespeople leave. It also allows for interactive tools like value calculators and product configurators to be freely employed by salespeople and customers alike to further customize the sales message.
A Quantified Value Proposition offers a much stronger foundation for strategic pricing than the standard B2B pricing model, which is:
Cost + Flat Margin (%) = Price
Rather, a pricing strategy that begins with the quantified value of the solution being offered boasts three clear enhancements to the standard margin-based model:
- The quantified value allows a fluid (and therefore greater) margin to be included in the price because the price need not connect to the cost of providing the solution.
- The quantified value makes it easier for the sales team to explain the price without resorting to apologizing and discounting as a matter of course.
- The quantified value reduces or even eliminates the need to directly compare prices of your solution with the competition because your QVP focuses on the unique elements of your offer (that other competitors do not provide). Additionally your firm’s competitors are likely not quantifying the value of their offering – so such a comparison would be like comparing apples and oranges.
Enhanced Marketing Messages
Having created and validated a QVP, you now have powerful potential marketing messages you can use to further attract leads and pre-sell prospects who are gathering information but have not yet entered the direct sales process.
This messaging enhancement can take many forms, but a simple example would be the following snippet from a fictional product sale sheet aimed at manufacturing purchasing agents:
- “The Acme 3000 Widget will save you money by boosting production across the board.”
- “The Acme 3000 Widget will save you up to 18% on your current production costs as it speeds production an average of 3x and reduces equipment downtime by 35% versus the next best competitor – presenting a total annualized unique value of $50,000 per installation”
Which of those two messages do you think is more likely to grab the attention of - and appeal to - a procurement specialist who needs to justify every dollar they spend? Obviously, it’s the second option, which is based on a QVP.
On the other hand, which message is likely closer to what every other competitor is saying on their own sale sheets? Likely, it’s the first option. The generic, vague benefit bullet these buyers see every day.
This is especially powerful in a B2B context because each decision needs to be justified and capable of passing through multiple layers of approval. So, a QVP is far more effective and likely to succeed in the B2B arena.
These are just three of many effective uses for a well-designed Quantified Value Proposition. Here at EMM Group, we consider the QVP the next evolution of the standard value proposition –and at the core of everything we do to help our clients sell on value and reach towards marketing excellence.
Rajat (Raj) Kapur is an Engagement Leader at EMM Group and has helped a several of our clients with a variety of challenges – including go to market strategy, value proposition development, and sales enablement. Reach out to him via email (RajatKapur@emmgroup.net) or Twitter (@rkapur105).