Updated: Apr 5, 2022
Are you bringing value to your customers and your clients? That is really the only question that matters as you look to grow your sales and compete in this ever-evolving marketplace.
Value Proposition is often a tool used in a sales process to identify what a potential client needs from a service provider and allows the company in question to craft an offer that will entice a potential client or customer to sign up for service.
This thinking is a great start, but it goes so much deeper in the form of customer journey mapping. It is about understanding yourself as an organization as much as it is understanding your customers and clients.
Customer journey mapping is a useful tool when it comes to looking at your end-to-end customer experience and identifying opportunities to improve your relationship. This begins before your clients ever sign a contract – it begins at the point of awareness. The trick with customer journey mapping is about is that it requires an outside-in approach, focusing on things from their point of view to understand their needs.
When you adopt this approach, it allows you to learn about them and craft offers to fit their needs so everyone wins. Developing and fleshing out the right number of personas to allow you to understand the buying influence will also be helpful, as you may find a front-line leader has a different set of wins than an executive at the same organization.
Personas (or avatars) are representatives of the organizations you most want to do business with and the buying influences within those organizations. It allows you to put a face and attributes to your potential sales leads – and to think about them as people with needs, wants, and emotions.
"This also means you have to understand your own organization."
Crafting a powerful value proposition requires substantial self-reflection, and you have to be comfortable taking a step back and asking yourself what problem you are solving and why anyone should care. This is where looking back to your personas will help you craft that compelling messaging.
If you can’t solve a problem for your customers or clients that they can’t easily solve themselves then what’s the point of anything you are doing?
You are likely used to hearing me talk on the topics of customer experience, employee engagement, and business execution – so what does this have to do with anything? It is the fundamental question of customer experience: How can you solve problems for your customers and help them achieve their goals.
This is often discussed in the context of an individual. People are hungry, they are thirsty, they need to shave, and they need mobility. Enter cheeseburgers, sparkling water, razors, and cars to help solve those problems – all delivered by companies who have the right solutions at the right time and hopefully at the right price.
The same process works very well for B2B plays, too. You can consider how you help organizations thrive as easily as you can individual customers; it becomes about considering what motivates the buying preferences of an individual as they activate solutions for a business rather than an individual.
Regardless of individual or enterprise, you must dial in on Problems, Words, and the Wins.
CUSTOMERS AND ORGANIZATIONS WANT HELP SOLVING PROBLEMS
Regardless of individual or enterprise, you must be able to answer the basic question:
I help _______________ to ____________________ by __________________.
You could be helping business travelers recharge through your delightful hotel accommodations. You may be serving dinner and creating a sense of community for diners through your dinner offerings or you be ensuring safe and clean workspaces for employees and visitors through your cleaning and facility solutions.
No matter your industry, you will have customers who have problems they recognize, like the basic example above, and those they haven’t realized you can solve for them yet. This means taking an adaptive approach to bringing value – and yet another place where customer journey comes into play. The more you can understand your customers, the better you can unearth problems they haven’t realized existed or solutions they haven’t thought of yet.
WHY SHOULD YOUR CUSTOMERS CARE?
This is the question most worth answering and why you have to put yourself in their shoes if you are going to be successful. Aligning with your potential clients and customers is about understanding your product and service and putting it into the context of a customer’s life.
"That is why realtors stage houses – it makes it easier to visualize yourself in the home and how you would use the space for your needs."
Understanding the wins for your customers is key – it helps you distill your message into a tangible “thing” for your customers that will make it more likely for them to buy your service. It also helps you align the use case for your product and allows you to think about new and innovative ways that you can bring value to those you serve.
WHAT MAKES YOU BETTER THAN YOUR COMPETITORS
The competition is anyone your customers do business with. Full stop. If you are in the healthcare industry and you are only benchmarking your services again other healthcare providers, that will set you up to be on the wrong side of industry trends.
If you have a call center or online ordering, you can bet you are being compared to Amazon or Apple. You are being compared to the service received at Hilton, The Post Office, the local dim sum place around the corner, and anyone that your customers can search online.
So, you must understand your competitive advantage with regard to others directly in your lane so you can be faster, easier, and more efficient – but not at the expense of ignoring the rest of the companies that are influencing your customers’ buying decisions.
This again leads back to self-reflection and making sure you have those who will challenge organizational thinking as a part of your customer experience and sales teams.
Creativity, execution, and storytelling are not easy by nature but with the right team in place (one that includes diverse personalities and points of view) you can overcome these challenges.
The fact is when you focus on your customer’s pain points, can articulate the problems you solve, and can understand the best ways to bring value, it will set you on a path toward strategic relationship building and sales growth.
These are just some of the critical questions in the MarketMatch© process and on your journey to finding your TRUE NORTH©.
"Are you reaching the key decision-makers at the right companies to fuel your growth?"
Our proprietary MarketMatch© program is a collaborative, personalized approach to win and retain the best, most profitable business.
Reach out today to start your journey of success at: email@example.com or contact 4xi's Strategic Partnership & Growth team.
Ed Snowden is a growth and strategic partnerships leader having guided large multi-million-dollar relationships, and billion-dollar organizations to winning better, retaining better. He is co-creator of 4xi's TRUE NORTH© Strategic Partnerships & Growth Academy.
Tony Johnson is Chief Customer Experience Officer at 4xi and is the co-creator of the MarketMatch© process. Tony leads 4xi's CX strategy, training, and execution. He is recognized globally as a subject matter expert, a prolific author, and a keynote speaker on all matters CX.
Simon Elliot is Managing Partner & Co-founder of 4xi. He has spent his career in strategic advisory and growth leadership roles and in his previous role managed a $1B portfolio of FORTUNE 100 global companies, bettering their work experience.
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