Your Value Proposition is the reason that customers choose to buy from you, it needs to be a core business skill. This slideshare shows you how to develop compelling value propositions with a focus on B2B companies
Value Proposition Development
Why should customers buy
The Customer Value Driven Organisation
Your customers only care about the outcomes you can help them achieve.
The ultimate customer value comes from helping your
customers achieve their desired outcomes whether that
relates to business success or personal ambition
You can help your customers achieve their outcomes by
solving their problems and satisfying their needs.
Your customer value propositions communicate how you
will solve your customers’ most important problems and
why they should choose to buy from you.
Driven by a clear purpose, the organization exists to
efficiently and effectively solve your customers’ problems
to help them achieve their outcomes.
Customer outcomes and
• What do they want
to achieve, what are
• What problems do
they care about?
• What are they
Promise of value that
• Benefits that solve
problems and help
them achieve their
• Why they should
care about your
• Demonstrate points
of difference from
that matter to your
• Put action plans in
place to improve
• Create trust -why
• Create a vision of
how your solution
will help them
achieve their goals.
What’s in it for
Why choose to
buy from you?
A Value Proposition has 4 essential elements
It shows how products/services create value for a specific customer segment
The elements can take on different levels of importance depending
on the competitive environment and the point in the sales cycle.
Customer value propositions are applied
throughout the customer journey
Customer value propositions create the narrative which lead your
customers through the buying process.
A vision of the future solution
from the individual customers’
perspective; with proof.
Building a story which stands out,
based on clear needs and
A succinct message which generates interest,
leading to the desire to find out more.
Customer Value Proposition development can be
broken in to 7 key steps.
The customer value
and ideal customers
Value MapYour difference
The first stage of customer segmentation often
focuses on demographics.
– Values and culture
– How decisions are made
– Willingness to change
– Approach to risk
The second stage develops better resonance through defining
segments focussed on customers’ behaviours and needs.
– Product functions
– Quality (Great to perfect)
– Support level
STEP 1 – Define customer segments and ideal customers
Who are your real customers?
Who are your channel partners and influencers?
Focus on your ideal customers
STEP 1 –Ideal customers have higher lifetime spend and
provide referrals to more ideal customers
and share their
take action and
Urgency with a
Aligned to your
Can be served
Your value propositions resonate more with your ideal customers.
Characteristics of the
Ideal Customer Criteria
Characteristics of the
Structure to help develop ideal customer criteria
List top 3 to 5 best
customers and the
make them the best
List top 3 to 5 worst
customers and the
make them the
Define the standards
against which you
will measure your
Develop an ideal customer score card to use in your sales pipeline
• Rank the five most important criteria
• Score each sales opportunity from 0 to 5 against the criteria
• Total score out of 25 gives a relative comparison of opportunity attractiveness
Step 2 - Customer Discovery
A cross functional team works to develop a complete picture of your market and customers
This session will produce lots of questions that you don’t currently have answers for. Customer
discovery is iterative and continuous and develops as you spend more time with your customers.
Customer Discovery Canvas
Customer Segment: L&D leaders in retailers
3. What problems
do they have and
what insights can
1. Be clear on your
4. The team must spend lots
of time with customers to test
and develop the canvas
Questions to help you focus on customer outcomes
For your defined customer segments, what do your customers want to achieve.
Put yourself in their position and think about the people involved.
• What is their purpose?
• What is their business strategy? How do they achieve it?
• What new business models are emerging?
• How do they increase sales and reduce costs?
• What factors are disrupting the customer segment?
• What are they trying to achieve?
• What are their ambitions?
• Why do they care?
Thinking about market challenges and opportunities from your customers’ perspective
leads to insights in to what they really need which can lead to real differentiation.
Customers see value in different ways.
Think of their problems and needs in terms of economic,
functional and emotional value.
• Solutions to problems
• Ease of deployment
• Environmental impact
Your customers value your offering in direct relation to their needs
Return on investment
• Increased sales
• Cost or time savings
• Cost of ownership
• Increased productivity
• Trusting Relationships
In B2B sales, make sure that you understand and identify the
different buyer types, they have different criteria and needs.
Role: Gives final approval to buy
Focus: Bottom line and effect on organisation
Asks: What return will I get on this investment?
Role: Screens out products - gate keepers
Focus: Match to specifications and technical
Asks: Does this meet the specified criteria?
Role: Judge impact on operational performance
Focus: How does it perform in use - they will live
Asks: How does this impact my responsibilities?
Consider all touch points with your customer and make sure the whole company is involved
Customer Problems and Needs- Think about
individuals within your customer segments.
• What improvements do they want and how much does it matter?
• What are their biggest pains and how much do they hurt?
• How do they manage risk when adopting new solutions?
• What does success look like to them personally?
• Imagine ‘a day in their life’.
• What gets them to celebrate?
• Who are the decision makers?
• How do they measure Return On Investment?
• Is there urgency to solve the problem? If not at the top of the list, is it
in the top two to five? (There are finite £’s, time, people, resources).
Customer problems and needs are identified by really listening to your customers,
make sure that everyone understands that this is a key part of their role.
Developing customer insights
Based on their most important outcomes, how can you surprise
them with solutions they don’t know they can have.
• What solutions can you develop based on combining a knowledge of
market problems with your unique competencies.
• What do they dream about – how can you make it happen?
• What keeps them awake at night and how can you remove the worry?
• What would go beyond their expectations?
• What risks do they fear taking – and why?
Insights are gained by truly understanding the market place and the
outcomes that your customers want to achieve.
Step 3 – Product/Service Value Map
How does your product/service add value that resonates with your
The value map forms the basis for developing your value propositions
Customer Segment: L&D leaders in retail
benefits that solve
and its features
Step 4 – Competitive Position
Example of Competitive Canvas applied to Value Proposition Workshop versus a Website Designer
Points of difference
Points of parity
Points of negative
Identify Points of Difference– focus on areas that resonate with your customers
• What are you better at? Emphasize areas of competitive advantage
• For points of parity, focus on proving you can deliver and actions to improve
• For weak areas, create and execute plans to improve.
Top customer needs and insights (Ranked)
Key benefits – how
you solve key
Step 5 – Develop compelling value propositions
Use the customer discovery and competitive canvases to build your value proposition for
your defined customer segment based on their most important outcomes and problems.
Your value proposition is more than an ‘elevator pitch’. You need to craft
and build a story which develops credibility with how you solve important
customer problems and help deliver customer outcomes.
clear on the
they apply to.
Focus on the
one or two
area, how will
you create a
Define the most important outcomes
within your customer segment
Step 5 -Ideas to strengthen the customer value proposition
will look like
Focused on ideal customers’
outcomes and problems.
Step 5 – The Proof is in the Pudding
Your value propositions need to create a compelling vision for your
customers and to achieve this you need messages that your customers trust
Consider these four important approaches to get your customers to
trust your messages and visualize how you can help them.
Prototyping – customers react
better if they can touch it. So
focus on building ‘minimum
viable products’ to get feedback
during your development of
new products and services.
Research shows that the most
important way to develop trust is
through referrals from existing
So after you’ve made the sale
make sure you ask for referrals.
Case studies & whitepapers
achieved for existing
Make sure that your ideal
customers will relate to your
Offer a trial period to help
prove the value. Getting
your customers to actually
use your products gets
if you have identified your customers’ most
important problems and whether you have a
compelling solution that they value and will help
deliver their desired outcomes.
Step 6 – Test and refine your value propositions
Testing can only take place in front of your
customers. A structured approach will verify
Step 7 – Execution; putting it to work.
Your value proposition is your ‘promise of value’ to your customers,
make sure it is an integral part of your whole business.
• Make value proposition development a core business skill with clear focus on
understanding customer outcomes and problems.
• Create marketing briefs for direction to external agencies with clarity on the
customer outcomes and problems you are focusing on and what your value
• Improve your sales tools, make sure they are focused on customer outcomes and
• Base New Product Developments on customer outcomes and problems, develop
products/services that solve your customers’ most important problems.
• Review your business model. What changes can you make to improve the value
you offer your customers.
The challenge is to make Customer Value Proposition development a
core business skill and an embedded part of your culture so that your
organization is truly driven by customer value.
• Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design by Alex Osterwalder et
al are two of the most readable and practical business books I’ve come across.
Building on work by Steve Blank, Eric Ries and Clayton Christensen, they pull
together a lot of recent business thinking.
• Start with Why by Simon Sinek gets to the heart of your business. His TED talk,
‘People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it’ is compelling.
• Blue Ocean Strategy by Kim and Mauborgne is the basis for the competitive
canvas and argues that you need to search for ‘uncontested market space’.
• Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt is one of the best of the many
books on strategy. He advises approaching strategy in 3 phases – diagnosis, a
guiding policy and coherent action.
• Harvard Business Review article - Customer Value Propositions in Business
Markets by Anderson, Narus and Rossum, is a must read with good examples and