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Selling Solutions Using a Compelling Value Proposition


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In a webinar presented by Marty Gilbert, president, Growth Initiatives LLC, and Bob Sherlock, president, Marketwerks, learn how to lay the foundation for solution selling, and then execute it. CompTIA’s webinar focuses on how to develop well-targeted value propositions for each customer segment, and bring them to market successfully.

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Selling Solutions Using a Compelling Value Proposition

  1. 1. Webinar: Selling Solutions Using a Compelling Value Proposition September 18, 2013
  2. 2. Selling Solutions Using a Compelling Value Proposition Marty Gilbert, President of Growth Initiatives LLC • 847.732.7400 Bob Sherlock, President of Marketwerks Inc. • 847.382.6210 2 2
  3. 3. Value Proposition Definition A value proposition: • Relevancy… Explains how your product solves customers’ problems or improves their situation. • Quantified Value… Delivers specific benefits (quantified value). • Unique Differentiation… Tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition. • Customer Motivation = Perceived Benefits – Perceived Costs • “Value proposition is the #1 thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product or hit the back button.” -- the new generation of decision-makers 3
  4. 4. Solution Selling Definition • Rather than just promoting a product, the salesperson focuses on the customer’s pain and addresses the issue(s) &/or problems with his offering of products &/or services. The resolution of the pain is what constitutes a true solution. • Solution selling means targeting the types of companies most likely to benefit from your products and services so that you don't waste time selling to people who shouldn't buy anyway. 4
  5. 5. The Importance of Value & Solutions • Product features often speak to technology & not the customer’s needs. • Product feature focus runs the risk of implementing capabilities that are irrelevant to the customer (over- engineering). • Product feature focus tends to commoditize & devalue your product over time. • Salespeople need products & stories that solve problems. 5
  6. 6. From Products to Value to Solutions Selling Defining Customer Pain Points Converting Needs into Solutions Refining Your Value Proposition Selling via Solutions The process starts with understanding your customer’s pain points 6
  7. 7. Vertical Market Pain Points • Excessive operational costs that are reducing profitability • Lack of process is leading to inefficient operations • Security breaches put our database at risk • Logistics costs are getting out of hand • Price erosion due to product commoditization • Difficulty in determining investment priorities • Regulatory environment makes our future uncertain • Stagnant revenue growth • Quality concerns 7
  8. 8. Horizontal Pain Points Decision-makers may differ by industry Operations IT Marketing & Sales Finance CEO/COO/Pres Healthcare Manuf Education Telecom Financial Svs Transport = Decision-maker I N D U S T R Y RESPONSIBILITIES 8
  9. 9. Converting Needs into Solutions A healthcare IT solution example for the XYZ System: Need Solution Each hospital within our health system performs at different operational levels & we don’t know why. Identifies under-performing departments, key contributors & recommended course-of-actions to reduce cost & improve efficiencies. Each surgeon operates in a silo which creates variations in care and increases our procurement costs since each physician purchases his own surgical materials. Surgeon vs. surgeon procedure analysis identifies optimum surgical approaches to improve quality of care, lessens legal risks and reduces costs by purchasing optimum surgical materials in volume. We don’t know where we should be investing in terms or staff, technology and our physical build-out. Predictive analytics identify what kind of patients and diseases are likely to enter your hospital. This, coupled with new technology entrants enable us to recommend staffing, structural build-out and new equipment investments to meet changing local market demands over the next 5 years. 9
  10. 10. Refining your Value Proposition The 4 steps to building a value proposition: 1. Define - 2. Qualify - 3. Evaluate - 4. Measure 1. DEFINE the problem set to determine which problems are worth solving. – Is the problem unworkable? – Is fixing the problem unavoidable? – Is the problem urgent? – Is the problem under-served? 2. QUALIFY the problem – Are you addressing an unmet need? – Do you have a meaningful competitive edge? 10
  11. 11. Value Proposition Points Prospect’s Needs Your Solution Competitor’s Solution Points of Difference Points of Irrelevance Points of Parity Differentiation matters if it’s important to your prospect 11
  12. 12. Refining your Value Proposition 3. EVALUATE whether your solution is unique & compelling – Discontinuous innovations… transformational benefits over the status quo – Defensible technology… IP that can be protected to create barriers of entry and unfair competitive advantages – Disruptive business models… value & cost rewards that help accelerate growth 4. MEASURE potential customer adoption using the pain/gain ratio – Game-changing benefits with minimal modifications to existing processes 12
  13. 13. The Pain / Gain Ratio • Revenue • Cost-savings • Time • People • Reputation Gain Inertia Pain • Switching costs • Alternatives? • Good enough • Default = do nothing • Try • Buy • Implement • Broad deployment • Own – TCO Goal: Disruptive innovation that is non-disruptive to adopt. to implement 13
  14. 14. The Pain / Gain Ratio • Revenue • Cost-savings • Time • People • Reputation Gain You win when the Gain exceeds the pain of adopting Pain • Try • Buy • Implement • Broad deployment • Own – TCO to implement 14
  15. 15. Building the Value Proposition Here is a very simple framework from which to build your value proposition… • For (target companies) • who are dissatisfied with (the current alternative) • our product is a (new product) • that provides (key problem-solving capability) • unlike (the product alternative). For hospitals that are dissatisfied with ineffective tools for improving care and reducing operating costs, our XYZ System provides clinical performance analytics and predictive modeling solutions that help reduce operating costs by 10%, eliminate errors by 15% and improve patient satisfaction scores by 20% within the first 2 years of implementation. 15
  16. 16. A Poor Value Proposition Example McKinsey’s corporate finance site Our value proposition rests on an unrivalled package of strategic, transactional and financial advisory services, uniquely linked with independent judgment and deep industrial/commercial insight. Our reward is not “transaction-based”, so we can maintain genuine objectivity in our client’s long- term interest. In negotiating and carrying out an engagement for a client, we participate fully in the client’s corporate thinking, and take into account not just the immediate value and impact of the project, but its context and implications over a longer period of time. We work closely with management and other advisors, such as major investment banks, to leverage and complement their knowledge and ensure maximum impact. We try to foster senior management’s commitment to our recommendations and actively support implementation and skill building. Comments: • Not targeted to any specific audience. • No quantified value/contribution. • No competitive differentiator. 16
  17. 17. A Good Value Proposition Example VMware For IT organizations wrestling with the high cost and inflexibility of the old “one server, one application” model, VMWare can improve the efficiency and availability of IT resources and applications through virtualization. About 70% of a typical IT budget in a non-virtualized datacenter goes towards just maintaining the existing infrastructure, with little left for innovation. VMWare can free your IT admins from spending so much time managing servers rather than innovating. An automated datacenter built on the production-proven VMware virtualization platform lets you respond to market dynamics faster and more efficiently than ever before. VMware customers typically save 50-70% on overall IT costs by consolidating their resource pools and delivering highly available machines with VMware vSphere. Comments: • Starts by describing the target customer’s problem their product solves. • Quantifies the problem: 70% of an IT budget is spent on maintenance. • Describes the benefits of implementing a virtualized data center. • Offers a range of IT cost-savings from their typical customers. • Only missing a statement regarding their competitive edge. 17
  18. 18. Selling via Solutions Key steps to solutions selling: 1. Prioritize the markets to pursue. 2. Understand the customer’s organizational structure, key influencers & decision-makers. 3. Align your value proposition with the customer’s needs. 4. Quantify the value of your solution 18
  19. 19. 1. Prioritize the Markets to Pursue Here are some of the criteria that are commonly used to determine solution selling prioritization: a. Market size b. Ease of entry c. Likely average order size d. Competitive environment e. Length of time to close contracts DOES YOUR PRODUCT DELIVER A UNIQUE SOLUTION THAT IS CRITICAL TO THIS MARKET? – If yes, then items a-e above will become less important. 19
  20. 20. 2. Understand your Prospect’s Organization Create internal champions with spheres of influence. 20
  21. 21. 3. Align Value with Customer Needs Create Awareness Build Credibility Demonstrate Value Close Qualify Pitch Negotiate Close Build Credibility Demonstrate Value Create Awareness CUSTOMERSales Marketing Recognize need Gather info Evaluate Buy 21
  22. 22. 4. Quantify the Value of your Solution Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Cumulative Cost $ Incremental Benefit For example, the implementation of our product delivers: • 10% increase in sales in Yr 1, 20% in Yr 2. • 20% reduction tech support costs from implementation. • 10% reduction in headcount after 6 months. • 30% increase in average order size by month 12. 22
  23. 23. One Additional Value Prop to Consider The value proposition to your channel partners: • Manufacturer’s objectives – The 3 Ms: mindshare, market share and money • Channel partner’s objectives – Financial benefits • Sales margin, service revenue, add-on business, annuity revenue if possible – Product differentiation – Product quality & reliability – Product alignment with the partner’s customers or vertical markets • Reduces their cost of sale and time spent prospecting – Training, technical support, marketing support & MDF – Revenue opportunities after the sale • Implementation, support services, license renewals, etc. 23
  24. 24. Your IT Industry Association Get this recorded webinar at Selling Solutions Using a Compelling Value Proposition Register for future webinars at: