1. What we sell?
While most companies define the benefits of their products and services the high performance sales organizations have clear and effective value propositions – more on this later in this article.
2. Who is the customer?
In addition to creating customer segments and groups, successful business organizations develop an ideal customer profile – the perfect fit for their value proposition.
3. How we sell?
Where we find new prospects based on the ideal customer profile and how we engage them in the sales process.
The role of your value proposition is crucial for your sales success and at the same time it is the foundation of your sales strategy plan. The effective value propositions deal with the first two points above – what we sell and who is the customer.
Successful value propositions communicate the core benefits of the offering. The term offering is used to stress the importance of what you actually sell because it is more than a product or service benefit but it is the total customer experience. As a result your value proposition must communicate clearly in simple words the entire experience and benefits for the target customer. The core benefits of your offering in reality represent a mix of benefits delivered by your products, services, events, experiences, reliability, convenience, guarantees, quality…
Having developed an effective and unique value proposition is a key differentiator for your sales growth and business development. This is the foundation of all future steps and approaches or your sales strategy. The development of your sales strategy plan starts by looking at the value proposition and defining your target customer. While you can sell to multiple target markets it is important to step back and define your core customer or ideal customer. How do you that? By looking at your value proposition and identifying who the ideal customer is for the benefits and the total experience delivered by your company. Ideal customers are less price sensitive, more profitable, loyal and generate higher lifetime value. On the other hand, customers who don’t fit this group are less attractive for the organization. While you’ll always have different customers it is crucial to start your sales strategy plan by identifying and defining your ideal customer and develop strategy for growing this core customer base and improving the current customer retention.
The approaches described above so far cover the first two steps in creating a sales strategy. The third step includes answering the question how we sell and defines the process of selling. This process includes lead generation, CRM and the actual sales tactics, systems and approaches. When working on this step you already have defined your value proposition and ideal customer and your job now is to develop a system or process which will successfully communicate your value proposition to your ideal prospects and customers.
This step defines the following:
a. where and how to reach new prospects who fit the ideal customer profile
b. how to engage with them and communicate the value proposition
c. how to effectively convert these prospects into customers
As a summary, the foundation and starting point in sales strategy plan development is the value proposition. Everything else should be developed based on this very important step. It is absolutely crucial for your sales success to have an effective statement of your value proposition or customer value proposition statement.
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