Once you’ve sold something and your customer has bought they expect to receive value. They will have expectations about what this value is, and also when it will be realised and how much effort they will need to put in to realise it. There is an opportunity to over-deliver in each of these areas and to create delighted customers.
And when you deliver value that’s a great time to ask your customers for testimonials, referrals and case studies. This is powerful social proof that will help you to build your credibility and attract new inquiries and leads.
Here are several ways to look at value.
Increase the value
Value can be a complex issue in B2B markets and sectors. However, bottom-line benefits are often in the areas of increased revenue, reduced costs, compliance, risk reduction or rate of change. You’ll understand and communicate the value of your proposition, product or service throughout your marketing and sales activities, making it applicable to large groups, small groups and individuals as you progress from general to specific.
The source of your value
Your value is probably tied in with your knowledge about achieving specific outcomes. You may package this knowledge in many ways; in a physical product, in a service, in an application, in a campaign, and in other ways. The key is to deliver something of high value to your customer that costs you considerably less to deliver. You’ll no-doubt understand the implications of delivering something of low value that costs you a lot to deliver.
Levels of value
The adage of ‘cheaper, faster, better’, is a good summary of the different levels of value and benefit:
- Something Cheaper cuts the cost from what they were paying before and involves minimal change
- If it’s Faster then the benefit may be in productivity or responsiveness, and involves more change
- And if Better, its doing something is a different way, or doing something different and may require considerable change
If you have options that tick all of these criteria there may be scope to re-package some of your offering so it specifically addressed just one of these one of these criteria, creating opportunities to extend your range, and align sales pipeline and delivery accordingly.
Reduce the time-to-value
There’s a difference between receiving value almost immediately – the instant gratification – and receiving value in the distant future. Discounted cashflow and similar are ways to compare these. And the market trend is towards quick-wins, for many reasons, such as delayed value increases the risk of non-achievements, and the sponsor or some critical resource or factor to achieve value may change in the mean-time. If you can halve the time to value for your clients then that will put you art a competitive advantage to where you are today.
Reduce the effort-to-value
In B2B sales there is often some or considerable effort that the customer needs to undertake to realise value. Learning about a new product, installation, integration, updating policy and procedures, embedding it into the organisation and so-on all require effort and resource. If you are able to use your experience to simplify this, to reduce the planning, and execution, reduce the learning and integration curve and reduce the risk, on the champion or sponsor personally, on the team or department and on the organisation as a whole, thene you are creating a significant advantage for yourselves.
Return on Investment
This is a complex area, but consider that the ROI your customer achieves is a mix of the three dimensions above.
- There is an absolute, WHAT financial value they are likely to realise
- There is a time based element to WHEN they realise the value
- There is an effort element about HOW they realise the value,
Review the ways you deliver value to your customers
- Summarise the different value points you deliver to customers, and identify commonalities or clusters
- Ask your customers what value they receive, and you may be surprised what they respond with
- Compare the two and investigate any discrepancies, you may be over-delivering, or missing opportunities
- Increase the number of value points you offer to customers – creating entry points and upsell, downsell opportunities
- Look for ways to reduce the time to value, and reduce the client effort required, through product or service design, support enhancements, implementation and training, delivery improvements and more.
Whether you deliver value in the form of a service or a product, there are things you can do to enhance the customer experience of realising value. An independent review and assessment can provide valuable insight and ideas that you may not have identified or considered, and well as helping you to evaluate and prioritise ideas that are on your to-do list.
Customer testimonials and referrals
Have you made it part of your processes to ask for referrals and testimonials from customers on a regular basis?
If you’ve found this useful then please share with your colleagues and contacts.