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Home arrow Marketing arrow Value-ology: Aligning sales and marketing to shape and deliver profitable customer value propositions
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Individual Customer Value Propositions (CVPs)

True relevance and resonance is achieved when you get to the top layer of the value stack. Recent CEB research showed that on average there are 5.4 people involved in making a major purchase decision in a B2B buying process. The signs are that decision-making became more consensus-based during the last recession and has stayed that way. Many sales methodologies encourage us to ‘segment’ people inside customer organisations as decision-makers, end users and technical buyers. Some encourage you to get a ‘coach’ inside the customer to help you navigate inside the customer organisation. Through experience we know that many organisations focus too much on the technical buyer. This is the person who probably wrote the invitation to tender, who may not have a full understanding of the value the organisation is looking to get from the purchase.

Our approach acknowledges that there will be on average 5.4 people involved in any B2B purchase who may all be looking for different types of value. This involves thinking through the value that each person is looking for.

In the simple example above we can see that each of the C level officers will get different value from a purchase of call centre technology. The chief information officer will probably be looking for something that integrates well with current technology and is easy to maintain, in other words something that has a low cost of ownership. The President of Sales will respond to a value proposition that shows how the call centre will help increase sales closure rates. Here you can present a revenue stream that delivers a return to help move the dialogue away from costs. The CMO may be compelled by a customer retention proposition or by generating new leads, depending on the context. The head of HR (Human Resources) may be interested in knowing how people retention could be improved through creation of a better call centre environment. This looks simple, but getting to the point that you can craft these individual value propositions is not easy. It demands that you have conversations with these individuals to understand their personal challenges. Of course, if you’ve done this before you can provide insights into how much you have improved performance. In our view there is no substitute for the value conversations with the 5.4 individuals you need to influence. The next chapter is devoted specifically to value conversations based on some unique research performed by Dr. Paul Johnston into how value is created in sales conversations.

 
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