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Home arrow Marketing arrow Value-ology: Aligning sales and marketing to shape and deliver profitable customer value propositions

Don't Forget the Follow Up

Hopefully by now it’s clear that value propositions are promises of future value. Crafting compelling value propositions that resonate with individuals supported by our ‘all-in’ value-based approach should mean that all marketing and sales interactions begin and end with customer value in-mind. We have seen how this approach can lead to enhanced revenue and profit.

It is important to remember that value propositions are promises of future value. Thull pointed out that many organisations are on their third iteration of customer relationship management systems because promised value was not delivered. Crucially they were too difficult and time-consuming for the end-users who had to input the customer data.

In their work on service dominant-logic, Vargo and Lusch remind us that value can only be realised during consumption, or in use. Here is where most organisations seem to miss a pretty significant trick. The question is, even if you are following a value proposition approach, do you ever follow up with the customer to see if the benefits or value promises you made are being delivered? In our experience most companies would have to say no, if they were being completely honest. What is the worst that can happen if you start to do this as a matter of routine? Inevitably, in a B2B context, the customer is probably on the hook to do something to help ensure the promised value was realised. In our view, building in follow-up conversations about value delivered can expose new problems that you can help with, keep you in control of the conversation and in touch with key players in the customer organisation. Crucially it will give you exposure to end users, who become more of a focus once your solution is being used by your customer.

Hopefully you will now have had the conversations in your organisation to allow you to advance from base camp. It should now be clear what value and value propositions mean for you and your organisation. If you want to follow our process you can see that the next step is to gain a clear understanding of the issues facing your customers; more of this in Chap. 4. This will serve as a bedrock on which you can build your value approach; which will help you develop value themes. This starts to drive a cohesive approach to all your customer interactions, and the customer will soon see that the conversations are now more about them and less about you. Ultimately the aim is to develop resonating individual value propositions, and this is where we turn next: value conversations.

Further Reading

Anderson, J. C., Narus, J.A., & Van Rossum, W.. (2006, March). Customer value propositions in business markets. Harvard Business Review 84(3), 91—99.

Barnes, C., Blake, H., & Pinder, D. (2009). Creating and delivering your value proposition: Managing customer experience for profit. Kogan Page.

Bower, M., & Garda, R. A. (1985). The role of marketing in management. The McKinsey Quarterly, 3, 34—46.

Gronroos, C., & Ravald, A. (2011). Service as business logic: Implications for value creation and marketing. Journal of Service Management., 22(1), 5—22.

banning, M., & Michaels, E. (1988, July). A business is a value delivery system. McKinsey Staff Paper No. 41.

Pisello, T. (2015a). Frugalnomics survival guide: How to use your unique value to market better, stand out and sell more. Winter Park: Alinean Press.

Webster, F. E. (2002a). Market-driven management: How to define, develop, and deliver customer value (2nd ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.

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