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

Alignment for Value-Ology

Steps 1 and 2 Mind Your Language!

The first two chapters were devoted to value and value propositions. Hopefully we demonstrated that these are words with highly contested meanings. Having got to GRRIPS with key alignment issues the first thing you need to do is to agree on the definitions you will use and share for value and value propositions.

Definition of value = Perceived relevant and distinct benefit - Total cost of ownership

You should be familiar with this definition as we presented it in Chap. 1. Get the key players from marketing and sales to discuss and agree a definition of value that works for your organisation. Some customer input may be useful here too. While you’re at it you may want to do the same for value propositions. We present the same template for defining value propositions as we did in Chap. 2 at the end of this chapter for you to complete this step.

Step 3 What Does Marketing Need to Provide to Sales to Allow Them to Confidently Develop Value in a Social Setting?

In Chap. 3 we highlighted our research into developing value in the social setting involving the customer and the salesperson.

To enable the salesperson to thrive in this environment we feel it’s useful to have a clear understanding of what marketing needs to give them, to help them concentrate on social value. If you’re a marketer, why not ask them?

What’s clear from all the research is that sales is being carpet-bombed with all manner of marketing ‘content’ that they don’t use. Often they spend time re-working what’s provided for them because it doesn’t hit the mark. Over recent weeks we’ve had two contrasting conversations. A Head of Marketing for a global IT company gave us a huge laundry list of ‘stuff they provide for sales. When asked which they found most useful we were invited to ‘go and ask sales!’. A more enlightened Vice-President of Marketing at another global organisation focused on two or three key outputs that sales said they valued. We expect that sales will want:

  • • A clear view of your overall company value proposition. One that is focused on customer value.
  • • Key value themes to hang conversations around
  • • Some insight into the issues faced by the customers in the industry they


  • • Key points of difference between you and the competition
  • • Case studies on where you’ve done this before

If they have this clarity they won’t be left floundering if the customer presses them on what your company does to add customer value.

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