Fifty Five and Five
how to write a value proposition

How to write a value proposition: a guide for B2B tech

  • Learn why value propositions are so important
  • Learn how to write a value proposition 
  • Setting up a value prop workshop
With almost 650,000 partners in the Microsoft Partner Network, standing out from the crowd is no mean feat. There are thousands of organisations that can migrate customers to Office 365; hundreds that have built add-ons to improve the SharePoint experience; many more consultancies that can help people learn to use Microsoft technologies. Knowing how to write a value proposition will help you stand out in this crowded market.

Getting noticed in this sea of Microsoft Partners is a real challenge. The good news is that every business is unique—yours included. So why should the customer choose you over the competition? Your value proposition is the answer: an explicit statement of the value your business can offer. In such a saturated market, knowing how to write a value proposition is critical.

In this post, we’ll show you how.

We will be considering how to write a value proposition in general, but they are also a crucial first step in any Microsoft Partner’s Go-To-Market Strategy. On a campaign-specific level, value propositions are useful for identifying the pain points of your campaign audience, applying technology as a solution, and the benefits the customer can expect. Fully understanding these areas will help hone your campaign marketing for better results.

The value of value propositions

A value proposition is, in the most literal sense, the value you promise to deliver to the customer. It is not a slogan or positioning statement, nor a list of product features. It’s a statement that looks to clearly define the benefits a customer can expect from investing in you, your product or your services. Once they understand that, you’ll find that they’re more likely to trust, engage and do business with you.

While you want to be detailed in your differentiation, a value proposition needs to be clear, concise and engaging above all else. Your value proposition should be displayed on your website as one of the first things your audience sees, as it will determine whether they will stay on your site to learn more about your business or navigate away.

But you need to create a detailed value proposition before you can condense it into a few sentences. The best way to do so is through a workshop.

Work it through

Every business knows their value. The difficulty with a value proposition is twofold: knowing your unique selling point, and effectively expressing it. These problems are best tackled collaboratively—a workshop is an opportunity to brainstorm in order to identify what sets your company apart.

Your value proposition wants to speak to as wide an audience as possible. Working together with upper management, sales, IT, and other arms of the business gives you the scope needed to do this. If you’re working on a specific campaign in your Go-To-Market Strategy, you will want to refine your audience. In either instance, collaboration is key to ensuring your value proposition attracts the ideal customers to you.

So how do you identify your ideal audience? And how do you explain to them they should choose your company?

How to write a value proposition

The ‘Five Ws’ are questions whose answers form the base of all information gathering. Although we’ve slightly amended the questions (dropping one ‘W’ for an ‘H’), answering the following kinds of questions will build the foundations of your value proposition.

Here’s how to write a value proposition:

1. Who?

Who is your audience?

Who are the people your product or service is trying to help?

What are their problems?

What issues do they find, both generally and specific to the industry? For example:

  • Do they experience problems with current Microsoft tech?
  • Is their cybersecurity strong enough to protect them against threats?

2. What?

What do you do?

Try to condense your company blurb into one or two sentences. Only include the essentials.

What is your unique selling point?

What does your company do differently to others? It might be regarding technology, service, people, practice, cost… find your niche and emphasise it.

What value do you bring to the customer?

This obviously refers to your offering, but it’s also about the customer experience. How are you going beyond the normal expectations of customers? 

What are you running your business for?

You need to know the ultimate goal of your company. For Fifty Five and Five, it’s to help Microsoft Partners communicate to their customers better, for example. That’s our raison d’être.

3. How?

How can you solve the customer’s problems?

Solve the customer problems you outlined in question one. Again, this isn’t necessarily just about your product. It’s about how you work as an organisation, too. For example:

  • Minimize the cost and risk implications of an Office 365 migration.
  • Take a cybersecurity assessment to gain control over your company data and minimise the threat of cyberattacks.
  • Offer a friendly and professional service from start to finish

4. Why?

Why should the customer choose you?

Show (not tell) the customer why they should choose you over the competition. Make sure to avoid product features—focus on the real-life benefits they can expect. Do you:

  • Make a user’s day-to-day SharePoint tasks easier, helping them relieve stress?
  • Improve employee productivity with collaboration tools?
  • Provide customers considerable return on investment?
  • Offer constant support and advice throughout the customer journey?

What is your product differentiation?

What does your software or service offer that others don’t? Does it have more processing power or a user-friendly interface? Is it designed to fit the mould of Office products to make user adoption quicker?

5. Where?

Where do you work?

Where are you based? Even as a global business, it’s good to create relationships with local markets. There are specific Microsoft Partner regions for countries all around the world. Get to know yours!

Some of these answers will overlap, but together they will form the basis for your value proposition.

Creating your value proposition

Once you’ve answered the above questions in your workshop, the next step is consolidating this information into three or four lines. Your value proposition needs to be clear and concise—save the real detail for your company blog, Skype conference calls and face-to-face interaction.

Our value proposition is clearly displayed on our website; it’s the first thing visitors see:

how to write a value proposition

And it answers the questions we’ve spoken about:

  • Who: we work exclusively with Microsoft Partners
  • What: we help Microsoft Partners improve their marketing to generate more leads
  • How: we cover the breadth of digital marketing to help with any challenge
  • Why: we combine marketing expertise with a deep understanding of the Microsoft Partner Network for focused, partner-specific marketing advice
  • Where: we’re a digital marketing agency, operating wholly in the cloud and online.

If our value proposition is successful in piquing the reader’s interest, our ‘Services’ and ‘About Us’ pages go into more detail: the former answering more of the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ and the latter answering the ‘Where’, ‘Why’ and ‘What’.

And now you know how to write a value proposition! It will take some time to refine it down to just a few lines, but with consistent (and critical) editing you can mould the perfect value proposition for your business.

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Sam Gowing

Sam Gowing

Sam is a writer at Fifty Five and Five. What he doesn't know about SharePoint and Office 365 isn't worth writing about.

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