For B2B technology companies, standing out from the crowd can be tricky. In an industry where every business is a “trusted partner”, where every team is overflowing with “seasoned professionals”, and positively dripping in “specialist expertise” – what can you say to differentiate your business? That’s the challenge of B2B technology marketing.
To communicate your value consistently in your marketing, you need a value proposition. Knowing how to write a value proposition for b2b business is critical: it details what you can offer customers that other businesses in your space can’t. Every business understands the value they offer customers, but potential customers often won’t take time to find out. The real challenge is being able to express your value proposition in a way that engages your audience.
What is a value proposition?
Simply put, a value proposition is a description of the value you deliver to customers – how you understand it and how it should be communicated.
It isn’t a slogan, a positioning statement or a list of product features. It’s a comprehensive document that clearly defines how you help customers and what they can expect from investing in you, your product or your services.
Our approach at Fifty Five and Five
Fifty Five and Five is a full service digital marketing agency. We help technology companies grow their business, drive brand awareness and achieve their marketing goals. The importance of value propositions to our work cannot be understated – it forms the crux of everything we do and ensures our efforts are perfectly aligned with our clients’ ambitions.
Sometimes creating a value proposition is the primary reason we are brought on board by a customer. Other times it just forms the beginning of a long-term relationship and marketing strategy. Either way we treat it with a great deal of respect – as getting it right will make all the difference for the work we do.
Our approach is unique and puts great emphasis on the initial planning and strategy stages.
Albert Einstein was asked: “If you have one hour to solve a problem, how would you spend that hour?” He replied, “I would spend fifty five minutes defining the problem, and then I would need just five minutes to solve it.” What a guy!
We put the fifty five first in everything we do. We think, we plan, we strategise. We do our research and use data to complement our creativity. The fifty five is not about an amount of time, it’s about a quality of thought. With the fifty five in place, the five, the execution, is setup to succeed. This is especially important when creating value propositions.
How to write a value proposition for b2b businesses
We’ve taken inspiration from the classic Five Ws and the H, and created our own set of questions that’ll help you home in on your target audience. Answering them will build the foundations of your value proposition.
Who is your audience? Who are the people your product or service is trying to help? What is their industry and their business?
What are their problems? What issues do they have, both generally and in relation to their industry? For example, do they experience problems with current technology set up?
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 your technology, service, people, practice, cost… find your niche and explore it.
What value do you bring to the customer? This obviously refers to your offering, but it’s also about the customer experience you provide. How are you exceeding the normal expectations of customers?
What are you running your business for? You need to know the ultimate goal of your company. For instance, at Fifty Five and Five our goal is to help technology companies realise their ambitions.
How can you solve the customer’s problems? Solve the customer problems that you identified in question one. Again, this isn’t necessarily just about your product. It’s about the value you can provide another business. For example:
- Minimise the cost and risk implications of a cloud 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.
Why should the customer choose you? Show (don’t tell) the customer why they should choose you over your competition. Make sure to avoid product features – focus on the real-life benefits they can expect. Do you:
- Make users’ day-to-day 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?
Involve the whole organization
Value propositions can benefit from being tackled collaboratively – an interdepartmental workshop is a great way to brainstorm and identify what sets your company apart.
Your value proposition should not be a manifestation of the c-suite’s collective will.
You should not eschew the viewpoints from employees who are much closer to your customers, products and services than the proverbial “suits” in the boardroom.
Of course, you don’t need the contribution of every single employee – that would be madness. But encouraging representatives from every department can be hugely beneficial. Working with account management, sales, customer success, IT and other areas of your business gives you the insights you need to do this.
Creating your value proposition
Now you know how to write a value proposition, or at least how we do it. And you have a template to guide you. You can also look at our case studies to see how we have worked with organizations to deliver a wide range of marketing projects including value proposition work. However, as mentioned above, all of our work begins with value propositions to some extent. Without a good value proposition, marketing efforts can only ever go so far. That’s why creating a value proposition for B2B business is so important.