- Learn why value propositions are so important
- Learn how to write a value proposition
- Setting up a value prop workshop
Standing out from the 64,000 partners in the Microsoft Partner Network is incredibly difficult. In a network full of B2B specialists, it often seems hard to know how to differentiate your business and your services. But the good news is that every business is unique—yours included. What is it about your business that will make your customer choose you over your competitors?
The answer is the value you provide. To communicate your value consistently in your marketing, you need a value proposition. Knowing how to write a value proposition 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 will really engage your audience. In this post, we’ll teach you how to do just that.
Value propositions are an essential component in a Microsoft partner’s Go-To-Market Strategy. On a campaign-specific level, value propositions help you identify the pain points of your campaign audience and the benefits your customers can expect. Fully understanding these areas will enable you to target your campaign marketing for better results.
What’s the deal with value propositions?
Simply put, a value proposition is a description of the value you’ll deliver to your customer. It isn’t a slogan, a positioning statement or a list of product features. It’s a statement that clearly defines the benefits a customer can expect from investing in you, your product or your services. Your value proposition is especially important in the b2b industry, because you need to rely on tangible benefits rather than storytelling. The best way to identify your unique value is through a workshop.
Work it through
Every business knows their value. But the difficulty with a value proposition is how to effectively express it. This problem should be tackled collaboratively—an interdepartmental workshop is the best way to brainstorm and identify what sets your company apart. Your value proposition needs to speak to as wide an audience as possible. Working with management, sales, IT and other areas of your business gives you the insights you need to do this. By nailing your value proposition, you’re making future marketing work easier. When you come to work on a specific campaign, you’ll be able to refine that same audience further, perhaps targeting a specific demographic with a specific product.
So, first of all, how do you identify your ideal audience? And how do you explain that they should choose your company?
How to write a value proposition
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, like your target audience, your unique selling point and why your customers should choose you.
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 Microsoft tech?
- Is their cybersecurity strong enough to protect them against threats?
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 Microsoft partners communicate to their customers better.
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 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.
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 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 improve user adoption for Microsoft applications?
Where do you work?
Where are you based? Even if your business operates globally, 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. We’ve created a handy template for you to jot down your answers.
|Who is your audience?|
|What are their problems?|
|What do you do?|
|What is your unique selling point?|
|What value do you bring to the customer?|
|What are you running your business for?|
|How can you solve the customer’s problems?|
|Why should the customer choose you?|
|What is your product differentiation?|
|Where do you work?|
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 detail for your company blog, Skype calls and client meetings.
Take our website as an example. We’ve condensed our value proposition so that it’s the first thing visitors see:
It tells visitors exactly what they need to know:
- Who: we work exclusively with technology businesses
- What: we help Microsoft partners improve their marketing and generate more leads
- How: we offer a wide range of digital services
- Why: we combine marketing expertise with a deep understanding of technology for focused marketing advice
- Where: we’re a digital marketing agency, operating online and thus globally
And now you know how to write a value proposition! Why not look at some successful businesses’ propositions for inspiration? It’ll take some time to refine it into just a few lines, but with hard work and lots of editing, you’ll be able to sum up your business’s value in just a few sentences.