A recent post explained the importance of focusing client relationships on value creation. We included a value proposition for a company selling shipping productivity software. That value proposition was aimed at the economic buyer, the decision maker we naturally associate with the buying decision.
But, just as we need to get beyond the single-client mindset, we also need to segment buyer types when we develop value propositions. An argument that appeals to an economic buyer won’t resonate with technical buyers and user buyers, who will also influence the decision in a large procurement.
Technical buyer value propositions
From an earlier post we know that technical buyers are gatekeepers. A technical buyer focuses on whether the offer satisfies the RFP specifications related to his or her area of expertise. In the shipping software example we’ve chosen, the evaluation team will naturally include an IT person.
Here’s a value prop aimed at that individual:
- ShipPro will integrate with all BuyerCo legacy systems as part of our implementation guarantee. In addition, since ShipPro is a SAAS solution, continual updates are included in BuyerCo’s license. BuyerCo will stay current with all shipping related tax and regulatory changes, as well as browser updates. Current BuyerCo clients report average IT support cost reductions of 10 hours a month after adopting ShipPro.
Value props for other technical buyers
Technical buyers extend well beyond techies. A tax or regulatory specialist, for example, would find the continual updates mentioned above appealing. A purchasing specialist focused on contracting issues would want to know how the implementation and performance guarantees are worded, how you calculate cost savings and what risks your proposal expects the buyer to assume. A risk manager would want to understand protections in the event a seller became insolvent.
Brainstorm who else may be involved (or better still, ask the business developer) and anticipate and address their key issues with value props.
Value propositions improve client focus
A future post will explain how to integrate value propositions into proposals. But the act of creating them itself has great value. It forces your team to think from the prospect’s perspective, instead of simply trumpeting your solution. And that’s the key to winning proposals.