Evaluation teams for large RFPs always include user buyers. As the name implies, these individuals will use the solution in their daily jobs. They won’t catch the blame for a bad decision (the economic buyer will), but their job performance will suffer if the solution under performs. Implementation issues will also hit them directly. Think of a CSR evaluating a new customer relations management platform.
Let’s look at user buyer value propositions for the ShipPro productivity software we used as an example in the past two posts.
User buyer value propositions
In the case of ShipPro, you can naturally expect an evaluator from the shipping department. Expect a customer service evaluator too, since CSRs will need information generated by ShipPro to respond to customer inquiries. The accounting department may provide a user focussed on how data is stored and transferred.
Here’s a potential value prop for shipping:
- BuyerCo’s shipping department will have access current rates from all shippers with any negotiated discounts automatically applied . ShipPro will also be configured to compare costs and delivery times across a range of SKU-defined shipping options. Users needing assistance can choose from online tutorials or chat or toll-free telephone support 24/7 from a North America-based call centre.
And here’s one for customer service:
- BuyerCo CSRs can easily view pending and shipped orders using ShipPro’s advanced search capabilities. Orders can be accessed by invoice/order number, client name, street address, postal (zip) code, or phone number. CSRs using our systems report that ShipPro retrieves shipped orders two to three times as fast as the systems it replaces.
Any user invited onto evaluation teams has almost certainly experienced labour saving innovations that didn’t deliver. Assume a sceptical reviewer and write very specific, fact-based user buyer value propositions. Vague claims and promises will provoke a negative reaction.
Added value in creating value propositions
In addition to sharpening client focus, developing value propositions provides at least two other benefits, especially when developed collaboratively with your client:
- They inject discipline into your sales process, since value props must accurately reflect what your solution will do and how and when—and the business value it delivers.
- Value propositions also clarify your competitive position. By identifying gaps in your feature list, you can develop priorities for building stronger solutions.