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Unlocking the Power of Value: Crafting Compelling Propositions that Connect with Customers

In a hyper competitive landscape, customers often seek to go with a vendor who understands them and empathizes with their needs. Does your proposal show empathy and clearly demonstrate what value you are going to add?

Since creating a value proposition is a crucial part of your proposal development process, you would benefit from taking a careful and well-intended approach. To truly develop a powerful value proposition, you must go the extra mile. It takes time and a lot of deliberate effort, but it pays off.

When I try to write a value proposition, I typically ask myself the following questions:

  1. What are the client's top 3 pain points and challenges?

  2. Who are the three most important people who will read this proposal?

  3. Outside of the RFP, what are the top 3 sources of information?

The goal is to get an affirmative nod from the client when they are reading your proposal. Let them go, "Aha! This is exactly what I have been looking for".

The three most important pain points:

You cannot make a relevant value proposition if you have not read through your RFP yet. When you read through the RFP, read it like a spy. Put on your thinking hat and identify at-least three reasons why the RFP was launched in the first place. Go beyond the obvious and use the 5Y method to arrive at the root cause of the RFP.

Going after all their pain-points might be hard. Limit yourself to the top three. Try to understand the decision maker's priorities, pain-points and concerns from their point of view. Ultimately, your value proposition must focus on communicating how your product or service addresses those concerns.

The three most important people:

Ask your sales teams who these people are. They ought to be decision makers whose opinions matter. Understand the decision maker's role, responsibilities, and key areas of focus. Learn about the company's current initiatives, priorities, and challenges. This knowledge will help you tailor your value proposition and demonstrate your understanding of the decision maker's needs.

The three most important sources of information:

  • Capture Management notes: Highly undervalued, the meeting notes of discussions between your sales teams and the customer are crucial starting points to identify how you must articulate value. Identify patterns in what the customer is repeatedly talking about. What are some questions they frequently ask? What are some words they often repeat? Read the news and take notes from the client's blog.

  • Investor relations: Even if the underlying needs of the customer are not stated in the RFP, you will gain from reading through the client's investor relations page. Go through their financial data and dig through the information. Quite often, the CEO writes a letter addressing their investors. This letter is a gold-mine if you want to identify organization-wide priorities that will be backed-up by decision makers who will read your proposal.

  • Social Media: Be a social media sleuth. Once you have identified who your decision makers are, spend time developing a persona around these people. Put on the hat of the amateur detective and find out as much as you can. A few questions you should ask yourself include:

- What are their roles and responsibilities?

- What are their professional and educational backgrounds?

- What are the values, interests, and lifestyles of your ideal customer?

- What are they talking about on social media? What is the tone of the content they are putting out?

- How does your product or service impact their job and life?

Getting this information into a singular document and then considering what you want to say to the client when you write your value proposition is crucial to making a positive impact through a proposal.

I intend to write more about proposals and value propositions more frequently. Do stay tuned! Thank you for reading this. Feel free to reach out to me on my email with any feedback or queries:

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