Every business rises on the strength of its sales. But sometimes salespeople fail when they provide too much or the wrong kind of information, fail to provide value based on a buyer’s perspective, or fail to identify what is different and special about their business.

What is needed is a strong sales value proposition, or SVP. A strong SVP communicates the benefits that a company’s products or services will deliver, what makes those products or services attractive, why the customer should purchase them, and how they are differentiated from competitive offerings. A strong value proposition communicates the worth of a company’s products and services and of the company itself.

Why Sell Value?

Selling value in a world that continues to be highly commoditized provides differentiation. It goes far beyond the least differentiating, least profitable position of only offering the lowest price. A strong value proposition is a vital part of a company’s overall business strategy. It is not just the realm of the sales team. It provides a means to influence the decision-making of customers and advances the effectiveness of a company’s marketing efforts.

How to Create a Strong Sales Value Proposition

A strong sales value proposition will build worth. It will:

  1. Show potential buyers their previously unmet, unconsidered, or undervalued needs—ones that are relevant and attractive to them. Show those gaps in a way that they may not have heard before.
  2. Match the newly identified needs to the unique strengths of your business. Show how the buyer’s needs can be delivered by your unique products or services.
  3. Provide your business value story and defend it with proof points from other customers’ experiences. Illustrate and substantiate the way that your business is different from your competitors and how you can provide the positive business impact that you are claiming.

A sales value proposition should include these parts:

  • Define your target customer, those who will benefit from your products or services based on their needs and values.
  • Define the problem(s) you will solve and how your solutions will impact the buyers.
  • Define what sets your business, its products, and services apart.

Best practices in developing an effective SVP include:

  • Think like your target audience so that you can effectively relate to them and speak their language.
  • Be specific not vague. Write the SVP so that there is no confusion, especially regarding benefits and results.
  • Create separate SVP statements for separate products, services, and buyers.
  • Incorporate social proof whenever possible.
  • Read it and reread it to make it flawless. It should be easily understood in 8 seconds. Share it with others for confirmation of completeness and clarity.
  • Change it as needed. Keep improving it.

Test the completed sales value proposition by asking these questions:

  • Is it relevant?
  • Is it believable?
  • Can you defend it completely?
  • Is it flexible for use with other customers and as your business expands?
  • Is it emotional so that buyers connect with you emotionally?

What are SVP Mistakes?

Don’t make these debilitating mistakes in creating a sales value proposition:

  • Exaggerating or not stating the truth.
  • Using stilted words.
  • Trying to communicate without achieving clarity.
  • Relying solely on your ideas without engaging others in a robust way in the development process.

To Achieve Sales Success, Seek Outside Expertise

As a fractional VP of Sales, James Bellew works with small to medium-sized business owners to build or rebuild their sales organizations. That includes sales strategy, processes, building, establishing, and aligning sales teams and their sales tools to achieve solid sales improvement.