Many of us have probably stumbled across a difficult sales call where the amount of work does not quite cut it and bring in the sale. An interesting article on customer value propositions in business markets was written by Anderson et al. in 2006 where the main premise of their research concluded that most often customers only look at price and do not listen to your sales pitch. Anderson suggests that there are three kinds of value propositions: all benefits, favorable points of difference, and resonating focus, of which the latter is the best practice alternative and yields the best outcome to professionals pitching their products or services.
A resonating value proposition answers the customers' question: "What is the most worthwhile for our firm to keep in mind about your specific offering?" It also requires a profound understanding on how the offering delivers superior value to customers, compared with the next best alternative, of course. After all is said and done, the resonating approach requires an inquisitive mind and oftentimes exhaustive customer value research. Anderson et al. contend that sales people will avoid common pitfalls as they bring one or two points of difference (and a point of parity for extra umph) to the table in order to showcase the greatest value proposition for the foreseeable future.
As sales people focus on constructing and delivering a well prepared value proposition to clients, it will make a significant contribution to business strategy and performance. The best offerings cut to the core of the client's business and really have a keen understanding of the customer's underlying real needs and fixes.