Consider four steps: 1. Understand value, learning which important outcomes customer lack. 2. Quantify value, estimating the potential value beyond customers’ next best alternative. 3. Build value, by developing a new offering. 4. Communicate value, with a dynamic launch. Most companies can get much better at steps 1, 2, and 4.
Do you know if your company is improving key capabilities? Understanding customers’ needs, assessing competitive alternatives, creating data-driven value propositions, etc.? A race team that just counts wins—instead of pit crew times and engine torque—stops winning. Understand the capabilities that drive innovation and start measuring them.
I am sometimes asked to do a workshop on developing value propositions. I say, “Not unless you invite your customers to it.” Seriously, suppliers already spend far too much time guessing what customers want. Why try to legitimize this innovation malpractice by creating and word-smithing value proposition statements internally?
Unlike many B2C benefits, e.g. amusement, comfort, and self-esteem, B2B customer benefits are usually measurable, economic and—wait for it now—predictable. This predictability means B2B suppliers who study customer outcomes, like a science, will be handsomely rewarded. B2B customers will eagerly help you… if you know how to ask them.