Your Most Powerful Strategic Asset:  Value Message Framework

As a business leader, you understand the importance of having a solid and consistent sales messaging strategy. With the right approach, your sales organization can engage in high-level, buyer-focused sales conversations that drive growth and success.  A well-defined sales messaging strategy drives high-level buyer-focused sales conversations. It’s almost impossible to grow your sales organization if your account executives cannot articulate the value and differentiation of your products in a way that has meaning to the buyer. You know that’s what your reps should be doing. The challenge often lies in providing an easy-to-use tool that enables that execution repeatedly.

Unfortunately, many sales teams struggle with understanding a framework that is easy to use and consistently adopted across all customer-facing departments, including sales, marketing, customer success, and product. This lack of consistency leads to ineffective sales conversations and can hinder the growth of your business.

Enter the Value Message Framework, a powerful tool that can help your sales organization achieve a unified approach to sales messaging. Unlike a script, the Value Message Framework is a repeatable, customizable framework that guides the customer conversation throughout the sales process, face-to-face and digitally. Its foundation is cross-functional alignment on the top-of-mind value drivers and differentiators for your most influential buying audiences.

Why you need a Value Message Framework:

  • A Value Message Framework provides consistency. The Value Framework isn’t a script. It’s a repeatable framework that guides the customer conversation face-to-face, over the phone, and digitally throughout the customer engagement process.
  • A Value Message Framework creates alignment. The Framework’s foundation is cross-functional company alignment on the top-of-mind value drivers and differentiators for your most influential buying audiences. Clearly defining these buyer topics and the sales messages that align with them will provide your reps with on-ramps into multiple levels of customer organization. It will also transform your team’s messaging skills and resonate with the appropriate audience.
  • A Value Message Framework provides direction. Think of the Value Message Framework as a navigational aid that helps sales teams engage in a consultative sales conversation focused on value and differentiation in a way that has meaning to the buyer. Individual reps can tailor it to their selling style. It can also be used to integrate any previous sales training investments.

Here are some key characteristics of the Value Message Framework:

  1. It simplifies what is vital to buyers. Purchase decisions aren’t made on product features alone. Instead, buyers want to know that their needs are understood and that you can provide them with the best possible solution. A practical messaging framework outlines the reasons a company would purchase your solution. It seems simple, but in many organizations, there are a variety of viewpoints on what those buying reasons are. If marketing, services, product, and sales can’t align on why people buy your products, you will suffer from inconsistent messages in the marketplace and an ineffective sales force.
  2. It categorizes what makes you different from your competitors. Most salespeople can speak about the benefits of a strong product all day long. However, when asked why you should buy their solution over their competitor, they struggle. Less skilled sellers may uncomfortably jostle on price and features rather than focus on true differentiation. A Value Framework gives salespeople the talking points that clearly explain your company’s differentiation in a way that maps to the desired buyer outcomes.
  3. It provides a structure for uncovering business pain. An opportunity is won or lost on discovery. Your reps need questions that allow them to uncover quantifiable business pain. By understanding and quantifying your prospect’s business pain, you can demonstrate how your products and services can solve their specific pain points. A Value Message Framework gives your salespeople a valuable tool to execute an excellent discovery process focused on addressing the adverse consequences of current business challenges.
  4. It validates your previous successes. For the buyer, it’s all about hearing proof that you can do what you say you can do. To be genuinely convinced that your product or service can alleviate the business pain, the buyer needs to be assured of the positive outcomes of working with you. Case studies, success metrics, and testimonials aligned to your prospect’s needs provide insurance that the buyer is making the right vendor decision. In many companies, these assets exist, but they’re used ad hoc at best. A Value Message Framework puts these proof points into a structure that can (1) be easily accessed by your sales team and (2) be positioned in a way that aligns with the top-of-mind issues for your buyer.
  5. The whole organization can use it.  Because of the previously mentioned components, a Value Messaging Framework drives consistency across the organization. For example, your sales team will leverage marketing more because their collateral is built with the same customer language. Your services department better understands the promises made to the customer in the sales process. A customized and built framework with the right inputs intrinsically aligns your entire organization behind those value drivers.

Creating a Value Framework for your sales organization can seem daunting. It’s a complex process that requires collaboration across multiple departments and functional areas. But it’s worth it, as it can significantly improve the effectiveness of your sales team and boost revenue.

So, how can you get everyone on the same page to create a Value Framework that works for your organization? Here’s a step-by-step process to follow:

  1. Assess your current messaging Start by evaluating the messaging your sales reps use and determine whether it aligns with your overall organizational goals. Assess what works well and what needs improvement. Ask your sales reps and other customer-facing departments for their input.
  2. Identify your target audience and buying motives. Knowing your target audience is essential in determining the critical value drivers and differentiators. Use customer research, data analysis, and surveys to identify what motivates your target audience to buy. Understand their top-of-mind issues and how they prioritize their buying decisions.
  3. Align the value drivers and differentiators.  Get all relevant departments – sales, marketing, customer success, product, etc. – to agree on the critical value drivers and differentiators. Based on the research and input from key stakeholders, define a list of the most important value drivers for your target audience. This list should focus on your product or service’s outcomes and the benefits your target audience will receive. Ensure everyone understands what sets your solution apart from the competition and what your target audience considers essential. This information should come from market research, customer feedback, and competitor analysis. Ensure everyone understands how these key value drivers align with your organizational goals.
  4. Message to buyers, not salespeople.  This may seem counterintuitive, but creating notes for buyers is important because the buyers ultimately make the purchasing decisions, not the salespeople.  Buyers determine what is valuable, not your company. Sales messaging is to articulate the value and differentiation of your products in a way that resonates with the buyer and inspires them to make a purchase. Sales messages focused solely on the preferences and goals of the salesperson will not be effective because they do not address the buyer’s needs, concerns, and priorities. A buyer-centric sales message considers the buyer’s perspective and focuses on the benefits and outcomes that are most relevant to them. It outlines what’s important to the buyer, categorizes what makes your solution different from the competition, and provides evidence that you can deliver on your promises. By creating messages that resonate with the buyer, salespeople are better equipped to engage in meaningful, value-driven conversations that inspire the buyer to purchase.

  5. Define the Sales Messages. Based on the value drivers and differentiators, define the sales messages that align with each buyer topic. These messages should be clear, concise, and easy for reps to understand and articulate. Get cross-functional alignment on the messages that matter most to specific buyer roles salespeople are speaking with. This will ensure everyone in the organization is on the same page and working towards the same goals. Regularly review and update the sales messages as your market and target audience evolves. That way, your sales team is always equipped with the most effective sales messages.
  6. Develop a Proof Plan. Develop a plan for how you will provide proof points to support your value proposition. This plan should include case studies, testimonials, and success metrics from previous customer engagements. It’s vital to ensure that these proof points are relevant and aligned with the top-of-mind issues of your target audience. You can also consider incorporating customer feedback and data-driven insights to provide additional validation for your value proposition. Make sure that these proof points are easily accessible to your sales team and positioned in a way that resonates with the customer. This plan will increase the credibility of your value proposition and give your sales team the confidence they need to articulate your solution’s value to potential customers effectively.

  7. Utilize, test, and refine.  Leveraging the information you’ve gathered, create your Value Framework. It should include specific language that your sales team can use when discussing the value of your solution with prospects. Ensure it’s easy to use and tailored to your sales team’s selling styles. Use draft versions of the Value Framework with a small group of sales reps and make any necessary adjustments. As you gather feedback and see results, refine the framework until it’s a well-understood structure.

Having a Value Framework in place can make a difference for your sales organization. It helps your sales reps articulate the value of your solution in a way that resonates with prospects and helps them build strong, value-based relationships. It provides a consistent message across the entire organization and aligns everyone behind the critical value drivers and differentiators. With a solid Value Framework, you’ll see improved sales results and a more effective sales team.

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