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  • Writer's pictureEric Doherty

The Art of Crafting a Value Proposition in the Tech Industry

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

In the fast-paced world of technology, standing out is more than a goal—it's a necessity. Whether you're a startup aiming to disrupt the market or an established vendor looking to expand, your value proposition is the cornerstone of your business strategy. It's the magnetic north that aligns all departments, from sales and marketing to product development. But crafting a compelling value proposition in the tech industry is not a one-person job. It requires a symphony of insights from subject matter experts within the organisation.

I have drafted value propositions for Vendors, System Integrators and Managed Service Providers. Here are the steps and how to go about it when you are starting from scratch.

The Importance of Collaborating with Subject Matter Experts

Top Salespeople

Who better understands the customer's pain points and desires than the people on the front lines? Salespeople interact with prospects and clients daily, gathering invaluable feedback. Their insights can help shape a value proposition that not only resonates but also converts.

Product Managers or Practice Leads

These are the individuals who live and breathe your product. They understand its features, benefits, and limitations. Collaborating with product managers ensures that your value proposition is not just fluff but is rooted in the actual capabilities of your product.

Thought Leaders

In-house thought leaders, often senior executives, or long-term employees, bring a wealth of industry knowledge. They can help identify where your product fits in the broader tech landscape, giving your value proposition the contextual relevance it needs. Company founders often fall into this category.

What Needs to Be Included in the Value Proposition

1. Problem Statement: Clearly articulate the problem you're solving. This sets the stage and hooks your audience, here is one for a network manager. i.e. The network manager faces significant challenges in effectively managing the organisation's expanding network infrastructure due to the limitations of current, non-scalable management tools. These outdated tools result in inadequate monitoring capabilities, limited troubleshooting options, and increased operational inefficiencies. The situation leads to operational downtime and higher costs."

2. Solution: Briefly describe your product or service as the answer to the problem. Be concise but impactful. i.e. “ our software is designed to scale with customers as their needs change over time. It can scale horizontally, vertically, or both, meaning that there is no limit to the number of devices or incidents occurring at any time.”

3. Unique Selling Points (USPs): List the features or benefits that set you apart from competitors. These should be specific and quantifiable. Here is an example for a CyberSecurity vendor :-

a. Unmatched Scalability and Operational Efficiency

b. Streamlined Service Provisioning and Management

c. Cost-Effective Security Orchestration for Every Market Segment

d. Expertise in Federal Government Security Requirement

4. Target Audience: Specify who your product or service is for. The more targeted, the better. i.e. Small to medium enterprises with no budget for a Chief Information Security Officer”

5. Proof: Credibility markers like testimonials, case studies, or data points that validate your claims. 3rd Party websites who test and evaluate your solution are also great.

How to Do the Research and Find Material for the Proposition

Market Research

Start by understanding the market landscape. Tools like Gartner reports, industry whitepapers, and competitor analyses can provide a wealth of information.

Customer Interviews

Talk to your existing customers. Understand why they chose your product and what they value the most about it.

Internal Data Mining

Sales data, customer service logs, and product usage stats can offer a treasure trove of insights. Look for patterns that can be translated into compelling USPs.

SWOT Analysis

Perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to identify where you stand in the market and how you can differentiate.

Steps to Craft Your Value Proposition

a. Assemble Your Team: Bring together your subject matter experts for a brainstorming session. Make sure to include top salespeople, product managers, and thought leaders.

b. Identify Customer Pain Points: Use the insights from your sales team and customer interviews to list down the problems your target audience faces.

c. Match Solutions to Problems: Work with product managers to align the features or benefits of your product as solutions to the identified pain points.

d. Draft the Proposition: Based on the gathered insights, draft a preliminary value proposition. Make sure it includes all the necessary components.

e. Get Feedback: Circulate the draft among the team and even a few trusted customers if possible. Use the feedback for refinement. I like to use MS Teams for commentary and SharePoint with editing enable for direct input into the document. The tool used does not matters as long it enable collaboration.

f. Finalise and Implement: Once tested and refined, roll out your value proposition across all marketing collateral and sales pitches.

Crafting a value proposition in the tech industry is both an art and a science. It requires a deep understanding of your market, a keen eye for detail, and the ability to synthesize information from various stakeholders within the company. But the effort is well worth it. A strong value proposition not only attracts customers but also serves as a guiding star for your entire organization, ensuring that everyone is aligned in the quest for growth and success.

It is an invaluable tool for a new hire and helps them get up to speed quickly to articulate your value.

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