Was the subject of a debate I recently followed on LinkedIn. The person asking the question was of the opinion that value propositions work best if they are customer specific.
However a well known expert of the subject was of the opinion, that they need not necessarily be customer specific to be effective. They must though be concrete. Statements like “our solution reduces cost” do not work. However “Customers using our solutions have reduced their operating expenses by 10%” should work.
I teach the concept of the Unique Value Proposition, which must answer the questions:
What do you deliver?
What is the business outcome ?
What makes it unique?
What assurance can you give that you can deliver?
There is also no doubt in my mind that it should be customer specific, actually to be exact, it should be expressed from the customer's view point.
So here is a much better known expert than I stating that a Value Proposition need not necessarily be customer specific to be effective. Was it time for me to revise my opinion on the subject? The short answer is no. Here is why:
The sales world is full of experts contradicting each other. The search for the silver bullet to success is still a very common trend for people working in sales. Such differences of opinions lead thus to heated debates about who is right or wrong. In my experience this is most often the wrong question. The answer depends on the context.
For this question about the value proposition, the context to consider is the customer buying cycle.
This lead me to the concept of the dynamic value proposition In this concept there is room for generic and customer specific value propositions. Using both of them at the appropriate moment while facilitating the customer's buying process will increase your chance to success.
II have explained my thinking in a recent masterclass If you scroll down on the blog you can find a copy of the slides used therein. VIP members of Top Sales Experts can listen to the replay here.