As someone who has helped startups with their business plans I understand that to capture the interest of the investor community it is hugely important to articulate your value proposition. Clearly representing the problem or need you address for your target market, listening to your target customers and understanding how you will drive revenue growth is essential to ensure you get the kick-start of investment you need to scale your business.
Strategy is based on a differentiated customer value proposition. Satisfying customers is the source of sustainable value creation.” Robert Kaplan and David Norton (Strategy Maps)
Business plans typically only get shared with a targeted group – generally the CEO and potential investors. The continued articulation of the value proposition within the company, especially as the number of new employees grows, can be ad-hoc at best.
A company that has captured initial investment through a clearly defined business plan will move quickly to focus on the execution of this plan – hiring engineers, marketers and sales personnel. As time progresses and they learn more about their target market they may change their initial corporate strategy and re-evaluate their initial hypotheses of what the customer needs. Somewhere along the line their value proposition changes but often this is not captured or re-communicated clearly to everyone in the organization.
Once the company begins to execute the business plan different dynamics will occur across the organization. The background and focus of the engineering team will mean that they will generally position the product from a technical standpoint, often failing to understand or demonstrate the “business value” of what they are creating. Marketing will battle to understand the technical complexities of the product and will fail to create compelling positioning material. Sales will struggle without a clear view of the target market, the value the company brings or the product’s unique selling points. Without a defined value proposition the company will struggle to position the product and potential opportunities will be missed.
Articulating your value proposition and articulating across the organization allows you to:
- Create an aligned and collaborative organization that shares a common understanding of how the business will create value
- Ensure the organization remains focused on corporate strategic objectives
- Maximize ROI for corporate resources and ensure all resources are delivering effectively
- Support decision making for all employees
- Enable Sales and Marketing to clearly position the products and solutions to the target market and thereby drive revenue growth
Whether you are a startup or SME you should take the time to ensure that your Value Proposition is clearly articulated inside your business so that everyone can clearly represent it outside your business.
Product development, sales and marketing teams are often too busy delivering current project objectives to focus on the company’s value proposition and ensure that everyone is aligned around a common message.
Undertaking this exercise takes time and focus.
IntegratedThinking can help through a short-term engagement that will provide tools and methodologies to support your teams to:
- Understand the market segment you are addressing
- Review and define the value proposition for each of your target customer segments
- Articulate this value proposition to the wider team with clarity
- Validate this value proposition with your target market
- Support the marketing team to articulate this value proposition through corporate messaging
“Working with Siobhan enabled us to really understand the market we are addressing and the problems and needs of our customers – we learned to recognize the huge benefits that can be achieved from an “outside in” approach to product management. As a result, we have strengthened our value proposition”
Bill Walsh, CEO Aspire
We will provide an initial free consultation to ascertain your requirements. We will then provide a project proposal for review and approval that will articulate what needs to be done, how long it will take and how much it will cost. In a busy environment, where the time of your key resources is precious, you need someone who has done this before and can drive the project to completion.
Please feel free to give me a call or contact me via email and I will be happy to discuss this further.
Contact: email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
Siobhan is the founder of IntegratedThinking and has over 20 years experience in the software industry. As Vice President of Product Management at Openet, Siobhan was responsible for the entire portfolio of Openet’s products. She was directly responsible for building a team to manage product strategic direction reflecting both external market needs and Openet’s corporate strategy. Siobhan has clearly demonstrated the ability and focus to drive and manage significant organizational change within a large, distributed software company and was key to the evolution of Product Management within Openet.
Siobhan chaired the Irish Software Association’s Product Management Working Group – established to promote the development of the product management discipline within the indigenous software industry in Ireland. She is also a founding member of the ISA Product Management Forum – a collaborative assembly of Product Management industry peers.
Siobhan’s proven technical expertise has allowed her to gain the respect of engineering teams across a number of companies and to bridge the gap between technical, commercial and marketing disciplines.
Since the establishment of her consultancy business in October 2013 Siobhan has been providing in-house mentoring to scaling companies.