This is our 7 part guide with everything you need to understand the basics of go-to-market (GTM) and increase revenue globally. You’ll also find links to useful content from our blog throughout, so you can forge your own path to GTM mastery. Here are the chapters:
Nailing your value prop (You are here)
Continuous improvement in go-to-market (coming soon)
Let's get started!
Your value proposition is a clear and concise statement that outlines the unique combination of products, services, or features you offer to your customers, distinguishing you from competitors.
It communicates the primary benefits and reasons why a customer should choose you over others in the market.
A compelling value proposition can help you attract and retain customers, foster customer loyalty, and differentiate yourself from competitors, ultimately contributing to your long-term success.
Let’s break this down:
The target customer is a specific group of people who are most likely to benefit from what you offer, and they can be identified based on demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics.
Understanding your target customer is crucial as it helps you in the following ways:
Develop product market fit: By knowing the needs and preferences of your target customer, you can design solutions that are more likely to resonate with them and fulfill their requirements.
Create effective marketing and communication strategies: With a clear understanding of your target customer, you can create targeted marketing campaigns and messages that appeal to their specific interests, values, and motivations, leading to better engagement and conversion rates.
Optimize resource allocation: By focusing on your target customer, you can prioritize your resources, time, and efforts towards the most promising opportunities and avoid spreading yourself too thin by trying to cater to everyone. (”boiling the ocean”)
Enhance customer experience: A deep understanding of your target customer allows you to personalize and enhance the customer experience, increasing satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
To identify your target customer, you can use various research methods such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and analysis of existing customer data. Once identified, you should continually refine your understanding of your target customers, as preferences and needs may evolve over time or in response to changes in the market or competitive landscape.
Understanding the problem or need is critical to your value proposition and business strategy because it helps you develop solutions that genuinely resonate with your customers.
The process of understanding your customer's problem or need typically involves:
Research: Conducting market research such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, or analyzing existing customer data to gather insights about the challenges customers face or gaps in the current market offerings.
Empathy: Developing a deep understanding of your customers' perspectives, experiences, and emotions to better comprehend their struggles and unmet needs.
Prioritization: Evaluating the severity, urgency, or frequency of the identified problems or needs to prioritize which ones to address with your products or services.
Validation: Confirming the identified problems or needs with your target customers to ensure their accuracy and relevance.
By focusing on your customer's problem or need, you can create solutions that genuinely add value to their lives and improve their experience.
This approach also helps you differentiate yourself from competitors who may have a solution that looks similar to yours, but is actually addressing a different problem.
Related: How to find key challenges in 1000 companies in 1 day
What happens to product market fit when I expand internationally?
A note about new markets: expanding into a foreign market can cause loss of product-market fit due to cultural differences, varying customer preferences, and regulatory requirements.
Before you land in a new market, conduct thorough market research and speak to early customers. Ideally you already have a few reference customers in a market before you open a new office.
Adapt your product to local needs, establish a strong local presence, and collaborate with local partners to better serve the new market.
The 'solution' represents the specific products, services, or offerings a business provides to tackle the identified problems or needs of its target customers. You should be able to directly show how you solve customer problems, and then what value you can deliver once you solve these problems.
Here’s a handy checklist for a great solution strategy:
Is it relevant? Your solution should be closely tied to your target customer's problem or need and specifically address those issues in a meaningful way.
Is it unique? Your solution should differentiate your business from its competitors by showcasing its distinctive features, attributes, or approach that sets it apart.
Is it clear? You need messaging that’s easy to understand, allowing customers to quickly grasp how your offerings can help them. A common pitfall is being too focused on features, and not benefits. You should talk about tangible benefits to the customer, such as cost savings, time savings, improved quality, convenience, or enhanced experiences.
Is it credible? Find design partners or early adopters for your solution to create case studies, so that you can demonstrate its effectiveness in addressing the customer's problem.
In your value proposition, differentiators are the unique features, attributes, or aspects of your products, services, or overall approach that set you apart from competitors. Differentiators help you stand out in the market, making you more appealing and memorable to your target customers.
Differentiators can take various forms. Let's explore how Dropbox compares to Box:
Product features: Unique or innovative characteristics of a product that provide specific benefits or functionality not found in competing products. While both Dropbox and Box offer file synchronization and sharing, Dropbox provides a more user-friendly interface and easier collaboration with features like Dropbox Paper. Box, on the other hand, focuses more on advanced content management and workflow automation features.
Service quality: Superior customer service or support that enhances the overall customer experience compared to competitors. Dropbox is known for its simplicity and ease of use, while Box is recognized for its robust security and compliance features, catering more to enterprise-level customers with strict regulatory requirements.
Pricing: Offering a more competitive or flexible pricing structure, such as lower prices, discounts, or value-added packages. Dropbox offers a free plan with basic storage for individual users, whereas Box's lowest-tier plan is paid. Dropbox's paid plans cater to individual users, teams, and businesses, while Box is more focused on businesses and enterprises.
Technology: Leveraging advanced or proprietary technology that improves product performance, efficiency, or user experience compared to the competition. Both Dropbox and Box use advanced encryption and security measures to protect user data. However, Box offers more advanced security features and integrations with third-party security tools, which cater more to enterprise customers.
Expertise: Possessing specialized knowledge or skills in a specific area that competitors lack, enabling you to deliver better results or more tailored solutions. Dropbox's strength lies in its simplicity, user experience, and collaboration features, making it a popular choice for individuals and smaller teams. Box, on the other hand, specializes in content management, security, and compliance for larger businesses and enterprises.
Brand reputation: Establishing a strong and positive brand image that resonates with customers and builds trust and loyalty. Dropbox is known for its user-friendly experience and wide adoption among individual users and smaller teams. Box has a strong reputation among enterprise customers.
Distribution channels: Utilizing exclusive or more convenient distribution channels, making it easier for customers to access or purchase your product or service. Both Dropbox and Box use online channels for distribution and offer their services through web, desktop, and mobile applications. However, Box tends to focus more on direct sales and partnerships with other enterprise software providers for distribution.
Incorporating differentiators into your value proposition helps you communicate your unique selling points to potential customers. This can result in increased customer interest, improved market positioning, and ultimately, a competitive advantage in the marketplace. It's important for you to continually assess and refine your differentiators in response to changing customer needs and competitive landscapes.
In a value proposition, "benefits" are the positive outcomes customers get from you. They help customers understand you can make their lives better. Benefits can be tangible (easily measured) or intangible (emotional or subjective experiences).
A common framework for thinking about tangible benefits in B2B sales is the trifecta: a solution must either increase revenue (e.g. Tactic, Stripe, Salesforce), decrease costs (UiPath, Personio, Workday), or reduce risk (Datadog, ComplyAdvantage, Onfido).
Intangible benefits involve convenience, satisfaction, or social status. When adding benefits to a value proposition, make sure they are relevant to customers' needs, clearly explained, unique compared to competitors, and supported by evidence.
A compelling value proposition is crucial for businesses as it can help attract and retain customers, foster customer loyalty, and differentiate the business from competitors, ultimately contributing to its long-term success.
Understanding the target customer is essential for businesses as it helps them develop tailored products or services, create effective marketing and communication strategies, optimize resource allocation, and enhance the customer experience.
Identifying and understanding the problem or need of the target customer is a critical aspect of the value proposition and business strategy because it helps businesses develop solutions that genuinely resonate with their customers, differentiate themselves from competitors, and create tangible and intangible benefits for customers.