CNBC Mad Money’s dynamic host, Jim Cramer, educates and teaches viewers how to analyze and select stocks in today’s complex financial world. Mr. Cramer attracts a TV and Radio audience measured daily in the “hundreds of thousands” with a diverse audience from executives to individual small investors of all ages. My favorite segment by Mr. Cramer is the interviews of Enterprise B2B CEOs. He asks them the pointed question, “So, what is your value proposition for your customers?”. The CEO interview takes 4-6 minutes so the questions need to be concise and understood readily by the audience. What does this Mad Money segment have to do with your Enterprise B2B customers? Answer: everything!
“So, what is your value proposition for your customers?”
Enterprise senior management decision-makers have busy schedules so their time with vendors (your sales teams) is the “moment of truth” for them to determine if your solution will be one of the finalists in the selection process. A typical salesforce of 300 reps will perform hundreds of these meetings weekly, and successful outcomes are critical to growing the sales pipeline. My recent blog, What Do You Do for Your Customers?, detailed how most reps still assume they have 60+ minutes with an executive audience in meetings, and presenting 30-50 PowerPoint slides about your company and products will earn them a spot in the finalist group. A Forrester Research survey found only 22% of sales meetings with executive level buyers of global companies succeed in “relating to my role, understanding my issues, and showing where they can help”. Keeping your Value Proposition a secret to sales teams and customers is risky business as there’s no guarantee in winning the right for the “next call”. Candidly, what your sales teams must come prepared to present is your value proposition in the initial 10 minutes of the meeting, and organize product and company content to present only if asked.
“Keeping your Value Proposition a secret to sales teams and customers is risky business…”
The exact question asked by Mr. Cramer to his guest CEOs is top of mind for every decision-maker in the meeting, so why are reps not prepared to present this information 80% of the time? The common answer I hear from field sales and marketing leaders is “It’s not an easy answer as it depends on the specific customer situation.” My guidance then is “I am certain your CEO, CFO, CSO and CMO can answer this question in 4-6 minutes, so I suggest you ask them, then publish the answer into a value proposition for the field.” The CEO never gives the “it depends” answer! Realistically, the CEO’s message is not getting to the sales teams accountable for positively engaging the customer in meetings so your solution makes the final group.
“…. your CEO, CFO, CSO and CMO can answer this question in 4-6 minutes, so I suggest you ask them…”
Marketing-published value propositions by industry include the Top 3 typical economic results (cost savings, revenue increase, reduced discounts, TCO, ROI etc.) experienced by your customers. Value propositions used by industry B2B leaders drive 20-30% more qualified pipeline opportunities, 15-20% more wins and 5-10% lower discounts.
So, tomorrow ask your CEO the question that he/she would be asked if they were on Mad Money!