Once you unlock the mystery of building a value model (note: it’s much easier than you think), the next challenge is inevitably, “where do I get the data for this?” Value models run on data. Data about your products’ features and benefits (also price and cost). Data about your customer’s business model. Data about your competitor’s latest price moves and products.
The amazing power of value models is that they combine the three dimensions of product-customer-competitor into a compelling picture that shows why customers should buy your products versus the competition. LeveragePoint makes it easy for product, marketing and/or pricing professionals to collaborate around value modeling to develop unique competitive advantage AS WELL AS provides a capability to execute and profit from that advantage. LeveragePoint for Value Management is the only solution on the market that delivers that. Every month we improve our solution with new functionality, enhancing analysis and collaboration, in ways that have a direct impact on sales ability to win B2B negotiations.
So back to the theme of: where do you get the data for value models? Normally this is a daunting prospect because data collection, particularly external data related to customers and competitors, can be costly and time-intensive. LeveragePoint’s collaboration platform now captures fresh, quality data from an enormous untapped resource – your organization’s own sales organization. Every day, sales people gather useful, highly relevant nuggets of market intelligence. The challenge is that there is no efficient way to flow that data back into the organization.
Here’s how it works. LeveragePoint’s most recent release includes a search capability to find the data used to quantify specific variables inside a value driver formula. In the example shown here (from the travel industry) we see a value driver formula that quantifies the economic impact of reducing training costs for travel agents. Here we are interested in finding data for a specific variable in this formula, namely how much travel agencies typically spend on training. Note: this example has been sanitized from the original to protect client confidentiality.
Next we see the results of this search. The search for “Training cost per agent” returns 170 results, sorted by relevance. Search looked at three specific sources:
- Data Libraries. LeveragePoint clients can link to existing or create new data libraries of specific customer variables such as their costs, revenues, key performance indicators (KPIs). These proprietary data libraries are centrally managed through the LeveragePoint Administration module. Data libraries are a powerful and convenient way to ensure data consistency and integrity within and across value models. They are also a great way to get more value from market research projects since findings can be easily accessed online (versus gathering dust on a shelf or lost in a hard drive buried in a presentation or spreadsheet). In this example, the first two search results are industry averages for certain types of agencies in Europe and the US ($3,900).
- Value Models. Search returns all value models that use this specific variable, “Training cost per agent”. In this example, the search result in line 4 shows a “Desktop” model with a $900 value for this variable. Clicking the more tab will provide the specific source and notes that explain why the marketer used different data (versus the library) for this value model.
- Sales Packages. Search returns all value packages — these are copies of value models that sales people have customized for specific customer accounts. In this example, the search result in line 3 for the “Small Travel Shop” has $500. Here, the user has the option of opening up this value package to view all of the changes and notes that the sales person made related to this value package for this account.
As more people use this platform — for sales, marketing communication, product development, or even strategic pricing –- this marketing intelligence database grows and becomes a very valuable asset. Future LeveragePoint releases will link to third-party data sources such as Hoovers, Factiva, or WolframAlpha to cast an even wider net for market data. This an important step forward, one that enables more companies to efficiently deploy a value-based strategy.