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A Millennial’s Spin: How a 24-Year-Old Answers the Tough Questions about Value Selling

November 25, 2016

Posted by Taylor Mecham

Posted in User Content, Why LeveragePoint?

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Taylor here, with a little Thanksgiving treat for you Americans, and just a plain ‘ole treat for the rest. As most of you know, selling your product or solution is one thing, but getting people to use it is another. Here at LeveragePoint, we have a wide range of platform users: from the fresh-out-of-college sales rep to the C-suite.  We have plenty of posts in our Value Strategies Blog speaking to sales executives, pricing and presales all-stars, and product leaders. But where is the content for the people that don’t even know why they should care about value strategies? Where is the content for the 24-year-old that’s trying to kill it at the beginning of his or her career? Where is that simple, raw, dumb-downed material that makes you say, “Oh, right.”? Well, that’s where I come in.

Hey, I’m Taylor, but you can call me T, TPain, Tay, TBird…whatever feels right. I started my career at LeveragePoint as a Marketing Intern while I was still studying Information Design, Corporate Communications, and Marketing at Bentley University. Upon graduation, LeveragePoint offered me the job of Marketing Program Manager. I accepted it graciously. Now, I sit in the same room with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met: Peyton Marshall, Ph.D. in Economics from MIT; Dick Orlando, 40 years of sales and marketing experience; Ed Arnold, co-founder and brain behind LeveragePoint’s product; the list goes on and on. I find myself listening to these experienced professionals, and absorbing the high degree of knowledge they have. My brain doesn’t work in the same way as theirs, however. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my experience, maybe it’s my creativity, or hey, maybe it’s even my IQ. Whatever it is, I find myself translating their words into my own all the time.

Here are some questions my colleagues have answered before, with what I will now call, “A Millennial’s Spin” on their answers:

  1. Is it really THAT hard to quantify customer value?
    • No!! Do you know what your product or service does, and how it differs from your competition? Do you know how it addresses the needs of your customer? If you do, and honestly for your career’s sake I really hope you do, then you’re ready to quantify customer value. Don’t get hung up on specific customer situations, offerings or competitors. Don’t reel over the feeling that your data aren’t good enough. Just STOP. This is meant to be an iterative process. A quantified Value Proposition will change throughout your conversations with the customer, and that’s A GOOD THING! That means that you’re collaborating with the customer around their specific data, and you’re getting their buy-in. Your first Value Proposition doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to raise the eyebrows of who you’re talking to and make them think, “I need to show this to X!” For a deeper dive, see Peyton’s answer here!
  2. What’s the #1 way sales and marketing leaders can grow top-line revenue?
    • Countless studies say the same thing. An Aberdeen Group study revealed the top resource request by 52% of B2B sales reps was, “Improve differentiation in messaging and sales presentations to tell a better, unique story.” According to CEB, “77% of B2B purchasers say they won’t even speak to a salesperson until they’ve done their own research.” To me, these two quotes blatantly say, “ENOUGH WITH THE POWERPOINTS AND SPREADSHEETS ALREADY!” and, “Prove your worth to me the first time we speak!” What better way to kill two birds with one stone than a cloud-based, dynamic, quantified Value Proposition? For a deeper dive, see Dick’s answer here!
  3. How can we nail a successful new product introduction?
    • In case you didn’t already know, 3 out of 4 product launches fail to hit their revenue goals, and most just fail outright. Altify (formerly TAS Group) states that the number one reason for new product success (and failure) is related to accurate Value Propositions. For me, that right there is enough to light a fire under my you-know-what and start looking at quantifying customer value. BUT, if you need more, a Forrester Research study states that the first vendor who succeeds in communicating a vision (i.e. accurate Value Proposition) to executives wins the business 74% of the time. I think most of you’d agree, we should take the route of winning the business 74% of the time, rather than failing 75% of the time. For a deeper dive, see Ed’s answer here!

That’s it for today; I’ve got a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers I need to tackle. But for those Baby Boomers and Gen X’s that stuck around to read this last sentence, check out Adapt or Fail; Millennials Are Here to understand a little more about why this post matters to you too.

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