“Is your unique business value understood by you?” might seem a crazy title for a post, but let me explain by deconstructing the post title and discuss separately:
- Business Value.
Whenever I hear “unique” I used to immediately think that it must be the only one in the world. Â I have shifted – unique is contextual and not absolute. Â It is also, in the case of a sales call, relevant to your prospect’s situation.
So unique is expanded when I think about it now, to start with a question, “What is my unique business relevance (UBR)”.
I can only have a UBR, if I have a clear understanding of my company’s capabilities and the prospect’s capabilities. Â So step one is to establish the capability gap. Â The next step is to map the major projects, contracts and planned initiatives on their landscape. Â This additional step highlights my immediate competitors.
Now I am in a position to truly determine my uniqueness for the prospect and against my competitors. Â This is the basis for me to qualify early and to compete effectively.
There are so many ways to come into this topic, but I will settle on the math that matters most to your prospect. Â By that I mean, it can only be business value if the success or failure is reflected in the prospect’s financial reporting, be they publicly listed or not.
When anyone looks at an annual report or a financial analysis text, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the wash of data and figures. Â This volume is often the impediment to structuring a business value discussion between a seller and an executive in your prospect’s organisation.
A way to overcome the potential for confusion, or in fact inertia, is to create your own business value categories. Â As an example, start by framing your target industry by major financial ratios that can be compared and contrasted between your prospect’s financial results and their competitors and/or peers.
The next step is to stay on the ratio path but shift to operational ratios. Â Operational ratios will highlight productivity and employee effectiveness measures eg revenue per square metre will give a sense of the floor space need to house employees and a direct ratio to the revenue generation.
The art and the science combine when you are able to start the dialogue with a clear identification of a problem in the math of the prospect and then move to your UBR as discussed above.
As ridiculous as this heading might seem, it is at the heart of the topic. Â If you understand your UBR and your business value you will be able to explain them both to yourself and then with clarity to your prospect. Â The only way to do that consistently is to create a one page model or dashboard that enables a summary that communicates what you know, what you can do and the impact of it being done.
The temptation is to rely on a trusted multi-page PowerPoint template that contains a level of content that buries the “why, why you and why now”.
I have built a model that does drive this dialogue and if you are interested in having a discussion around my learnings and use cases, drop me a note through the comments page of this site.