Monday, September 02, 2013

Developing the Best Value Messaging and Financial Justification

We are asked many times what methodology we use to help our clients develop the best value messaging and financial justification possible.

To help guide the discovery process we use the Alinean Value Framework, examining the value of your solutions / services from two different but aligned perspectives.

Your Prospect’s Challenges
The first perspective is a prospect centric approach – determining the highest priority prospect challenges, the specific business impact these challenges impart, and the resultant “Cost of Do Nothing”.

For example, one of the challenges your prospects might have is reducing employee turnover. The pain point for this issue is a high turnover rate, and high expense of off-boarding, screening, recruiting and hiring replacements. The cost of doing nothing is calculated as the product of:
  • Total number of employees
  • Current high turnover rate
  • Cost of turnover
With more stakeholders than ever involved in the typical purchase decision, well over 10 for most decisions according to L.E.K. consulting, it is essential to cover not just the challenges of for your primary buyer, but for others who play a key role in the decision making process.

For example, an IT manager’s challenges include providing efficient and effective support, administration security and compliance, while a business manager is challenged more to grow the business, streamline business processes and achieving operational efficiency.

Therefore, the process of determining and decomposing the Challenges is repeated for each of the potential key decision making roles, making sure that you will help facilitate the decision making process for all buyers.

Typical challenges include:
  • Poor operational efficiency (Process issues, poor productivity & high costs)
  • Increased risks
  • Business growth struggles
But taking just a challenge centric approach will not help you to differentiate your solutions and what they can do uniquely to help buyers overcome their issues.

Your Solutions Unique Value
The second perspective is a solution centric approach – aligning the differentiating features offered by your solution to each challenge, determining the business metric improvements that are possible – the key performance indicators that your solution impacts, and the quantified benefits from these reductions.

Benefits are typically considered as:
  • Improved operating efficiency (reduced costs, streamlined processes and increased productivity)
  • Reduced risks
  • Increased growth

The Bottom-Line

When developing your value messaging and financial justification it is essential to:
  • Take a dual approach, starting with the challenges your prospect is facing, the impact and costs of these challenges and aligning the differentiating features of your solution in helping to overcome these challenges and deliver tangible business value.
  • Help facilitate and justify the decisions for a growing group of diversified stakeholders involved in today’s purchase process

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