The Key to Higher B2B Profit Margins: Articulate Value
Before purchasing a new product or service, B2B buyers need to know they’re making an investment that delivers real, tangible returns. But painting that picture isn’t always easy, and the inability to articulate value can have a major impact on profits.
According to a recent survey by Corporate Visions, a sales and marketing training company, not “[creating] a perception of value and [lacking] confidence to claim that value” are the biggest drivers of lackluster profit margins. That conclusion comes from a poll of more than 300 B2B marketing and sales professionals.
Articulating value is absolutely crucial for meeting sales objectives. Let’s take a look at some ways sales and marketing professionals can more effectively underscore the value of their products or services.
Provide insights, not just information
One of the most effective ways to articulate value is to reveal the serious business setbacks an organization will experience by not buying. This strategy is called insight selling, and it calls on buyers to rethink their existing paradigm such that they can’t imagine moving forward without your product or service.
Instead of telling buyers, “Our solution can help you solve that problem,” or, “Your business will benefit when you invest in our product,” challenge them to see their current situation in a new light. Consider a banking software provider that sells to commercial banks. To articulate the value of its solution, the software company:
- Relates a story of a bank that continued using a legacy application. The application couldn’t scale and the bank wasn’t able to expand operations into new markets.
- Shows prospects a list of costs associated with competing solutions or its current solution and compares that to the costs of servicing and maintaining the product it’s trying to sell.
- Documents the prospect’s business goals and reveals how they are financially unattainable without investing in new software.
By providing these insights, the software company makes it difficult for a bank to do anything other than make a purchase. The prospect sees the value of the solution in a completely new and compelling way.
Build trust through educational content marketing
Another way to articulate value is to continuously show buyers that you understand the business challenges they face and that your product or service is the way to address those challenges. You can achieve this via educational content marketing.
We all know why content marketing matters. It’s a way to get traffic to your website, build relationships, generate leads, and ultimately increase revenue. But if you don’t know whether your existing content sufficiently conveys value, now is the time to ensure that it does. Develop a content marketing strategy that:
- Tells a story about how you can solve a specific business problem: Every story should draw a clear distinction between partnering with you and the dire consequences of continuing with the status quo (see insight selling above).
- Sets the tone for a business relationship by providing value: When your content addresses a specific business problem, provide an actionable takeaway that buyers can use to make a real difference in their situation right away. Doing so shows that you’re a reliable, trustworthy organization that provides undeniable value.
- Connects with buyers throughout their journey: The buyer’s journey is long, and the demand for information – and insights – is unceasing. Your content should continuously provide value from the very first touch (a buyer finding a blog article after performing a search, for instance) to the final moments before a sale (a decision maker asking questions about a customer case study you produced).
Exchanging value for value is crucial to every profitable, mutually beneficial business relationship. By articulating value at every stage of the buyer’s journey, you dramatically increase the chance that more prospects will offer you something of value, too.
Insight selling and educational content marketing are fundamental pieces of every digital marketing strategy KEO Marketing creates. As a digital marketing agency, we help you articulate value at every possible opportunity, so you can stop scratching your head about eroding profit margins and start increasing sales.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.