It Is Value Propositions And Not Proposal Fillers To Win A Proposal

It Is Value Propositions And Not Proposal Fillers To Win A Proposal

A well-made proposal is the face of your sales/pursuits process, it is a prestige and perception issue for a customer facing sales leader. Every proposal before pre-submission review should get a critical look as to what value propositions the proposal is passing to its customers. It is not that easy to develop unique deal specific hard-hitting value props. Here is a framework and an approach I recommend.


Value Proposition establishes the basis for the business relationship, describing how your solution (product and/or services) will improve customer’s business and how that improvement will be measured. It should describe the tangible benefits customers can expect from your solution. Your proposal should set you apart. That’s your value proposition. But how to develop these.

Developing value props

Step 1: List all of your differentiation in the first column – Develop a comprehensive list of differentiation/offerings, for e.g.,

  • Ease of use using your tool/service/product
  • Technical capabilities
  • Build-Operate-Transfer or Virtual Captive or Lease or buy options
  • Fastest loading product/system

Step 2: List all of the various value positions you need to address across the top row, for e.g., RoI, technical, risks, competitive advantage etc

Step 3: Rate them on a common scale each row and column

Step 4: Add each row and column

If you add up the columns, you’ll get an idea which value proposition can be considered. Adding rows will get you which differentiation has the highest overall value

Prerequisites to develop Value proposition

  1. Identify precise customer goals & objective – not only explicit needs but also the implicit ones
  2. Identifying hot buttons or most dominant desires/issues for each customer need
  3. Understand each type of buyer, their motives and their buying influences
  4. Develop Win Themes and Solution briefs for each customer hot button, ensure constant customer engagement to get coached
  5. Ensure facts that can be demonstrated with past relevant case studies
  6. Ensure specific, clear, measurable, timed and result oriented messages
  7. Quantify, quantify & quantify benefits, mainly in monetary terms

Guideline in developing Value Propositions

Value Props are opportunity and prospect specific

  1. Value Props cannot be generic, value props from a previous win may not be the same for the next deal
  2. Always quantify the anticipated business improvement
  3. Specify the timing of the benefits and specifies the timing of the costs
  4. State the payback period, shelf life, competitive advantage
  5. Specify how the promised solution/results can be measured and tracked
  6. Engage a coach or a champion – develop Value props collaboratively with them
  7. Cover the broad base of value props for each kind of evaluators – you know there usually are multiple buyers/readers who may have different needs
  8. Prepare different proposition for different type of buyer
  9. State the total added monetary value of all value props in a single summary
  10. Tangible output of your Win Themes also makes Value Proposition

 Five killer mistakes people make

  1. Trying to be everything to everybody – taking a “shotgun” approach rather than focusing on a specific measure of value
  2. Making loud claims (“best of breed,” “world class,” “industry leading,” “uniquely qualified,” “unsurpassed,” “100% customer satisfaction”) – but failing to back them up with evidence or substance
  3. Offering a proposition that spends more time attacking a competitor – than it does responding to the client’s needs
  4. More than required descriptions or technically overshadowed, just explaining features of your solution – without indicating its benefits and/or value
  5. Producing a “cost paranoia proposition,” – one that tries to prove that this solution is the cheapest, no matter what the numbers may look like
  6. An example of AirBnB’s value proposition

Customer needs

  • A place to stay in cities where hotels are fully booked
  • Pay less than a hotel
  • Travel and spend less money on accommodation


  • Existing hotel chains
  • Hostels/BnBs etc.
  • Private rentals
  • Staying with friends/acquaintances


  • Not to build hotels across the globe
  • Utilise existing and available rooms in a city
  • Connect traveller with room owners’ spare rooms

Value Proposition

  • Live like a local
  • Stay in places where there are no available or existing hotels
  • Stay in places that are not normally available to travellers
  • One stop shop to search across the globe
  • Safe, secure and verified stay
  • Total control on choice of travelers stay

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