How to create a Value Proposition for your SaaS business? The 5-steps guide
Now that you understand the importance of a value proposition, and what a strong value proposition has and doesn’t have, now comes the big question: How do you write a value value proposition?
Here’s a simple step-by-step process to create a compelling value proposition for your SaaS product.
Below I’ve outlined the value proposition framework I have come to love over the past years and successfully used in dozens of B2B SaaS repositioning projects. It will help you get at the language to describe why what you offer is so unique – and turn that into an irresistible statement.
1. Get clear about why you do what you do; then work outward
Business expert, consultant and writer Simon Sinek holds to the fact that companies can create the best value propositions when they start with understanding why their company does what it does. Start by taking an ‘outside-in’ approach by:
- What’s the undeniable change that you see in the world of your ideal customers
- Then address the most valuable and critical problems your customers face, i.e., formulating ‘what’s broken’ in the world of your ideal customers
- why it’s key to resolve this once and forever (creating a sense of urgency), i.e., why can’t this continue
- and what the ideal world would look like if it was resolved.
Then talk about “how” you plan to do those things–from tangible strategies and concepts, to larger business objectives that are uniquely designed to solve your customers’ needs and specific pain points, increase their impact, improve their lives, and shape unique experiences.
Finally, identify the “what” of your business and the nuts and bolts that help you reach your “why.”
2. Hone in on the most important and most interesting parts of your why, how and what
Look at the most interesting things you touched on in your previous discussion. Try to summarize these things in a two- to three-sentence paragraph that explains what you do. By paring down your ideas into a summary of the most important ones, you can end up with a brief outline of why people should value what you do. Remember: Less is more.
3. Consider your uniqueness
Once you’ve written your value out on a piece of paper, focus on the factors that make you unique. What I mean here is how your approach or capabilities help your customers make a meaningful difference in a way alternative offerings or competitors can’t (in the eyes of your customers). If you haven’t already done so, make sure you incorporate language that calls out your unique features and capabilities.
4. Make sure it is sticky
Every value proposition for a B2B SaaS business needs its central idea to be “sticky.” Ideas that are “sticky” are simple to digest and comprehend, and they linger in people’s minds. If a value proposition contains a sticky idea, people will see the idea and remember it. To ensure an idea is sticky, it should meet the six criteria of the SUCCESs Model: it should be simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and able to tell a story. If your central idea doesn’t meet four or more of the SUCCES criteria, go back and pare down or tweak.
The ideas you’ve gotten at are the meat of your value proposition. Now finesse the language until your idea becomes clear and sticky and ends up in the language of your customer. At the end of this process, you’ll have yourself a value proposition!
Evaluating Your Value Proposition
Once you’ve finished your value proposition, make sure you evaluate it. To evaluate your value proposition, ask yourself the following:
- Does your value proposition address your customer’s most valuable pain points?
- Does your value proposition point out how you will exceed their expectations in ways alternatives can’t?
- Does your value proposition create a vivid picture how your product/service will improve customers’ lives?
- Does your value proposition spark emotions when your customers read it?
- Does your value proposition read clearly and succinctly
- Does your value proposition read as if a customer was talking about your company?
- Does it communicate your big idea in a sticky way? Is it memorable and sharable?
Look at your value proposition and ensure it meets these SUCCES criteria.
Once you answer yes to all those questions, you have an effective value proposition that will work. Your final value proposition is now ready to incorporate into your branding, marketing strategy and sales materials. It should be the positioning statement that’s front and center on your company’s homepage since your website is like an online storefront for your business. It should show people–from the very start–why they should purchase from you. Also, include it in landing pages, blog posts, social media profiles (Linkedin, Twitter,…), email marketing correspondence and even print marketing materials. Finally, gather social proof and incorporate it as left and center. You can and should leverage its power to drive engagement, conversations and increase conversion rates.
Successful Value Proposition examples in B2B SaaS
Looking at successful value propositions from the real world can help give you ideas for your own value proposition. Here are some case studies of business software companies that nailed their value propositions and used them as tools to grow and thrive.
The way Paddle brings its solution to market is remarkable.
Their promise: B2B and B2C software companies around the globe use Paddle to offload operational complexities so they can focus on growth.
What Paddle gets is this:
- Instead of selling features, they sell a desirable outcome.
- They don’t focus on what you can do with their solution but articulate what you DON’T have to bother about anymore.
- Instead of making just a bold promise, they also give remarkable guarantees.
The result: an irresistible offering for which their ideal customers are willing to pay a premium. Instantly – any day of the year.
Drift is a web-based live chat tool that is used by salespeople and marketers. They have made a huge impact on the business world and become a sought-after communication tool because its leaders have nailed the narrative behind the company and why it’s a solution that organizations should rely on.
To pitch their company, Drift’s execs and salespeople tell a story in popular narrative form: there’s an enemy that must be overcome and their platform is the sole solution that can help them defeat the enemy.
Drift’s value proposition is simple and succinct:
“Conversations. Not Forms. With Drift on your website, any conversation can be a conversion. Instead of traditional marketing and sales platforms that rely on forms and follow ups, Drift connects your business with the best leads in real-time.”
In a similar manner to the sales pitch, the value proposition declares that there’s a problem that needs to be solved for B2B, and that Drift is the solution. It is sticky, easy to understand, and even tells a story, all within the short 3 sentence paragraph.
Gusto is a company that has created a B2B SaaS solution that lets companies manage all their HR tasks in one place, online. Gusto succeeded when they created their value proposition in that it both make the company’s uniqueness plain, and it states their value in a way that is simple, credible, and emotional.
Their value proposition reads:
“It’s time to tame the chaos of payroll, benefits, and HR. Get it all done with Gusto.”
Not only does it directly address the customer (in familiar language) and talk about troubling problems the platform could solve, it also clearly summarizes what benefits the services affords users and tells the story of how it can lead an organization from chaotic to manageable.
If you want to succeed at creating a funnel that brings in the right customers, creating desire, communicating an idea that sticks, and convincing potential customers to buy, you need a value proposition. Spend time crafting one that highlights the unique benefits and gains your company offers, the pain points you solve and how you’re different from businesses that do things like you do. Then, use this statement in your marketing materials, web presence and sales pitch; you can rely on it as a tool to help generate and convert leads.
As a business leader, have you come across value propositions that inspired you or influenced your own statements? Are there SaaS businesses that have absolutely nailed their value proposition? Let me know in the comments below.
In Summary – Creating a value proposition statement that stands out
To get all this right – here are the 5 steps to creating a value proposition
- Get clear about why you do what you do; then work outward
- Hone in on the most important and most interesting parts of your why, how and what
- Consider your uniqueness
- Make sure it is sticky
Additional resources to help you build the strongest foundation for predictable SaaS traction
The easiest way. Book a free call to explore if there’s a fit to do this together.
Otherwise – here are three other options
- Read my essays to create predictable traction.
- Read my book, The Remarkable Effect
- Alternatively, subscribe to my daily email that’s laser-focused on helping B2B SaaS CEOs master predictable traction.