We wish you many customers. You’ve probably heard that statement before. Getting new customers is easier said than done. There are many things you need to deal with before your website is found attractive and let alone customers to come to you to immediately purchase your offered goods or services.
If your business comes down to a stream of knocking and leaving customers, you should ask yourself whether your proposition is in order. Or worse, you aren’t attracting any customers with your site or e-commerce store at all? Then there’s definitely work to do!
In this blog post you will read all about how you can effectively design your proposition. This article is the first in a series of 8 parts on lead generation. We partly cover the practical Canvas model of Alex Osteralder, so be sure to read on if you want to develop or improve your B2B proposition in a structured way. Because the appeal of your brand determines the success of your lead generation to a large extent.
A good story is half the battle
The right offer to the right audience at the right time. It sounds so logical but it seems so difficult. Certainly when it comes down to business-to-business where the customer journey can be long and complex.
Important questions to determine for a business proposition are:
- Who do we want to help with what products or services?
- Which value can we offer to our clients?
- Through which features do we differentiate our brand?
- How do we realize what we say?
The importance of a structured approach
The components of your proposition can be made concrete thanks to the so called Canvas model of Alex Osterwalder. It goes too far in depth to explain all components from this model in this blog post. That’s why we will only discuss 3 important components in this article: Value Propositions, Customer Segments and Channels. By elaborating these components, it will become clear how you will create which value for what customer. Regard this model as a ‘drawing table’ to turn your brand and proposition into something concrete.
We will delve into the model ‘hands and feet’ by means of a practical example. We have chosen Reeleezee. The author of this article works with this set of accounting software herself but has no commercial relationship with the company behind it.
Working out the Canvas model
As indicated earlier, we will elaborate 3 components of the Canvas model. The most important in our view is the value that you want to create with your proposition.
Which (added) value does Reeleezee offer?
Reeleezee is an online accounting software package and claims to offer the following advantages: convenient, transparent and stress-relieving.
From what do these advantages originate?
Reeleezee is 24/7 in the air with help desk availability from 09:00 AM till 09:00 PM. Furthermore, the package is accessible to entrepreneurs with limited accounting knowledge. It provides functional linkages with among others online banking and the tax authorities.
What problem does Reeleezee solve?
As we mentioned earlier, we ourselves have been using the software package for quite some years. Why? We wanted to gain permanent insight into how our turnover, costs, revenue en debtors were developing. In addition, a “regular” subscription price was very important to us. Previously, we sometimes had some doubts when we received bills from our accountant. We wanted to get rid of that.
Which products and/or services are offered to which Reeleezee customers?
Reeleezee has made some choices here. It’s a modular accounting package. You can opt for Simple Accounting (Administration) as a single module, but also Invoicing, Hour Administration and a Check-Out application (Cashr). The great thing is that there’s also a free entry-level variant so you can easily experience how the product of Reeleezee works.
On what needs does Reeleezee focus?
This is the basis of the accounting proposition. These are the buyer motives: convenience, time savings and efficiency. Entrepreneurs have their hands full by running the store. Understanding the financials of your business, however, is a must. Reeleezee facilitates and relieves entrepreneurs who don’t have much time to focus on the financial aspect of their company.
Important for each business is to start thinking as a customer. This is also addressed in the Customer Segments in the Canvas model of Osterwalder.
For who does Reeleezee create value?
This can sometimes seem like an open door, but it definitely isn’t one. Do you focus on small business such as sole proprietorships and freelancers, or do you prefer larger, international companies?
Reeleezee mentions the following customer segments on their: start-ups, SMEs, freelancers, merchants, associations, retail and hospitality. In addition, the customer groups seamlessly follow each other. After all, a starting freelancer can become an SME. And an SME on its turn can grow larger. It is clear what Reeleezee does for whom. It is evident that you must determine which customers are important to your company. Your method and brand experience, however, must appeal to your target audience. Are you targeting many small customers or a few large or even a combination. Or did you decide to focus on a specific segment, to eventually become an expert in your branch or niche.
We do not know exactly what choices Reeleezee made. From their website we can at least conclude that they are targeting SMEs and accountants. Furthermore, the website is also translated into Indian and Turkish, so they also serve entrepreneurs in these countries and/or entrepreneurs who like to do their administration in those languages for a specific reason.
Selecting the right channel
The last part that we will delve into is the choice of distribution channels. How do you offer your products and services on- and/or off-line or multi-channel.
Reeleezee went for digital and telephone.
Back to the example of Reeleezee. Everything indicates that Reeleezee opted for a combination of online and telephone. The website is the basis of the online accounting proposition and telephone contact is possible with Sales.
Your channel selection is very important for lead generation. Indeed, the on- and offline customer journey determine whether you should use Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, telemarketing or a combination of lead techniques. Reeleezee is certainly using Adwords and also putting in a lot of effort on Facebook.
Your proposition in order? Bring on those leads!
After you have completely worked out Osterwalder’s Canvas model, you have your proposition in order. You have a picture of the market you want to serve and know who your competition is. You have (hopefully) claimed one or more domains and your website is live. Congratulations on this important step! You have completed the basics. If you have a good story to tell and it is well known to your target audience, then you can get spontaneous, organic customers through search engines and/or social media. Often, your own network and through-the-grapevine advertising are most important to attract your first customers. It is important that your proposition is materialized by a model-based approach. Be aware that your story is never finished and you have to constantly keep working on your proposition. The world is changing rapidly and continuously. Your customers often have a choice of multiple vendors, compare them and know what is for sale. So be clear what you do and don’t do. Goethe put it this way: “In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister”, which roughly means “The limitation is shown only by the master.”.
This was the first part of a blog series about lead generation.
Thanks for reading and feel free to continue reading the next blog posts. Good luck with your business!