How to use the value tree to communicate the right values to your customers

May 17, 2018News, WeAreIdeon

“You don’t realize how much you need this until you actually do the work”, this was said by Vala Zulfiu, Marketing & Communications Specialist at Sensative AB about the value tree workshops they had with Carin Madsén Kollberg a few months earlier. She accompanied Carin at the Marketing and Sales network to talk about and shared her experiences from working with value proposition design and how it has helped the team at Sensative.

Carin Madsén Kollberg
Carin Madsén Kollberg

Carin Madsén Kollberg came to our network to give us an introduction on how to define product’s different values and structure a tree. “When we communicate about a product, we are often good at describing the product’s values on a high level and the functions down in the product, but not how they are linked. The tree creates these connections and can be used to, communicate with customers in a better way to create trust”, Carin said.

Carin used a special water bottle as an example during the workshop for everyone to focus on when finding the values. “Customers are looking at the product in different ways. Some are interested in technical features, other in what gains the product will give or what it can bring as future possibilities. In this workshop we will put them together”, Carin said. “When you have built your value tree you can pick out the “right” values that help the customers with their challenges. “What you pick and highlight depends on the customers and their needs. You need to focus on the problems in that customer’s type of market”, Carin said.

“When talking to customers they will find appeal in different aspects of the value tree, like value or realization. You can see how it is all linked together, and so can they, but they might be persuaded by different values.”

Creating a value tree is a continuous job

“It is important that you bring a diverse team to the table when you do the value tree, so that they represent different parts of the organisation. Do it in at least two sessions, so that you will have time to reflect between the sessions”, Carin said.

Now it was time get to the practical parts of the workshop! We started by writing down all the benefits of the product, then grouped them into two categories; closer to the product or closer to the customer. The next step was to group the benefits into realisation, features, concept and values.

“When you have done this, you will have a tool where you can create the right messages to your different customer groups. Focus on your customer’s pains and gains, because if you can fix those you will more easily connect with the customer”, Carin explained.

Vala Zulifu, Sensative
Vala Zulifu, Sensative

“You must do this work continuously, you need to have a review process in place. The markets are changing so quickly and you need to be agile. But if you have learned the tool, you can make the updates continuously. The features might change and develop, but the customer values are less likely to change as often. With the tree, the values are connected to why we can say these things, you can follow the chain. Many companies are good at talking about customer values and the features, but there are usually steps missing and this is where the tree can help you”, Carin finished.

“After doing this value tree workshop we decided to take some time to make a communications plan that complements the marketing plan and that makes sure that our departments align. And having it in a visual way helped us a lot as an organisation”, Vala said.

The workshop was appreciated by all participants and some members in the network talked about coming together and helping each other to make create a value tree for their companies. Are you interested in finding out more about value proposition design? Find out more in the book “Value Proposition Design” or contact Carin for support.

Workshop marketing and sales network
Workshop marketing and sales network

About our speaker

Carin Madsén Kollberg has a unique background as both computer scientists and communicator and long experience as Project Manager and in communicating technical solutions, both external and internal. You can contact her at +46 709 302 684 or cmk@crossroad.se.

Are you intested in growing your network and knowledge within marketing and sales? Thein join our network and connect with us in our Facebook group!

 

Long-term relationships with your clients are crucial – Emma Troedsson on boosting your sales

February 7, 2018Guides and tips, News

“Working in sales, you can’t sit and wait for the phone to ring anymore. We live in a VUCA world, which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. This means that we are also operating at a more complex market. Long-term relationships with your clients are crucial”, this was the opening statement by Emma Troedsson at the Ideon Marketing and Sales network. The theme was how you can build a network in an intelligent way to boost your sales.

“It’s hard to keep up with the needs and the wants of your customers, even harder than before. This means that you really need to take your customer’s hand and understand what their needs and wants are. And how do you do that? You can do it in many ways, but the main way is by building a strong relationship. That’s the main tool that you have.”

Are networks undemocratic?

“Some people think that having a society based on networks might be undemocratic, like in the mafia where only some people get favours. But we must not forget how important networks are to your career. Your network is part of your competence. Just like your attitude, it is part of the package,” Emma comments. “The most successful people are the ones who have open networks, where you get different types of input.”

“To meet people equally is one of the hardest things in sales. Sometimes when I work with my clients, they say ‘I know, we’ll go to the customer and give a lecture’. I usually tell them that is the equivalent of saying ahead of a date ‘I can sleep at your place’. This way, you are making assumptions without understanding the client’s situation and it is so important to be present and open in the relationship, all the time”, Emma says.

The best connections and networks, according to Emma:

  1. Are built on trust
  2. There is a balance between the people, either in the economic situation or a balance in values, energy, focus or knowledge
  3. They develop over time

 

Emma’s best networking tips

Time is a scarce resource and networking and talking to clients takes time. So how can you do it in an efficient and creative way?

  1. Use the lunch, go out and meet people for lunch instead of scheduling a regular meeting.
  2. Meet up for a coffee (fika), networking is the key to the future success of your career. Spend more time on this instead of making your project more perfect.
  3. Talk to people around you at different venues, you never know who you’ll meet. This works best if you can start of as equals, find something that you both have in common or that you are interested in (like dogs) to start off the conversation.
  4. You don’t have to be in your job persona to mingle and network. The best sales pitches are usually made when you’re not prepared, as you are being yourself, talking about something you believe in.
  5. A great question to ask at a mingle is “what else is going on with you/your business?”. Be curious and find out what they are working on, it might lead up to a collaboration.

 

Build a long-term relationship with your clients

“We have a lot of misconceptions about how working in sales means being pushy and that calling a client means that you are disturbing them. When you call a client that you have done business with, you don’t call them to sell, you call them to ask about what’s going on. You show an interest in them and their situation. Otherwise, it is like going in a holiday with a friend, and then not call them for a year. If you’re closer to your shareholders than your customers – it is a dangerous path you have chosen. Build a relationship with your clients and take care of it,” Emma finishes her talk.

Join our next Marketing and Sales meeting

Do you want to improve your skills or your network in marketing and sales? Then join us for the next Ideon Marketing and Sales Network! Find the dates at ideon.se/events.
Do you want to find out more about what Emma Troedsson can do for your business? Check out her website at Sterner & Troedsson.