• Jon

You’re not just breaking rocks


Unsurprisingly most people I’ve worked with believe in what their company sells, they are clear on what the solution does, and most can describe the benefits from using it. But sometimes without the conviction one would expect – it shows up when you ask, “How does your solution advance the purpose of your customer or contribute to their goals?”.


They lack the confidence to elevate the proposition leaving themselves open to “So what?”.


What do I mean by elevate the proposition? Making it as meaningful as possible to the most senior person in the buying process, ideally the most senior person in the enterprise. And why is doing this a good thing?

  • It helps equip your customer to build consensus for change and explain why yours is the right choice. The increasing numbers engaged in decision making, and the rise of product lead sales models, means your customers need all the help they can get to sell what you do within their organisation.

  • It forces you to seek out the business impact to different parts of the organisation, to think from a different perspective so that you can show your offer is richer. For example, reduced judgement thanks to automation in a finance processes might be more important to some people than simply saving money.

  • It cements the belief that you can help because you know the strategic impact of your solution. This confidence will permeate through all your interactions.

  • You can set the price based on value.


The best way that I’ve found to elevate the proposition is to start by breaking down the value you deliver into as many constituent parts as possible. Challenge each one with “So what?” – what problem is being solved, what is the impact, on what part of the enterprise, and in what circumstances. Go wide and deep. It may seem counter intuitive, but the result will be a set of “Lego Bricks” that you can reassemble to elevate the value you bring:

  • By demonstrating how they work on the levers of enterprise value (however your target customer thinks about it).

  • In different combinations to suit those outside of your core personas – helping your customer confirm the reason to change and increasing the likelihood of gaining consensus.

  • As a basis for gathering evidence from customers, creating a library of vignettes which make it easy for you and your advocates to tell your story.

  • To quantify the outcomes you deliver. There’s nothing quite like pining a number to a value statement to demonstrate confidence in your proposition.


To re-purpose an old fable, you are not breaking rocks but creating a house of worship to provide spiritual guidance and a focal point for the community. It’s a simple technique that makes your offer interesting and meaningful – quick to do and you’ll be amazed at what you discover.


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