Martin here. Welcome to another edition of Founders’ Hustle!
I produce content about the “hustle” of entrepreneurship and building startups.
Today I’m sharing how I’ve used value quantification to close B2B customers!
Turn abstract product claims into quantifiable benefits. 💰
Increase lead conversion rates and attract more overall. 📈
Getting started is easy, all you need is an email account. 📧
Let’s make one thing clear, upfront. 🤓
There’s no ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to signing new customers. It’s mostly the culmination of great product and process.
But, there are certain mechanisms you can use to materially improve your likelihood of closing a target customer.
One of the first things you have to consider is that it’s not just the companies in your immediate market that are your competition.
Your prospect has limited bandwidth to onboard new suppliers each quarter — time, cognitive energy, integration costs, budget constraints, etc.
Essentially, you’re competing against every other company pitching them. 🗣️
Your prospect will prioritize signing with suppliers in order of those that deliver the greatest return on investment in meaningful areas.
Cutting through the noise is vital. You need to demonstrate how you can help them in an area core to their business tangibly and quickly.
A helpful way of doing this is through measurement — quantifying the value you will provide to your target customer. This is a powerful tool in your sales armoury.
This involves taking abstract product claims and converting them into common denominator figures that can easily be compared against existing suppliers and those competing for your target’s attention, even if in different industries or markets.
For example, money and time are universal languages. 🤑
Or, metrics which are proxies for money and time such as productivity.
Everyone understands them—unlike the sales copy on most B2B websites!
Feature lists, buzz words, and generic marketing spiel don’t convey the core value proposition well at all.
Uniquely quantifying value in a metric they easily understand does.
I’ll use personal experiences as case studies to walk you through it.
Here we go. 👇
Case study 1
At my first B2B startup we provided a content recommendation widget to online publishers. They were mostly ‘viral’, ‘meme’ and ‘humor’ websites that monetized via display advertising.
Our service ‘took’ visitors away from a publisher’s website via clicks and sent more back in return.
This generated a net uplift in visitors. If you're curious how, here’s an explainer video.
A key component in demonstrating the value of our product to target customers was to quantify the net uplift.
📈 How many more visitors will they get monthly?
🗾 What geographic regions will they be from?
👀 How many pageviews will they generate on average?
With this information in-hand, the target customer could run the numbers internally using their historical ad monetization data and project how much the net uplift would be, in dollars and cents, to their business each month.
This dollar figure can be used to both:
Assess the return on investment of integrating our solution. Does the benefit greatly outweigh the cost?
Compare us against other competing solutions. Do other suppliers make more or less of an impact on their P&L?
I did this manually. That is, I’d ask target customers a few questions about their website stats. Mostly, via email.
Using this data, we could model an estimated net uplift figure in terms of visitors and pageviews. The target customer could then convert this into revenue by plugging in their average RPM.
It was a powerful catalyst in terms of prospects deciding to use us. A lot of “yes’s” came quickly after doing this.
In hindsight, we could have automated this and unlocked a lot more value.
For example, the details I asked for could have been captured in a form on our website, and, a simple algorithm could have provided instant estimates.
I’ll go this next. 👇
Case study 2
At my second B2B startup we monetized an audience that was ‘invisible’ to online publishers — ad blocker users.
Similar to my previous B2B startup, this was facilitated by a content recommendation widget.
But, the underlying business model was totally different. We now paid publishers directly for displaying our widget.
For context, here’s our launch, covered by Business Insider.
In the beginning, especially, target customers didn’t know they even had an ad blocking audience—or indeed, what an ‘ad blocker’ was—let alone the degree of the ‘problem’ or how to monetize it.
To put it mildly, there was a significant education process. 🎓
It was absolutely critical to communicate the problem to target customers in metrics they were familiar with — visitors and revenue.
To start off, this was done manually via email estimates. Just like my first B2B startup.
We’d ask a few questions about their website and then circled back with estimated ad blocker audience size and revenue figures.
This worked well. Target customers were able to see how much revenue they were ‘losing’ and also how much they’d recapture through our solution.
Once we got traction and visibility in the marketplace, we automated this process and made it more accurate. ⚙️
Prospective customers could enter a few details on our website and get started without any direct interaction from a Yavli founder or employee.
Below is what the initial onboarding looked like.
Very simple and not scary. 👇
This led target customers down a path where they could directly measure the size of their ad blocking audience by installing a website tool we had built.
No more audience size estimates based on aggregated data and historical averages. It gave our proposals significantly more credibility.
To use the tool, prospective customers created an account with us and installed it on their website.
The data they wanted to obtain was populated in a dashboard we provided to them. In addition to quantifying the problem, this was a significantly better sales funnel.
⚡ Prospects visiting our website, who were in the mood to ‘act now’, had a mechanism to get started instantly.
🔄 The target customer became familiar with our dashboard and product. It created a behaviour where they circled back regularly.
🔎 We got visibility into their website traffic and could follow up with accurate and compelling proposals.
If you’re just starting out, I suggest experimenting manually via email to figure out what is the most effective way to quantify value for your target customers.
Find out what metrics are key motivators and provide estimates using this ‘currency’.
Once you’ve found a tried and tested methodology, build a tool that enables visitors to your website or app to get started quantifying that value straight away.
It can be as simple as a form they fill out. Or, something more complex.
The more tangible, convincing, and accessible you can make it look and feel, the better.
Then, touch bases and provide a compelling proposal backed up by data. Or, even better, automate the whole process.
Until next time!
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