How Do You Communicate, Sell And Deliver Value To Your Customers?

At this point, you already should know a lot about your customers and your Value Proposition. Now it’s time to define how you’ll communicate, sell and deliver your value to them.

Here we have some examples of channels:

  • Online sales;
  • Sales Team;
  • Own Stores;
  • Partner Stores;
  • Social Networks;
  • Mass Merchandisers;
  • Retailers;
  • Sales Rep-firms;
  • Distributors.
  • Others….

Your channels strategy will probably count with more than one of those channels. For example, you may provide a lot of information about your service on your website (communicate), but set a sales team (sale) to close the deals.

WHY IS THIS A FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION?

Because communicating and delivering your value is as important as creating it. For instance, you may have a wonderful solution, but may fail to communicate its value. Or maybe people will have to wait too long to receive it.

Besides that, testing and validating your channels will provide you the basis that will form another important business model element: the cost structure.

For example, depending on how you’ve designed your business model, you may need channels that will cost you significantly more. That’s why it’s so important to consider both the ideal customer experience and the optimum cost structure.

FINDING THE ANSWER…

To effectively define your channels, you’ll need to identify the ways your customers prefer to learn about your product, buy it and receive it.

In that sense, it’s important to stay connected with your customer personas and to map all the stages involved in his/her journey on experiencing your product or service.

One useful tool to do that mapping is the Customer Experience Map.

It’s a multidimensional approach that helps stakeholders see and appreciate how the journey should unfold. More so, it’s about how you choose to influence and inspire behavior throughout the journey.

Brian Solis—X: The Experience When Business Meets Design

Here’s an example of Rail Europe Experience Map:

Source: “X: The Experience When Business Meets Design” – Brian Solis

Of course, the first map you’ll draw may still miss a lot of information—and looking for them is part of your role.

Start by visualizing the stages customers would have to go through to experience your product/service.

In the Rail Europe example presented above we have the following 6 stages:

  • Research & Planning;
  • Shopping;
  • Booking;
  • Post-Booking, Pre-Travel;
  • Travel;
  • Post Travel.

Well, these are the stages mapped by Rail Europe. They won’t perfectly fit to your business model. It’s your job to map your startup’s experience stages.

After defining the stages in your customer’s experience map, you should start understanding how your personas would experience them. In each stage, consider what the persona would:

  • Do;
  • Think;
  • Feel.

This will help you on designing and testing the best channels configuration and messages to serve each of your customer segments.

Keep connected with the mindset, attitudes and preferences of each customer persona. They should guide the definition of which channel to use and what message to present for them in each stage.

Now, let’s go to our next business model component, by answering the following question:

How Do You Get, Keep and Grow Business With Your Customers?


Recommended Readings:

Business Model Generation

by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

X: The Experience When Business Meets Design

by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

The Startup Owner’s Manual

by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf

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