Business person connecting data between value and service delivery

20th July 2022

Tell Your Value Story: 8 Steps That Elevate Performance to Outcomes

Are you communicating the business value of your managed service or is this a missed opportunity?

In a competitive environment where operational efficiency is considered ‘table stakes’, success now depends on demonstrating the connection between your services and the client’s business outcomes.

Historically, organisations have struggled to communicate the value of the services they manage. Quarterly and monthly service review meetings consisting of static reports and one-way presentations focus on the service’s enabling technology and operational efficiency. Often leading to a lack of any relevance to the audience, a clear message, and believable supporting data.

These meetings are a missed opportunity to position the business value of your services and shift the dialogue and client perception from a service delivery cost to a business enabler and valued partner.

“Business leaders care very little about what the technology is. Quite rightly they care about what it allows them and their customers to do and the outcome that this has on the organization’s growth and profitability”

Gartner 2019

Dialogue vs. Presentation, Narrative vs. Report

Any conversation about business value must inform stakeholders how the service impacts business objectives and contributes to their critical business metrics. Unfortunately, the standard response to anything involving data is additional and supposedly better reports. Communicating value effectively requires more than updating reports with more business metrics.

Conversations about value must be meaningful, interactive, and collaborative to be effective. Your client always determines value, and value metrics are a function of their context and situation, both of which are dynamic and changing. Active dialogue is required to ensure continued alignment and relevance. To facilitate an active discussion you require the ability to go with the flow of the questions, to explore and test dynamically in an on-demand and real-time manner. These are qualities that static reports, dashboards and presentations cannot support.

Shifting to Outcomes with a Value Narrative

Creating a value narrative to forge dialogue is fundamentally different to making a report that you then present. Technology delivers value by enabling business outcomes. The aim is to structure the narrative in a way that evidences the business value drivers of your client through the filter of the service you deliver.

  1. Always begin from the perspective of the client
    Start with their business objectives, not the data. Understand and validate the business drivers (revenue, cost efficiency and risk mitigation) with client leadership. Keep validating

  2. Business context is vital
    The more relevant the message, the higher the perceived value. Value narratives need to be articulated in the context of your client’s business; in a language and shape that is recognisable to them. Creating a shared and holistic understanding of the business context by linking their business drivers and service elements in a language and shape familiar to the business makes it both relevant and straightforward to understand by everyone

  3. Align metrics directly to the delivery of the business objectives.
    To create a business value narrative you must identify the metrics that best communicate the services’ business contribution, focusing on a few that convey frequency, time and cost. Funding saved, costs reduced, and revenue increased are easier to measure than process improvements and more impactful.

  4. Identify and integrate the necessary data
    Recognise that data from various operational sources will be required to support a business dialogue. The question is, what data is needed, not what data do I have? Identify the gaps and areas where data quality needs improving. Believable value narratives rely on your client business’s trust in the data being used as evidence.

  5. Create shared understanding 
    Construct the message around the evidence, context creates a powerful framework to explore the data and structure the dialogue. Less is more; the simpler and more concise, the better, particularly for more senior audiences. Think about the flow, sequencing and where there could be challenges.

  6. The output cannot be static
    When creating a value narrative the way you present the data cannot be static if you want it to be believed and trusted. Facilitate simple conversations with the ability to pose questions and drill into data. Engage your audience around the narrative, encouraging interaction and dialogue rather than a one-way presentation. The aim is to create a sense of inclusion and shared ownership of the value narrative.

  7. Close The Loop
    Being able to evidence the value that you have delivered and associate this directly with your clients’ business outcomes builds trust and elevates your position from a provider to a valued partner.

  8. Expect change
    It is a certainty that business priorities will shift. Keep validating and looking for new ways to demonstrate value.

Creating New Opportunities for Growth

The additional challenge within multi-year service contracts is that your clients’ challenges and priorities at the start of the engagement will be very different to those at the end. Using a value-based dialogue is critical to understanding, addressing and staying ahead of these changes to surface new opportunities. Demonstrating the connection between the services you have delivered and your client’s business outcomes allows you to explore new areas for your service to grow, providing additional value for your client and additional revenue for your business. Managing these new opportunities with a closed-loop value focus, evidencing the outcomes delivered for the business, shifts the relationship to that of business enabler and valued partner.

Enabling your front-line employees to leverage data to its fullest potential and have powerful value conversations with clients is imperative for defending and growing revenue across your business, having the right tools in place that enable them to do this is essential.

At Hublsoft we approach data in a human-centric way, meaning it is open to everyone no matter their technical skill level. Our platform lets will let you explore and investigate your data in real-time facilitating the value lead conversation you need.

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