How The Five Fundamental Human Values Work For B2B

B2B Companies Deliver on The Fundamental Human Values for 3 Constituents – The Fundamental Group

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Successful B2B Companies Deliver Their Fundamental Human Value on 3 Levels

The Fundamental Human Values – Happiness, Connection, Discovery, Pride and Innovation – drive B2B companies just as much as they do B2C. Finding the intersection of the value that your buyers need that you can deliver can increase sales at the same time it engages your employees. It might not be easy to determine which value is your #1, and if you’re not sure there’s an exercise that will help you decide. For the value you select, you should be easily able to articulate how you deliver the value for 3 different constituencies:

Let’s take a look at what this means for each audience.

The Customer

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll be familiar with this one. What does your company, product or service do that helps your customer to Connect, Discover, Innovate etc. This is a standard part of the process we’ve discussed. We recommend you simply make a list of the ways you deliver each of the 5 Fundamantal Human Values for customers. One or two usually rise to the top quickly – you can easily identify examples of how you deliver on these top values. Once you’ve chosen your top 1 or 2, it’s time to see if it stands up to further scrutiny at the next level.

The Company

How does your organization help your customers’ company beyond just the decision maker? If you’re creating more Happiness – say by removing friction from a process – you should be able to demonstrate how you do it not only for the buyer, but for the rest of their company. If you make the buyer happy, but make the rest of the organization have to pick up the slack and do MORE work – you’re not really delivering on this value.

We saw a disconnect between customer values and company values play out with our client Nylas. Their technology helps customers gain deeper insights from their emails and other communications. The Nylas team initially believed that this allowed their customers to create deeper. stronger bonds with THEIR customers. So they chose Connection as their Fundamental Human Value. And while the connection might have been deeper for some parts of the company – the sales teams and the customer support teams – it didn’t really ring true for most of the other parts of the customers’ organizations. They just couldn’t provide examples where the connections got stronger in most parts of their customers’ companies. The Nylas team had, however, also identified Innovation as an important value they delivered for customers, and they quickly realized that innovation was something that customers’ entire organizations valued. Nylas enabled organizations to create new products and improved customer experiences – something the leaders of every business unit benefited from enormously. So innovation became their top Fundamental Human Value.

If you can’t honestly say your offering delivers for a customer’s entire organization, you may want to revisit your choice of Fundamental Value – OR – acknowledge this is a weakness and make it a priority to address in your product development. How can you make the experience better for a bigger swath of companies? What are the short-term and long-term ways to address this? If you do accept this shortcoming, that necessitates a clear messaging strategy for your sales teams. How will you address this weakness with prospects? Everyone on your team needs to know and understand exactly how to respond to the inevitable questions you’ll get, and have a clearly articulated strategy for addressing this with the product team. If you’re aligned around which value or values you deliver best for customer and company, you’re ready to assess level 3.

The Community/The World

The third level is for the community or the world at large. Does your company deliver on this value beyond just for customers? When we assess brands at this level, it can start to sounds a lot like the old show Silicon Valley – ‘Making the world a better place’. And it’s corny, but you should be able to support this one with a reasonable claim that you can say with a straight face. That’s not to say you are solving the entire problem for the world – but you are at least striking a blow for the good guys.

pride the fundamental brand

Pride & Ego

One example – our client BlackLine. We determined that they were creating happiness – in the form of trust – for their buyers, by providing better transparency and visibility into financial statements. On a macro level – making financial statements more transparent and accurate made investors and the larger economy more confident in the companies they chose to support. No, they didn’t singlehandedly eliminate fraud or make the financial system 100% accurate, but they were doing their part to improve it and create trust in the system. That’s something that they could be proud of as an organization, as this video shows: 

Fundamental Human values drive success, as we’ve pointed out in the past, but especially in the B2B realm, they have to impact more than just a single decision maker or department. The best companies deliver on their value to larger constituencies. As you deliberate on which value to build your business around, use the three levels test to help identify which one is right for your organization.

The Company

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