Four insights that could cause you to make better decisions on what to do with your business
Four insights that could cause you to make better decisions on what to do with your business.
1) Marketing doesn’t work as much as we think it does. Many organizations are trying to be thought-leaders by teaching customers what they should be doing. It isn’t bringing in many new leads or sales. There is too much noise out there. Customers already have too much content. Giving customers helpful tips doesn’t cut it. You need to give your customers unique thoughts that directly impact their performance. Do that, and make sure your perspective leads the customer back to your competences and well-thought out offering. Interrupt their thinking about their priorities and what they are planning to do. It should stop them in their tracks.
2) Oh yeah, you must re-think your offering. Nothing – I mean nothing makes you more competitive than making sure you are what the doctor ordered and you match up with what customers are motivated to buy. Also, refresh your story. What are the problems in your industry? What don’t clients like? Make sure you change a lot of that at a price that is of real value. Then tell a better story using all the channels you can. The very best organizations do this constantly.
3) The traditional problem-solving sales approach just isn’t working like it did. With the help of the Internet, customers research their own problems. They don’t need you to do it. Now they just beat you up with their own buying criteria and price. You need to figure out how to engage your potential customers earlier with provocative research that provides interruptive insights that stop the customers from making mistakes by continuing doing what they are doing. If you are business-to-business sales, you need to pick customers on the way up who are in chaos and have the potential to change, and are willing to act quickly and decisively. Then look for their personal and unrecognized need and tell them before they realize it. You are selling speed. Then, in conversation, tell them what they should do. Become the coach – the advisor. Support them in implementation.
Sell insights. Don’t solution-sell, pitch, be a product pedlar or your friendly, commercial visitor. That stopped working a while ago. Selling is in a quiet revolution. With software used to add value, internal processes in flux, purchasing more aggressive, it has become an interesting time to be in sales.
Sales teams need to be totally linked with marketing and more collaboration is needed. Sales management has changed as well. The old carrot and stick model can’t keep up with the chaos. So, again, mapping out your entire business processes is needed.
4) Leadership, succession planning and engagement have been hot topics, but most companies just don’t handle or build their people well. Companies still can’t get moving fast enough in their world of many moving competing parts. Most training, learning and development are nothing more than events and intellectual exercises modeled after formal education or a particular guru’s thinking. People don’t grow or learn best that way.
Knowledge can get you a job or maybe a better one, but having a success-philosophy while practicing and applying the knowledge under the guidance of a coach until skills and habits stick is what works. Imagine learning how to drive a plane or car from a seminar. Or anything significant like change leadership or implementing innovation or being a strategic leader. Learning by doing with an outside objective competent coach is what works.
What can you do?
Option One: Take most of the year trying to learn more knowledge about these four insights and get people around you interested in exploring them – with little success. Or…
Option Two: Properly engage a team in a well-thought out process with an experienced business design and a team coach.
Action is all there is. I suggest being a little more aggressive with your approach and taking option number two . You probably are working on a lot of good initiatives but time doesn’t sit still, you need to pull all your ideas and initiatives together so they work better and propel you to new opportunities and growth. You can be a do-it-your-selfer, but it has big drawbacks as we learn with New Year’s resolutions without a structure. Business change is a bit harder than losing a few pounds.
Back in 2008, during the Great Recession, I promised to do whatever I could to use my experience and research to help Canadians fight back. I did this with complimentary Monday Morning Mentors, workshops, webinars, teleconference calls, free coaching, visits to teams to discuss what they are up against and what to do but it’s just not enough.
The very structure of business has changed. Don’t operate from old contexts and processes. It’s time to pull the trigger on what your business needs.
Have a chaotic week. It means you are realizing what is happening to you and your business.