But can’t we just do that ourselves?
Companies constantly want to get the most out of their customers and markets. Those are our customers! And when we tell them we are going to support them in that, their first reaction is: “but can’t we just do that ourselves?”. My usual, somewhat bold, reply is: “then why haven’t you done it yet?” That brings the crux of the matter directly to the proverbial… essence.
Growing from 1 to 2 is relatively simple, but growing from a 7 to an 8 or 9 is a different story. To achieve this, “something” extra needs to happen. The companies I visit, have already had extensive training and coaching, consultants come and go with great advice, and let’s not forget the leadership program. Let me be clear; there is nothing wrong with the individual quality of all these initiatives and activities. But why aren’t they succeeding in getting the most out of customers and markets? Why is it not working?
“But can’t we just do that ourselves” what is that?: that is a qualitative and quantitative analysis of sales, customers, products, services, market space, and market segments. What was sold (yesterday) to whom, where, and why, and where are we going to sell something tomorrow and why? Makes sense, doesn’t it (no football)? Nothing new, right? Marketing does its thing, sales and sales management do their thing, product management, customer service do their thing, and I say this without judgment because these companies are often doing really well already. So why isn’t it working?
The crux of the matter? It turns out that the first step, the analysis, is not working well because there is no integral, or horizontal, process and there is a lot of information from different departments. This, however, does not lead to the necessary insights, or analyses, which in their turn lead to a fact-based concrete sales action plan. The good news? After my bold statement, we start working on it together and we learn and work how to turn a 7 into an 8 or 9 while retaining what we already have. These companies are on their way up shoot for the moon and know how to achieve the most after some serious effort.
There is also an item that is almost never included in the analysis, but is of crucial importance as a Key Success Factor, see/read my next blog.