Optimize. Activate. Rethink.
The New Competitive Strategy
Why do some businesses grow 2 to 3 faster than the rest of the industry, and are five times as profitable? What are they doing differently?
In today’s ultra-competitive world where industry disruption is the norm, businesses can no longer afford to go on as they have. Even if a business were doing well today, there are no guarantees that will be true a year from now.
The “Amazon Effect” has impacted practically every industry. Customers now expect to quickly research a solution to their problem, compare competing alternatives, and even purchase without having to talk to a sales person.
Even Sellers with complex solutions have to accept this new reality. They must make it easier for their customers to find information they need to fully understand the challenges they face, what the status quo is costing them, and how they can solve these challenges. Only then would they be comfortable and willing to talk to a sales rep.
Sellers must embrace this new reality and adopt the new competitive strategy: continually Optimize; Activate; and Rethink their businesses–or risk losing out to more digitally savvy competitors.
If a Seller is struggling to consistently win new customers, it is likely due to unnecessary friction in its sales and marketing processes— a lack alignment between its chosen audience (target accounts and roles) and its value proposition.
During the Optimize phase, Sellers focus on removing friction that slows down prospects already in their sales pipeline from moving forward, so they can close these deals faster and at higher rate.
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- Target Accounts: Identifying the types of companies that are best fit for them, that have the highest probability of buying from them.
- Target Persona: Identifying the right people to talk to in these companies. In today’s B2B buying environment, there are at least 5-7 stakeholders that must sign off in order for a buy-decision to be made.
- Unique Value Proposition (UVP): With the right types of companies and prospects in mind, businesses must re-evaluate their value proposition. It must be unique, simple to understand, and compelling—prospects must be able to quickly determine how the seller can immediately impact their business.
- Thought Leadership: Sellers must backup their UVP with research based digital content that is online and mobile friendly. This is no longer a nice to have. In the Digital Era, it is a must-have in order to be considered a viable solution provider.
5. Multi-channel engagement: lastly, sellers must engage their target prospects across a number of communication channels: email, website, social media, podcasts, field events, prospecting, and of course in one-to-one sales calls.
The Activate phase is about scaling within your current identified market and business model to maximize growth.
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In today’s rapidly changing competitive environment–with technology constantly disrupting business models and shifting customer preferences—Sellers must rethink their businesses at least once every two years to continue to stay relevant, let alone stay in front of their customers.
At the very least, Sellers must ask:
- Which of our customers today are in deteriorating competitive positions? How long before they start fading and we begin losing their business
- Which of our customers today are in expanding markets? How long before they are no longer satisfied with our offerings and we lose their business to more techno-savvy Sellers who can better meet their growth needs?
- Where are the new high-growth opportunities that we have not even considered yet? What does it take to server such a market well? What does it take to cost-effectively market, sell, and service such a market?
- If we wanted to grow 200% or more in the next 3 years, what would we do differently? Where would we invest? What would we stop doing?
- If we wanted to cut our operating costs by half (marketing, selling, and serving costs), what would we do differently?
These are all tough questions to answer, but the answers can bring about a new future for your company—a future that enables you to continue to grow rapidly and is secure from disruptive forces.
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