I find it interesting to watch as people try to take their product development skills and innovation tactics and apply them to Sales and Marketing. I will admit there are a “few” similarities but what works for development and innovation does not necessarily work for established brands. Even when you go to market with new products seldom do you have the luxury that a start-up has; NO BAGGAGE. There are major differences.
You may still need disruptive thinking and products within your organization. But if you listen closely to many people, they are touting revolutionary change. However, that thought process is only addressing a small part of your organization and will not put the food on the table immediately and allow the opportunity to implement these new and radical ideas.
At the foundation of my Sales and Marketing thinking is a program that I helped develop with Dr. Eric Reidenbach; it is the 5Cs of Driving Market Share. Since that time, I have added and subtracted a few things from it, but at its core is an outline focused on customer value. A short overview:
- Customer Identification: Evaluate your value streams (products/markets) using metrics such as current market share, market growth rate and competitive intensity to assess the best targets for the organization.
- Customer Value: Create a value model for each of your value streams (product/markets). This value model is the voice of the market (VOM) that drives all operational and strategic initiatives undertaken by the organization. The VOM replaces agendas, hunches and strategic guessing as the guiding factor in growing market share. Value has been shown to be the best leading indicator of market share and top-line revenue growth.
- Customer Acquisition: An organization’s value is relative to that of its competitors. This is part of the buyers’ comparative calculus in assessing where to buy. The buyer is asking a simple question: “Is this brand worth it?” By understanding your organization’s competitive value proposition, leaders make better decisions regarding market share growth.
- Customer Retention: For value leaders, the focus should be on enhancing value to sustain their leadership position. Extending the gap between the value an organization provides and the value provided by the nearest competitor can lead to best in market status. Value followers will want to improve those elements of the value creation and delivery system that will close the gap. Organizations need to enhance or improve their competitive value proposition in accordance to the directives of the market place.
- Customer Monitoring: Put monitoring systems into place to ensure that their competitive value proposition accomplishes what is intended. This control effort focuses not only on the more strategic value proposition, but also can be set up to monitor specific transactions such as sales, repairs, inquires and other customer experiences. This monitoring process acts as a trip wire, providing information where there are potential people, product of process issues that require intervention.
Innovation and product development are fun and exciting. People will make you think it is the only path to success. However, you have to be careful as an established company not to throw the “baby out with the bath water.” You still need change but you still need to address sales and marketing from a “system” perspective. My Lean Sales and Marketing workshop covers the 5Cs of Driving Market Share, in addition, it also covers:
- Why value can no longer be defined by what the customer will pay for.
- Service Dominant Logic
- The New Rules of Marketing in a Demand – Driven World
- The Marketing Gateway of SDCA > PDCA > EDCA
- Lean Engagement Team
- Leader Standard Work for Sales and Marketing
- Achieving Mastery
Build a Lean Sales and Marketing System based on value as the foundation (SDCA) and learn how to continuously improve (PDCA) that process. Only then explore the final frontier of EDCA.
Excerpt from the blog post: The Lean Innovation Engine–Turn the Key
The little “i” provided through SDCA and PDCA defined as the Lean Culture will stimulate the knowledge, imagination, and attitude to create something from nothing. You have the skills needed. Creativity, Design and Imagination are all learned practices. Your own Lean Innovation Engine consists of:
- SDCA: Standard Work that creates a CAN-DO attitude and frees up time to spark problem solving.
- Applying PDCA, allows you to “see” opportunities for improvement.
- A Continuous Improvement Culture (Kaizen) catalyzes the creation of stimulating habitats, leveraging the resources in your environment.
- These habitats, along with your attitude, influence the culture in your community (The Customer Experience will mimic the Employee Experience).