The further we are from our customers’ knowledge base
the more effort has to be made to create a larger and larger supply of prospects.
When typical product-based organizations think of co-creation, they think of their engineers working with customers to develop their products in a more customer-friendly way. That is one way, but the real advantage in co-creation is the development of sustainable services through the use of your product. An example of this is Xerox’s managed print services that have won them long-term and profitable contracts with Sundstrand and Ingersoll Rand.
The Product Manager (VSM) is the key person in the organization that can accomplish this transformation. He provides the thought leadership, product knowledge, customer insights and level of authority needed. Without support at this key position, these ideas will prove to be just that, ideas!
Warning: Your Product Manager (VSM) must be trained and on board before attempting this transformation or it may be dangerous to the organization.
The most direct method for the Product Manager to develop is a sales and marketing structure that can support customer engagement throughout the organization. This structure will be self-organizing at times and provide for customer touch points deep within the organization. A Lean sales and marketing team becomes a cross-functional group whose number and expertise are derived from the engagement structure we develop with our key customer accounts.
Sales and marketing can no longer operate in a vacuum. It has become a process output that intertwines across many of the departments within the organization. As companies have become flat, their decision making is increasingly being done by committee. As a supplier, you must mimic your customer decision-making path and as a result, your sales and marketing will also be done by committee. Our highest priority is to deliver to the customer content that he deems valuable to his decision-making process. I explain the structure needed in the Lean Engagement Team book that is available as part of the Lean Marketing Lab subscription. The Table of Contents for the book follows.
- The Path
- Positioning your organization from your customer’s viewpoint
- Only the Customer Determine Value
- PDCA from the Outside-In
- The iCustomer and iTeam
- New Lean Thinking
- Lean Engagement Tools
- Lean Engagement Team
- Marketing Gateway of EDCA, PDCA, SDCA
The further we are from our customers’ knowledge base the more effort has to be made to create a larger and larger supply of prospects. The ability to share and create knowledge with your customer is the strongest marketing tool possible. Successful Sales and Marketing practices are no longer just trying to get their message out but developing strategies to get the message in.
SALES PDCA is the framework I use for the process that takes place in the customer sales and marketing cycle. It is a standard PDCA cycle except for the SALES part of the framework is where the sales team gets its directions and coaching from the team coordinator and value stream manager. Within the actual PDCA stage, the sales team is empowered to make their own choices and determine their own direction to accomplish the goals of that cycle. This framework is introduced in the Marketing with PDCA book.
Continuing with my Lean journey and the development of the Lean Sales and Marketing platform, many of the PDCA cycles became standardized and SDCA was introduced. Graham Hill had mentioned the concept of EDCA (Explore-Do-Check-Act). He stated that:
Marketing in highly competitive markets is about exploring new propositions on the innovation fitness landscape. The environment determines where to start and complex marketing environments need EDCA. EDCA = Explore, PDCA = Plan, SDCA = Standardize, marketing operations are all about moving along the EDCA>PDCA>SDCA pathway.