Ready Shoot Aim. PLEASE if you want us to get along. Think first; then act! Most will equate Thinking with Planning, but at the Growth Engine we distinguish Thinking - the “considering” phase; with Planning – the mapping out of the path to be followed. To think through one’s actions is to consider all possibilities and then plan accordingly. Shooting from the hip or ad hoc action statements or innuendo can lead you and your team straight to Sales Hell!
Ensure your thinking considers the customers’ needs not just today but also 3 to 6 months from now. This will help customers avoid costly mistakes and can make the difference between adding value and inadvertently facilitating those mistakes.
I was working on a project with a blue chip customer a few years ago where a customer wanted to create a b2b interface between buyers and sellers of commodities to streamline ordering and distribution platforms. The client wanted to receive a digital transaction that could be sent to distribution. The customer was extremely focused on an order processing cost. The objective was getting a lowered processing cost of about $7.00 per transaction by going digital. The ROI obvious the funds available to get the interface in place the deal was signed spec created format delivered [Consider rephrasing as to me this doesn’t make sense – but could be cos I dunno what this is!]. Within two weeks the company shut down the new interface and went back to doing things the old way. I finally got curious, called up the project manager and inquired as to what was happening as everything had, it seemed, gone exactly to plan. It turned out that in the rush to streamline and reduce costs, a component of client facing customer service had been eliminated by accident. The political and financial problems caused by that omission far outweighed the benefits of the $7.00 per transaction saving. The experience only confirmed for me how important the Thinking aspect is of the sales execution phase.
Needless to say the Thinking stage should be done far in advance of go live of any operation, the ideas and concepts should (within reason) be inclusive [what do you mean by “be inclusive”?], with clear objectives that stand up to peer review. One without the other can sometimes, as in the above example, not mitigate the risk being created even though in that case there is a clear objective.
The Growth Engine can assist with the due diligence and evaluation of concepts and ideas. We create demonstrable models that help you understand risks or problems that may arise in areas of the sales process – promotions, marketing, and software based solution design.