Archive for category Methodologies
Every major technology company client we have worked with during the last 5 years has asked one question – how can we sell to the Small and Medium (SMB) customer segments? This increased interest in the SMB market place is born of self interest.
- For every enterprise client (revenue >$2B), there are 144 potential customers with revenues <$250M
- In the US, alone, manufacturing firms with <1000 employees generated close to $1 trillion in revenue in 2009 – down significantly from 2007 but still substantial.
Multiple business data research firms have documented the fact that SMB firms spend a larger percentage of their revenue on technology but spend more carefully. Our research finds that as a group they –
- Value technology solutions not technology tools
- Suspect that existing technology solutions do not address their specific business challenges
- On the surface, face the same challenges as enterprise customers. However when examined more closely, SMB challenges are more compelling and require different solutions
- Trust their peers more than technology professionals
- Are lagging adopters
- Buy when they feel a “direct relationship” to the vendor –
Feel the vendor is invested in them!
Technology vendors who want to have a successful Go-to-Market strategy need an approach that is specific to the SMB market segment they want to penetrate. This begins with a solid understanding of the market segment – issues and opportunities, total market size, competition, cross industry alliances and existing suppliers, etc.. Next, a great Go-to-market-Strategy is only as good as it’s implementation plan —
- A tailored product offering and the value proposition
- A multi-channel marketing strategy
- A multi-channel sales strategy
- An effective executive to executive communication plan
- A best-in-class post-sale customer service and technical support capability
- A strong set of ROI measures
- A set of well-defined plan milestones
- An extra dose of patience to sustain a longer selling cycle
Technology vendors who master the differences in selling to the enterprise and the SMB market space have a great opportunity to increase their own market share and to improve their Bottom Line by developing a new and loyal customer base.
@Cordi and Associates
All Rights Reserved 3/2010
Our research proves that an effective WIN/LOSS ANALYSIS process IS the 21st century “CANARY IN THE COAL MINE”
Want to know how your business plan is working? Our experience shows that competing effectively in a fast-paced global economy requires a disciplined win/loss analysis process that takes into consideration every aspect of sales effectiveness. Win/loss analysis should be conducted at least quarterly and in the current economic uncertainty preferably on a monthly basis. Sales, Marketing and Operational Management should examine all aspects of the Go-to-Market process.
- Measuring the health of the sales pipeline
- Calculating the return on marketing investment
- Segmenting customers and then targeting specific customer segments
- Discovering early indicators of shifting demands – product-based or market-based.
- Managing and sharing internal sales best practices
- Conducting a forensic transaction analysis on so-called “big deals” after their close.
By comparing the results of the win/loss analysis to the revenue plan management can quickly determine whether they are on track to meet or exceed their plan or need to make adjustments to that plan immediately –
- Increasing or slowing manufacturing to meet product demand
- Speeding or slowing new product introduction
- Expanding or revamping advertising
- Adjusting sales personnel etc..
An effective win/loss process is an essential tool in the quest to maintain focus on Bottom-Line Excellence even in the most challenging of economic conditions – just as the 19th and 20th century coal miner was warned by the canary of unseen danger below — .
@copyright Cordi and Associates
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 3/2010
The Marketing Executives Network (MENG) released the results of its annual member survey today. As a participant in the survey, I selected Marketing ROI as the “concept of the year”. It appears that many of my colleagues felt similarly – making Marketing ROI number one this year over Customer Retention and Brand Loyalty.
This ranking does not diminish the importance of Customer Retention (based, of course, on segmentation and customer profitability studies) or the importance of “living” and enhancing the Brand. What it does reflect is a new appreciation for the “business of marketing” over the classic “art of marketing”.
The majority of respondents believed that 2010 will be a “better” year than 2009, even as the economic facts point more to “hope” than “expectation”. In such a fluid situation, the best marketers are going to spend marketing dollars carefully and where those dollars have the most impact. They can only spend as wisely as they measure well.
Determining the Return on Marketing Investment does not have to be complicated and difficult to implement. It can be as simple as measuring the cost of new revenue from existing customers compared to new customers. Detailed analysis should be done only as a pattern emerges – and the pattern will be different in different business segments and different companies within a segment.
Measuring the effectiveness of marketing, also, helps executives to understand the impact of larger economic forces on their business – so that they can make choices in their tactical approach to their Go-to-Market Strategy earlier and more surgically than in the past. This, in turn, leads to sustainable bottom-line profitability and long term business success.
I received an e-mail from Aberdeen Research today that claimed 73% of companies responding to an earlier survey expressed “a need to improve operating expenses as a top priority.” Operational efficiency is subject to many definitions and in the Aberdeen case it is an argument for tools over technique. My definition is a little different.
My definition of operational excellence is the technique of maximizing profit by optimizing the cost of doing business in any economic circumstance. Excellence does not just happen; it is the result of advanced planning and timely execution.
Companies that are going to be successful in this more precarious and opaque national and global economy will be those that have a good Go-to-Market Strategic Plan supported by a set of solid tactical plans geared to optimize efficiency in any economic circumstance. The tactical plans must be based on the probable and the possible and the unthinkable business scenarios – all in support of the Strategic Plan.
Operational excellence is a product of good scenario design, and tactical implementation. The final question management must ask before accepting a tactical plan is “does the company have the focused business processes and the enabling tools to quickly identify the changing economic conditions (early indicators) and respond urgently”? If the answer is “no”, the remediation begins with determining if the answer “no” is a fault of the tactical plan or the result of sub-optimal business operating practices or enabling tools ?
Bottom Line Excellence is the result of focusing on continuous re-examination of strategic assumptions and the nimbleness to adjust to changing assumptions.
Joyce Stoer Cordi
All Rights Reserved 2/18/2010
What is a small or medium business to do in the current, unstable global and (US) national economy? I was reminded yesterday, while reading the Businessweek small business e-letter, of just how unclear the path to economic recovery is — or whether we are on the road to recovery at all? No two “economic experts” agree —
- It’s a V shaped recover and we have passed the bottom
- It’s a W shaped recovery and the double – dip is coming in the second half of 2010 or in q1 2011
- The US economy needs another stimulus plan (I have lost count. Is this the 4th?)
- Government stimulus plans have had little or no impact on economic recovery
- When government stimulus is withdrawn later this year, the unemployment will rise
What is the owner of a, just for a practical example, $50M plant nursery that sells to big box retailers to do?
- Small and medium business should be acting aggressively to be prepared for a surge in demand in second half 2010
- n Small and medium business should delay hiring and building inventory until there is more evidence of consumer demand
How about neither?
The smart nursery owner needs to plan for either, both, or neither eventuality in the next 12 months by focusing on the only important measurement – bottom-line profitability. A consistent record of profitability in good and bad economic conditions is the key to great customer confidence, employee loyalty and flexible, affordable, available credit.
Bottom-line profitability doesn’t just happen. It is the result of careful analysis and planning. It does not take a lot of executive time, but it does take executive focus. To learn more just click here http://www.cordiconsulting.com/thought_leadership.html