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Start Publishing: 04-22-2015
The Disruptive Impact of Mediocrity

The Disruptive Impact of Mediocrity

Obviously many businesses survived the last recession, still slugging it out with ever tougher competition and more demanding buyers. Is business growing? Yes, but barely. Thriving? Nope.  

Before we look forward, let's look back a few years. Construction, manufacturing, distribution and B2B services got especially hard hit and have found themselves under pressure facing many challenges. Most of these businesses were around for 20+ years; some that started operations in the early 2000s saw excellent growth leading up to the financial crisis.

Buyers started to balk, sales cycles got longer, pipelines dried up and cash flows hemorrhaged. As executives struggled with the fallout of a changing economy, they made their organizational structures even more complex, illustrating how outdated organizational designs can make it difficult for managers to adapt and operate effectively. What results are disjointed matrix structures where revenue capture is torturous and haphazard, with silo-ed departments and/or serial reorganizations that create constant uncertainty.

When working with client firms, I found the core issues within most organizations to be strikingly similar - a lack of a defined, metrically validated lead generation strategy tied to a premeditated, written sales process. Deficient value communication and failure to position their businesses as thought leaders and pain management specialists commoditized their marketing approach and exacerbated dire revenue capture performance.

Once we adjusted their value communication, closed perceptual gaps, prototyped their prospects, designed a lead nurturing process and created a framework of sequential steps for their sales teams, things started to turn around quickly. Aligning sales, marketing, operations & strategy into one outbound revenue capture approach enabled these firms to consistently plot a successful revenue trajectory and escape the path of mediocrity.

Regardless if your firm is on a downward spiral or going through a stalled growth cycle, the takeaway here is that taking action by investing in growth initiatives is a key driver for success. An in-depth analysis will flesh out gaps in your business model and help you understand who your buyers are and why they should care.

Knowing the current pains of your targeted buyers and understanding value means helping your customers understand new possibilities and see new opportunities. Helping them discover things they never thought possible.

Business strategist Dan Waldschmidt hits the nail on the head:

"Our brains are massive risk/reward calculators, if we have a hard time seeing the value, we think it's too risky, not worth the investment. We intrinsically assess each opportunity and our prospects are no different."

Rich Bravman, former chairman of Intelleflex, captures the concept nicely, "The best sellers are both perceptive (they see things that others miss) and prescient (they understand how the future may unfold, based on keen understanding of both, their customers' businesses needs, wants, desires, and their own product trajectories)."  

It is high time to break out of commodity, identify your differentiators and restate your value to meet increased expectations in customer experience and client organization performance. The conversation has changed.

  • Do you really care about what's in it for your buyers....or are you just putting on a friendly smile on selfish behavior? Prospects know the difference. Value first, brand second. By focusing on value first and brand second, you allow your prospects to see you based on their needs.
  • Do you believe that just because people know you they will buy from you? Brand recognition never means automatic brand acquisition. The world's top two recognized brands are Microsoft and Coca-Cola, yet both of these firms' top line revenue growth and stock prices are flat.
  • Are you positioning your value to your targeted buyers to sell more?Once you are seen as a thought leader and specialist, prospects will look to you as a provider and ask for help. Help them understand your value three-dimensionally. To sell more, you must paint a picture in the mind of the buyer, describing succinctly how your value will help increase your buyer's success. Think about it: If prospects haven't really thought of your unique approaches, they don't realize the benefits they could reap.
  • What is the difference between firms that failed in the last couple of years and the ones that thrive? The ones that continue to thrive are the ones that changed the way they do business, sought advice, differentiated their value positioning, formulated a growth strategy and most importantly - they took action!

Most people don't plan to fail - but fail to plan. What are your excuses for stalling business growth initiatives and taking action today on a strategy that you believe in? No time, lack of money, wrong people, team is not on board yet, etc. etc.  If you have a plan for serious growth this year, you simply cannot afford to wait until all the stars align before you get started on implementing a strategy.

Businesses have a choice - take action now or continue to dwell in mediocrity. 

"Have a plan, follow the plan, and you'll be surprised how successful you can be. Most people don't have a plan. That's why it's easy to beat most folks." - Paul "Bear"


Gerhard Vierthaler
Value Strategy Group
907.222.2703

 
 
As CEO of the Value Strategy Group, Gerhard Vierthaler works with clients worldwide in complex B2B selling environments, helping organizations focus on pain management, value creation and customer outcomes to maximize growth. 

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