But one CEO bragged to us that his organization would do anything to deliver their product to customers on time – regardless of cost. Everyone around the table was committed to make it happen.
When I asked their customers the about this bold promise made by management, none of them had ever heard it. Worse, their perception was that this company was late in all of their deliveries.
Don’t let messaging confusion hurt sales
That confusion was hurting sales.
It was like they were playing the telephone game. Senior management would tell the sales team what was going on in one off meetings.
Messaging was different. Understanding was different. Customers weren’t talked to at all.
Identifying customer perceptions is critical. That’s your baseline and lets you know how to begin to move the communication needle. What customers believe about you is a key indication of how much they will want to buy from you.
It’s critical that the bold promises and firm commitments born in the board room get translated from vision to implementation.
Use a discovery process to identify perceptions
- Market position
- Target message
- Competitive benchmark
- Accountability – allows you to gauge improvements over time
You need to discover:
- Current market situation
- What needs to be accomplished
Set out to determine:
- Who buys your products
- How are you thought of
- What’s important to make the sale
- What are our objectives
Using Outside In Thinking
- Management’s perceptions − what they told you
- Sales discovery session (by phone and in-person) to establish position of your products plus key company characteristics − what your sales team told you
Psst…there’s a secret ingredient in this process. It’s the missing link − what your customers told you (Outside In Thinking).
This type of Discovery measures your position in the marketplace and identifies the market’s hot buttons. It results in maximum marketing effectiveness and better utilization of brand and marketing communication dollars.
- Discovery session gives you an opportunity or window to look into your company and see how you think and work
- And Discovery gives you a window in to how your customer think about who they want to work with. It gives you an education on how them make their decisions and the key criteria underlying the decision to buy.
It doesn’t get much better than this. But you have to take the message back to the senior leadership team and convince them of the disconnect.
They won’t believe you. And will probably blame you. But if you succeed, everyone wins.
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