Talent Development & Customer Intimacy As I stated in my last post, talent is always important and is one of the key drivers of building and sustaining customer intimacy. Your people will constantly be generating new Ideas, then taking those Ideas to your customers and delivering on the promises made. In addition, these teams are accountable … Continue reading “Talent Development & Customer Intimacy”
The Talent Imperative: Why People Make the Difference in Customer Intimacy Business Model Transformations
Many of our historically product-focused clients are shifting their organizational and operational focus to address buyers’ needs in their key markets. Talent is always important but is particularly critical as businesses move to these customer intimacy-based models that require a deep understanding of the market needs. A transformation to an intimacy-based business necessitates an array … Continue reading “The Talent Imperative: Why People Make the Difference in Customer Intimacy Business Model Transformations”
Since it’s so important to success, let’s talk about messaging and the sales force. You must differentiate your business with clear messaging attributes which include:
- An Idea Selling™ storyboard
- Answers to key questions like:
– “Why” they should do this
– “How” they can do this
– “With whom” should they do this
The Idea Selling™ storyboard must be complete but concise. Glean out a 2-3 minute explanation of why examining the Idea is so important for the customer group – The Idea Statement. If the story takes 15 minutes to explain, it is by definition not messaged well, too complex, or too focused on your firm’s capabilities, for this stage of your journey.
Linkages are pre-planned connections from one offering that pulls through the next offering. The connections are made by carefully pre-planned and executed sales activities. Of course in reality, linkages do not begin at the end of one project and end at the beginning of the next. Linkages are positioning activities that take place during the initial sales process and during projects. The positioning may not only be related to the next project in the Service Chain, but also can be made with regard to the entire Service Chain.
When developing Service Chains™ it is important to evaluate their business value and your ability to implement them in the market. At McMann & Ransford, we recommend tracking the following criteria to help foster customer intimacy:
Let’s take some time and discuss the power of ideas and their importance as the central component of a True Solutions™. Good ideas facilitate the road to true customer intimacy.
A solution is the embodiment of an idea – and how the idea can be realized. The idea is the kernel of the change in the relationship from pushing products and discussing business opportunities. Often conversations that are supposed to be about solutions are really about how to better use our products and get more bang for the buck in our relationship; these are valuable issues but not True Solutions™ discussions.
In the simplest sense, marketing has a direct role in market strategy, participation strategy, and enabling the success. Because of their unique role and perspective on the business, marketing owns or is heavily involved in the strategy of the business, and often drives the decision-making process of how to address commoditization issues.
In our line of work, we often see companies which innovate past the point that customers need or will pay for.
We have seen this phenomenon in almost every B2B product group.
The cause? A mistaken belief or assumption that companies can compete only through continuous innovation which is translated as continuous product differentiation. At a certain point this leads to product over-engineering – too many features, product bloat, unnecessary complexity, and product extensions which customers dislike. Technology replaces common sense.
During the first stage of the Customer Intimacy Journey it is important to create and deliver solutions that have a visible impact with your clients.
As you know, terms like “solutions” and “customer intimacy” are overused in the management consulting industry, and I believe often mean too little. In this blog, we’ll try to distinguish our thoughts with not-so-clever use of the terms True Solutions™ and Intimacy Engine™. I want to talk about what True Solutions™ are and how it is crucial to the building of the Intimacy Engine™ business model.
What puts the Customer Intimacy journey at risk? Under investment is the answer.
It will require: money, time, effort, attention, adjustment (things never work as planned), and most of all perseverance. Something to always keep in mind – think about the transformation as pushing something through a brick wall – if you push just a little you still have the rest of the wall to go through. If you push fast you have less to go through. Let me be clear it can move fast and you can have great success in the first year – but you would have to invest heavily in new offers, acquisitions, talent, talent development etc. Also remember the longer it takes the more likely the company will lose interest and find reasons to stop.