Your Business is Ruled by the Marketplace
"You don't decide what business
you are in; the marketplace decides that for you... People will only buy
what they want to buy, or are afraid not to buy, at a given moment in time,"
write Miles Spencer and Cliff Ennico in their book
Tailoring your business plan to
what the market will buy is always a better, more successful strategy than
developing a new product or service without knowing precisely the
customers for it and hoping that people would buy it because it's good.
Creating Customer Value
From the customer's point of view, your company
exists only to
create value for them, to provide them
with results. In the
rapidly changing economy
the nature of value is changing, involving
new ways to
emotion. You need to think in terms of offers, to merge products and
services, and to be innovative to give customers a
Marketing and Selling as a Team
in the old days, was largely and act of personal heroism. The key to successful
selling was knowing the products and the customers. The effective sales rep
would present his or her product or service in the best possible light, forge a
bond with the buyer, and triumph over the competition," writes
Michael Hammer in
his book 'Agenda'.
"This approach has little to do with the way sales
are made in
today's real world. Today's customers don't want products; they demand
solutions, and solutions don't come in a box. They must be designed, fashioned
to meet the customer's specific needs. Making such sales takes a lot more than personal charisma. Today's selling is
system selling, solution selling, consultative selling; it entails
analyzing customer needs, designing alternative solutions, scrutinizing costs,
developing and implementing systems, and more. This is not the work of a heroic
individual sales rep.
Modern selling is a
team sport, and a complex one
Winning at it takes discipline and structure. Making it up as you go
along is a recipe for disaster."
Coca-Cola's national accounts program has long
been noted as a leader in integrated marketing, sales, and any other group
that might touch the customer. Coca Cola devotes to each national account a
team that includes employees from marketing, sales, support, operations, and
finance. They converge on a market, research the
culture, people, and sociology, and then debrief each other. Through
this process they understand their objectives and tasks better and are able
outsmart the competition.