Tag Archives: Specialize

How Do You Productize an Offer? Four Recommendations

Situation: The CEO of a new company is struggling to generate sales momentum. Part of the issue is adequately productizing their current offer. A second issue is building a good sales team and sales momentum within the team. How do you productize an offer?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The issue may be that the company is regarding its product and the sales process too narrowly. Look at the sales process in new and different way.
    • Role play the current sales-to-close process. Have salespeople document what they do. Look for a product concept that appears from this exercise.
  • Try different models to determine what works best at the company’s current stage of growth.
    • Position the company’s ability to deliver outcomes. Make it risk free if nothing is produced. “Here’s our package – it costs nothing if we don’t produce results as promised.”
    • Consider specializing in services that enhance other companies’ sales – a need that is always present.
    • Look at the car dealership model – lower level salespeople qualify prospects and bring the qualified prospects to more experienced colleagues for the close.
  • How is the company currently positioned – as a generalist or a specialist? Potential clients more often look for a specialist to help them solve specific needs.
    • Conduct local surveys to help define prospects’ and clients’ top needs.
    • Start developing and advertising specialty areas. Add to the list of specialties as the company expands.
  • To build the sales team look at younger salespeople currently with competitors. If these individuals have been recruited right out of school, they will often look for other opportunities after a year or two.
    • Target good salespeople who are currently employed. Tell them that the company is interested in getting to know their business and look for salespeople who are good at selling themselves as well as their offering.

How Do You Best Exploit a New Opportunity? Three Observations

Situation: A service company has developed the capacity to produce and sell a product. The CEO is considering two options for this new opportunity: create a separate entity for the new business or run the businesses in parallel under the current umbrella. How do you best exploit a new opportunity?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Option 1: Create separate entity for the new business while the existing business continues in parallel.
    • How big is the potential win? The current company competes successfully for about 10% of the market. The new capability would allow the company to potentially compete for 100% of a larger market.
    • How different are the two opportunities? The current business requires specialized talent – it is a low volume, high margin business. The new opportunity is the reverse – high potential volume but lower margin. It is a more generic market with fewer specialized needs.
    • The separate entity option provides the most flexibility. The current model already functions well. A spin-off provides an additional option without losing what already exists.
    • Bring in another individual to develop and run the new entity. It’s a different game and requires a different focus. However, it will be a great opportunity for the right person.
    • The spin-off model will be more sustainable under separate management than under the current company.
  • Option 2: Operate both businesses under a single entity.
    • This option looks like a double compromise – it alters both the company’s current strengths and the fundamental business model.
  • A long-term alternative is to look for a financial acquisition for the current company. It produces good net margins, has good cash flow, a and spins off cash. This can be valuable to a financial buyer.

How Can a Small Company Compete Against Bigs? Four Strategies

Interview with Sai Gundavelli, CEO, Solix Technologies

Situation: A company has top talent and a better technology solution. However their large competitors continue to compete by discrediting them – “nobody was every fired for choosing IBM!” How do you compete effectively against large incumbents?

Advice from Sai Gundavelli:

  • Invest in your product.
    • Work to attain best-of-breed status in your industry with a constant focus on and investment in building a great technology. Solix’s constant goal is to be the technology leader in information lifecycle management and Data Privacy.
    • Be organic and focus on integration, smooth operation and scalability. Build your system from the ground up. An organically designed solution where the pieces work seamlessly offers higher and more efficient performance.
  • Invest in alliances.
    • Solix continually invests in our partnerships, including our OEM relationship with Oracle Financial Services, and we have more such partnerships in the works that will help us expand our presence in the market. Partnerships increase your presence and visibility as you scale your own organization.
  • Focus your efforts.
    • We at Solix are 100% focused on our product, whereas our large competitors are juggling multiple priorities, like a juggler trying to keep a large number of balls in the air. While we are smaller, this allows us to more effectively focus our efforts without lots of conflicting priorities. We focus exclusively on information life cycle management and Data Privacy.
  •  Have others talk about you.
    • Solix’s answer to our competition is let our customers speak for us. We have many happy customers such as Honeywell, Duke Energy, American Tires, who are happy to participate in joint webinars and customer case studies. We work closely with them on the latest developments and direction and use their feedback to guide future product direction.

Key Words: Technology, Solution, SMB, Competition, Multinational, Incumbent, Product, Scalability, Flexibility, Alliance, Partnership, Focus, Specialize, Detail, Reference, Credibility