I am always amazed at the cost and relative uselessness, for small to mid-size B2B firms, of formally published market research reports. Certainly, strategic business decisions must not be made in an informational vacuum, but expecting meaningful, actionable information to come from a general market research report, read by dozens, if not hundreds, of competitors, is delusional. So, where should small to midsize B2B firms look for accurate, current, meaningful and actionable data to support their strategic breakthroughs? Few small-to-midsize B2B businesses avail themselves of the hidden army of market researchers already at their disposal. That army comprises any and all of their employees that have regular interaction with customers or, their customers’ markets. That team includes the sales and marketing team, product designers, quality people, customer service, their suppliers and their procurement people. This army is already there and on your payroll. Take the simple steps to mobilize it.
Where does one begin the search to find new markets? The good news is: new high-potential market opportunities are typically discovered closer-in than you would imagine. Some await discovery hidden in the clutter of your current customer list. Others find you, not the other way around. In either case, your task is to recognize and quickly assess their viability.
Lean is the process of maximizing the value delivered to customers by eliminating any wasted marketing or sales activity or expense that does not create, communicate or enhance customer-received value.” In this QMP Insights blog we offer an approach for improving both top and bottom-lines through the application of “Lean” principles to six key areas in the marketing and sales function of a firm.
The Most Common Reaction to Economic Turmoil is Expense Reduction. Nonetheless, there are a handful of strategies for realizing revenue upside in a down economy .Due diligence and responsible managerial behavior should compel managers in serious economic times like these to, at least consider, the revenue-upside options that follow.
When hearing about a “Big Deal”, managers must confront the challenge of what to do about it – ignore it, or prepare. Preparation may comprise some or all of capacity planning, inventory commitment, equipment capacity increases, cash planning and workforce planning. Failure to anticipate these factors can result in an inability to deliver to the customer what they want, on time, should the deal actually break. On the other hand, a knee-jerk financial commitment based on the potential of the deal, can leave the firm with a lot of unusable inventory should the deal fail to materialize. So, how does a manager judge the reality of the “Big Deal”?