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Three areas at some stage we will find ourselves having to make quick decisions within our business activities.
Similar to the fight or flight reaction, the directional course is subjective to the individual and how they adapt to their decisions and outcomes.
What we know is within the business world we work in there will always be:-
- Won & Lost customers
- Strong & Weak markets/channels
- New product, companies and USP’s
- Price fluctuations up and down ↑ ↓
- ‘Acts of God’ simply unaccountable
- Innovations in channels
- Trending or Non trending products & services
- Good and bad service
- Good people coming and going
- Strong or weak cash flow
- Economic crisis or fluctuations
These are just a few to mention, but ultimately all are factors that we have to deal with in some way or form. They may arrive as individual scenarios, or they could all be apparent at once.
The single constant is that they need action, implementation and strategic planning to ensure that you are fluid at adapting with them, not static, just allowing the causes to eat way into your business.
This activity simply cannot be avoided in the business.
Whilst many brands and products have stood the test of time, they have done this through evolution of their products or services. Evolving doesn’t mean changing everything, it simply means adapting what already works to suit the changing circumstances that you now are facing.
An example evolving can be seen in cooking appliances.
To cook we need heat, that is a given, yet evolving this manufacturers have added cool touch doors, Wi-Fi connectivity for ease of control, soft close doors and LED lighting.
The cooking is still done with heat, but the consumer and the market are driven by evolution.
Therefore, the products still cook, but customers have aspirations now around form and function because of what they see. If manufacturers just provided a box that heats up it would cook, but it would be left behind by the competition with their evolving innovations.
Evolving is only necessary when the situations requite it.
They say don’t try and fix it if it’s not broken. It is however always worth in whatever situation you are in being prepared for it to break!
If you are then when it does you will have a plan B to follow through.
The other option available is to evade in business. This is not a weakness or a easy way out, if anything, this is one of the harder decisions to make in business, yet can provide the best results.
If a business was to mirror every change to every product or service that was in competition with them, evolving each of their own products to match, this would be simply not cost effective.
- Are all the products in their market channels?
- What’s the sales opportunity on each product or service?
- Do they need additional product lines?
- Working capital tied up in stock?!
- Investment costs to change?
- ROI from all this evolution?
- Market or channel focus and effective leadership?
- Taken seriously by customers or just seen as a ‘me too’ supplier, who copy other businesses ideas?
Therefore this is where to evade is actually an opportunity.
Evade the products and trends that do not mirror your customers or core market channels. Maintain focus on what delivers your growth, build on this and explore the opportunity within.
Grow market share by focussing on the competition and evolving the products and services that are your current KSL’s (key selling lines)
The benefit of evading every trend in your market is that you can really focus on evolving what works and listening to your customers feedback, as to how these can be improved. This way you ate leading evolution from factual feedback, not following the crowd.
Aim to capture, not be captured
For anyone business is what we make it. The opportunities are out there and just need to be sought out and captured.
Whilst we are out evolving and evading, we are also being hunted down…by the competition. We could just evade our business and market share being captured, but that would be short term as defending your estate protects what you have, but it doesn’t grow your business, it just maintains it.
As mentioned above in the evolve section, customers can and will move on, so defence of your business, products and services is only part of the jigsaw to fill.
Therefore, to capture is to advance forward and grow your share.
- Take share from the competition within the existing estate
- Build strong and multi person relationships throughout your customers
- Look for areas where you can add value and ‘acquire’ incremental business
- Don’t just defend your existing business, go on the offensive in search of new
- Where are the competition strong, which accounts underpin their business?
- Start to build relationships, acquire small areas of impact and grow your position
- Search out weak points and evolve to these areas which will provide advances in share and revenue
- Concentrate not just in one area specific, take your competition off guard
- Coach the teams to search out as well as defend in every area
- Always have a support plan for each of your major accounts, if they were to stop trading today
- Focus on you and your products strengths
- Defend your existing customers daily from competition taking share
- Evolve your offer to add value and capture incremental share in existing accounts
- Evade getting bogged down with unnecessary changes with no opportunity
- Evade losing relationships through complacency, build and strengthen them
- Capture new share from the competition, piece by piece.
- Hunt out areas that add value, find USP’s and build new relationships
To see how your team could develop growth through effective questioning, contact Stormley Consulting for more information.
Working to improve and empower your people to grow your business to the next level.
A strategy sets the focus for the goals to be achieved.
The measurement and review frequency of a strategy are paramount to the success of it.
- Is the strategy still reflective of the market it was written for?
- Are the team able to carry out the strategy effectively?
- Are the team trained to the standard that the strategy requires?
- Is the business actually on board with the strategy?
- Where is the strategy starting from and where will it end up?
- Does the strategy now need bringing into the ‘new world’
- Who’s measuring it, and how is it performing?
- Does everyone understand where they are going with the strategy?
A great article posted by Mckinsey is well worth a read to explore some of these crucial questions.
Click the link below
In the electronic world we live in, where the majority of consumers and potential new clients use ‘smartphones’ it is vital that a company is seen on all social platforms, yet more importantly they need to be seen and heard on them.
Stormley Consulting did some brief research this week on large, medium and small businesses in the UK, many of them are on social media, yet have not used it in over as month, some over 3 months and even some over 5 months?
The main focus was on Twitter accounts and it was amazing, that for such large brands and followers, there is no interaction with their customers for such a long period of time.
Key findings from Deloitte report
The UK Mobile Consumer survey analyses the current trends in the mobile industry.(Deloitte)
Some key findings include:
- 53% of smartphone users check their phones within 5 minutes of waking
- Over 32 million phones are purchased yearly in the UK, and 6 million are handed down
- The proportion of 4G users jumped from 8% to 25% in the last year
- 25% of smartphone users make no traditional voice calls in a given week
- 13% of UK adults have now made a mobile payment in-store, up from 3% last year
Top 15 Social Media Platforms August 2016
For many businesses they are signed up to the social media platforms we all know, with most of the key names using these seamlessly, yet so many others that should and yet do not?
With twitter reportedly receiving 310,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors it is a platform that needs to be used.
What could these businesses be doing ?
Most of the companies viewed have household names and also consumer led brands, but is the pull of the brand enough?
What about the engagement, the pull through, the push, to motivate the consumer to dive in and immerse themselves with the company and all of its touch point?
Twitter even lay out a step by step run through to assist in driving this engagement.
What are businesses sharing to engage customers?
Photos, visuals are the most viewed, yet links to interesting topics, competitions, calls to action also play a major part.
What is the overall global viewing opportunity?
When was the last time your business tweeted content?
If you are an employee of a business, no matter your position, go and explore, hunt out your company and its content.
- How visible are they?
- Is the content a cal to action?
- What platforms are they on, or not on?
- When was the last time they communicated?
- Who is in charge of the content?
- What happens with leads and conversions?
- Can you add value and suggestions?
- Do your colleagues and friends engage and interact?
There are so many possibilities for growth and opportunities, yet if some businesses believe that product and brand alone are strong enough, then the social platforms may be getting overlooked?
No matter how big or small a business is, it needs customers, to acquire customers it needs to engage and be visible.
Whilst many purchases still take place over the counter and transactions are a human connection, the move to social online ordering continues to increase. Therefore whilst bricks and mortar sales will most definateley remain on the high street, the need for an omnichannel approach is immense.
The attached report documents this growth by nation, below are the key takeaways from the (centre for retail research)
The European online market is dominated by the UK, Germany and France which together are responsible for 81.5% of European sales in these eight countries
The consumers online engagement and trading is growing, is your business?
Where do Stormley Consulting come in?
Simple effective impact in your business, your people and their effectiveness.
Understanding the team and the person .
As a business enters the annual sales cycle at the very least the following would be in place
- Strategy for the business
- Financial Target and Profit return
- KPI’ measures for departments
These offer a focus, a challenge and a measure of what is being executed….but if the KPI’s are only focused on the financial target and the individual performance against it, they miss vital key areas.
Fine tuning your people
To gauge the performance of the team we have to gauge the performance of the individuals that make up the business unit. Whilst in overall terms we can see the achievers as a top to bottom by value of sales achieved or margin returned, this just doesn’t get to the detail.
Business 121 appraisals that are held at least annually focus on the individual, but how many times do they focus on the ‘shortcomings’ of the KPI, rather than the reasons for them under-performing in the first place?
The 121 can identify productivity weakness through the facts, but it needs to become a tool to encourage, understand and empower the individual, not tell them what they already can see for themselves.
- How can they be assisted?
- What support do they require?
- Why do they feel that they have under-performed?
- What is holding them back?
- Can other members of the team support?
- How do they feel about this?
- Do they have a desire to learn and develop?
Focus on the whole team not the half
It can be very easy to only focus the performance coaching on the members of the team that are under-performing, yet this can be a false focus.
Example of focusing on the whole and not the half
- When we look at a sales manager and target is achieved, then their goal is reached?
- When we look at a customer and view sales performance verses the previous year, then the picture is positive?
Overall the top line statements in the example are correct, yet the fundamentals that are missing are in the detail highlighted below
- What opportunities have been overlooked even though target achieved? (Incremental & New)
- What areas of their performance have been strong and which have been weaker? (Channel or category split)
- Existing business growth by product range architecture
- How many trading customers over a certain turnover threshold?
- What is the quality of the display or POS in each managers customers?
What you require verses what you are receiving
At Stormley Consulting we look at the whole picture for you.
The team, the customers, the products and gaps in the sales process.
Ultimately every business pays a sales team, category team or marketing team to sell, develop and promote its products. This is then returned in sales out and brand awareness for repeat business. All of this can be measured and finally seen in the profits.
Therefore, if you require the sales you require the consistency as what you require should not be just measured financially in sales, but globally in aptitude and ability within the role they each do.
Simple measures to grow your business and your people
Measure the person, not just products and profits
- Percentage of time focused on New, Existing & Key Account Management
- Conversion rates by channel, by products
- Display Base verse the ROI by region
- Postcodes with no customers trading or poor performance
- In Store visibility & brand consistency achieved by them
- Number of Contacts they have within Key Accounts (partnerships & engagement)
- Gap Analysis of ranges they have achieved within accounts
- Attendance & Punctuality across 12 months
As with any KPI only measure what you require to use.
You may have 33% of your revenue stream coming from 3 of your 10 strong team, this does not mean that they too cannot equally be measured on their personal performance as well as their target performance.
Stormley Consulting can work with you to take a full 360 view of your team, their strengths, development needs and business opportunities available to them.
Contact us to book your window of change today
Taking a fresh approach to your business and employees can empower some really useful feedback.
This Infographic really offers some fresh ways to extract this.
This is where Stormley Consulting can really work with teams to energise, empower and engage.
Taking you to the next level of profitability
Get creative with your people and their ideas.
Working with businesses who wish to retain & grow business through consistent end to end service.
Understanding the customers of today to generate the growth for tomorrow.