As we are now midway through 2018, it’s a good time to review how your company has performed in terms of executing its strategy as well as what will be the key initiatives and areas of focus for the second half of the year.
Many start-ups and SME don’t hold regular planning and strategy meetings – in fact, some don’t even have a strategy at all! Furthermore, many also don’t have processes in place for the review, planning and management of both their customers as well as the many initiatives being undertaken to drive their company’s growth.
To help B2B start-ups and SMEs successfully execute their company’s growth strategies, we have developed the Listen Innovate Grow Strategy Execution Framework.
Prioritisation is a key step in strategy execution and is achieved by identifying:
- The customers and prospects your company will focus on
- The types of business innovations your company will undertake (For a detailed explanation of business innovations please refer to our blog post “Innovate or Die”)
Select each one using a series of criteria pertaining to:
- Business customers’ needs and their alignment to your company’s goals and capabilities
- Being able to identify and undertake business innovations that meet both customer needs and company goals
- The effect on driving your company’s growth
Once you have prioritised your customers and innovation opportunities, B2B customer plans should be created for each of your key customers and prospects. These plans detail:
- How your company will deliver value through your existing offerings
- The innovation initiatives your company will undertake
- How your company will engage with key stakeholders
As business customers’ needs change and new technologies and trends emerge, you should review both your B2B customer plans and the innovation initiatives being undertaken regularly (we suggest quarterly) to ensure your company is:
- Focusing its resources
- Managing and engaging its customers appropriately
We also recommend reviewing and updating your company strategy regularly to ensure it takes into account:
- Changing business customer needs
- Changing market conditions
- New market or innovation opportunities
- Emerging trends
You should get cross-functional input for all changes and updates to the B2B customer plans, innovation projects and company strategy. You then need to communicate these throughout your company so everyone knows what the company is striving for and the role they play in it.
TAKE ACTION NOW
There is no time like the present. Compile a list of your current key customers and prospects.
Meet with your management and customer account teams and assess each customer and prospect by asking yourselves:
- Do we have a thorough understanding of the true buyers and their objectives, drivers and priorities?
- Are our current offerings still delivering value to these customers? Do any ‘value gaps’ exist?
- How have these customers impacted our company’s performance in terms of sales, referrals, references or case studies?
Compile a list of innovation initiatives that are planned or already underway and consider the following:
- Identify which of these, if any, could meet the needs of the key strategic customers and prospects your start-up or SME will focus on
- Could other business innovations meet any unmet needs?
(Remember to consider all 5 types of business innovations)
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