“Life is a problem” – by Chris A. Marshall
Charles Marion Russell 1915
A man once told me, ‘you’re either in a problem, coming out of a problem or about to go into a problem and you’re the only one who doesn’t know it yet’ – so how to realize and overcome it – Spinach Helpful Tip of the Week
I attended a motivational lecture once titled, ‘Life is a problem!’ – the speaker started by saying, ‘life is a problem…. you’re either in one right now, or you’re coming out of one or you are about to go into one and you’re the only one who doesn’t know it yet.’ I can say without any reservations at the time it was far from inspiring and I left thinking if this was a message of hope then I’ll just buy a lottery ticket next time.
Sales and Marketing leaders know problems exist all around us that’s not the issue, it’s how you respond to them that defines our character. That’s measure of your organizations success, and it is a sign of a Market-Driven Organization. In a Market-Driven Organization it’s important to have your eyes wide open because problems can be situations and threats for those who are not prepared. “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein. As Einstein stated for those who are prepared and follow sound market & customer analysis they’re opportunities to be seized.
- How did we get here?
- Where do we want to be?
- How did you/we reach that conclusion?
- Is there an alternative, plausible conclusion?
A leader prepares themselves and their company for the world around them by using the principles of the Market-Driven Process as a guide. A guide for their marketing research so they can cut through the clutter of information swirling around us (in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity) – developing, adopting and utilizing your marketing technology stack, industry & market analysis reporting, in house CRM systems, and Contract Management software tools.
Leaders don’t do this just to survive, no they do this to thrive and excel in the business world. With so much discord going on around us, situations and threats from competitors, regulators, suppliers and customers (from discord find harmony)!
So, how do you distinguish yourself? – screaming and crying in the corner or bringing focus from the chaos!
You do it by picking yourself up each time you get knocked down no matter how hard, learn from it while you dust yourself off and look for the opportunity that is presented. ‘When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Why should leadership listen to you, why should your customers listen to you? How do you become the go to person?
Example Situation: you sit down with the current Balance Sheet statements your company assets are trending up, while looking into the numbers, you find unusually high inventory levels:
- What is our Inventory Turnover Ratio
- What is the current market doing ~ do we have concerns about shrinkage of market values
- Where are we at in our business cycle ~ seasonality effects
- What were the acquisition prices for the inventory in question ~
- What does a statement of units and value tell us
- if the merchandise was purchased when prices more favorable we are in a position of strength in an advancing market
- What is our contract management system and our Sales Teams telling us
- What are notes receivable telling us
- What is our market intelligence telling us ~ what are our customers saying
Set yourself, your department and your company apart by demonstrating the ability to understand, anticipate and fulfill objectives and drive revenue supporting the bottom line. Become a resource and allow your target audience to utilize you to tap into market intelligence by mining your in-house, local, national and global intelligence resources for golden nuggets of information and knowledge. Use these gold nuggets to finance your business and marketing planning process throughout all steps of your Market-Drive Process.
When you gather, filter and access insights at the local level don’t do it as an exercise or to just check a box. Do something with it, learn from it so you can better understand and respond more appropriately and subsequently more rapidly to market events when they occur. As you develop this skill and ingrain it into your organization it will allow you the unique ability to be best-in-class responding to market opportunities. Once you establish yourself as a resource, and you climb the mountain don’t get knocked off.
The next step will be a commitment to protecting your interests and the ground that you have gained. What risk management tools and models do you have in place to continue to monitor your performance, market & competitive intelligence around you. Who is involved in the oversight and monitoring process and how are they reporting, what processes do you have in place.
- Establish you dashboard and performance markers
- Ongoing and vigilant review, analysis and adjustment of your planning and implementation tactics
What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? Have you ever walked around with something in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it. Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!
Chris A. Marshall
For more information please feel free to review these additional Spinach Helpful Tips regarding the Market-Driven Process: