Disrupting the Market: Two Opposing Sales Strategies & Who Wins?

by Lee Bartlett

 

The benefits and shortfalls of two strategic approaches to entering an immature market.

 

Strategic Approach #1

 

Company A identifies the opportunity, has an existing product suite and successful track record of releasing similar products. They assemble their best team and build a competing product. The support of potential customers has been gained, the price point has been set, and pre-orders have been booked.

 

The price point is slightly under the highest competitor price to represent the premium value of the company brand, yet cheaper, as a compelling negotiation tool in a competitive pitch, when all other things are equal. The profit margins are healthy, and due diligence has shown there is ample time to reap the rewards before more players enter the market and push down the price.

 

A Senior Vice President of Sales is appointed. They are a big hitter with a long job title and corporate legacy, and this is the final piece in driving a market-leading product. With all of their corporate rules, processes, and jargon, they have experience managing hundreds of salespeople and have every angle covered. Everything is so beautifully predictable, and the only thing standing in the way of success is execution. It is a proven path to market that has stood the test of time. The product launches, sales are made, and Company A dominates through excellence. Perfect right?

 

Wrong.

 

Strategic Approach #2

 

Company B has identified the same opportunity. Their values are of equal merit – to do a great job and positively impact their clients – only, they approach it differently. The person driving this process is a maverick, whose only remit is to win. They are not governed by the same set of rigid rules as the corporate leader. This person also has an irrefutable legacy of delivery. They conclude that the existing suppliers are making outrageous profit margins, and it’s only a matter of time until someone takes advantage of this. It may as well be them.

 

They utilize their experience to set up a smaller, nimbler team with a sustainable lower cost base. The service is equally excellent, but more focused on a deliberate market segment to gain case studies. These deals are leveraged to move into the wider arena, as strategic partnership channels are formed and utilized to strengthen the offering. This maverick continues to leverage his contacts and senior level experience to build relationships with the bigger companies, subsequently, cutting everyone a compelling deal.

 

The price point is 50% less than the highest competitor, and the market dives into turmoil. Existing players align to discredit the new entrant, but it’s too late. They have gained the trust of credible clients and can prove it. Company A watches their customers change allegiance, because they can’t justify paying double for the same service.

 

Company B and their leader used a disruptive pricing tactic to smash their way into the market and rebuild it in their favor. They have taken a short-term view and ruined it for everyone. So, why would they do it? There are many reasons to exploit this tactic.

 

Most commonly, I see disruptive tactics when a large company wants to diversify or balance their product portfolio. They might choose to use this method to enter new geographical locations, demonstrate to investors their ability to invest in high growth areas, or maximize their multiple prior to sale.

 

Which approach is better?

 

Neither is more effective than the other. Each is equally legitimate and capable of defeating the other. Both were built on sound business practices, and the predictability of process is a weakness that can be exploited the same way as a strategy that relies on high-risk antics. There must be balance and, as the barriers to technological innovation disappear, the modern day VP Sales faces a greater set of challenges. They must be more adaptable and better prepared for every eventuality, as part of their immediate and ongoing strategy.

 

What could company A have done to negate this risk?

 

Pressure on price is an inevitable consequence of competition entering the market. Company B accelerated this process and caught their adversary off guard, with the speed in which they did so. The short-term strategy of Company A should have neutralised this disruption from the outset by focusing on their most powerful attribute – selling their new offering as part of their entire product suite.

 

All of this is high level, and pricing policy is just one example of a potentially disruptive tactic. It has allowed me to demonstrate the point I want to make: Is there a gap in your strategy that a disruptive tactic could expose? Is there a disruptive tactic you are missing to gain market share?

 

Please comment, share, connect…

 

Happy Selling!

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Bartlett has enjoyed a highly successful sales career working for a variety of tier 1 institutions. He has held roles in large US, UK and European-based corporations, and sold extensively across most countries in these regions, as well as in Asia. With extensive experience selling to the financial sector and C-Level executives, He has built multi-national sales teams, been co-founder and CEO of a tech start-up and has recently authored his first publication “The No.1 Best Seller”. He shares his personal sales methodology and experiences in his book and blog, both of which discuss the mindset, strategies and processes of top salespeople. They can be found at LeeBartlettBestSeller.com

The State of Today’s Media Landscape – C-Suite TV Discusses

The State of Today’s Media Landscape, the 2016 Election and The Effects of Brexit; C-Suite TV’s Executive Perspectives October programming talks about the changes in today’s media landscape and Ireland as one of the most business friendly economies.

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Oct 25, 2016) – Executive Perspectives, one of the top online business shows on C-Suite TV, has announced its October programming. Executive Perspectives will feature one-on-one interviews with Nancy Gibbs, Editor-in-Chief, TIME and Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland in New York.

Nancy Gibbs, Editor-in-Chief of TIME, talked about a number of issues surrounding the media today — among them, the importance of constantly having to evolve, producing premium content, the state of the 2016 election cycle, and the public distrust of institutions, including the media.

TIME was founded in 1923 by Henry Luce, a visionary and media and digital disruptor on his own right. Since then, the magazine has gone through several transformations, including going from an American institution to a global one and from print to digital. Their steady approach to creativity and storytelling have been stalwarts in the publishing industry and this is reflected in how they reach their audience, the quality of the content they provide and their investment in the next generation of journalists. Gibbs says this is an “expensive investment, but we believe in it.”

She also addressed the current public distrust of the media that has risen during this highly charged political climate. Gibbs believes many journalists enter the profession with a certain level of idealism, one that makes them shine a light into dark corners and expose corruption and injustice, but the level of distrust remains. She believes part of that distrust in institutions like the media, churches, and financial entities are a direct result of people becoming disappointed when democracy doesn’t work for them or fails to make their lives better.

Regardless of all the changes taking place, TIME plans to continue evolving and investing in the next generation of journalists in order to remain on the cutting edge.

Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland in New York, talked about the relationship between the United States and Ireland, the impact of Brexit on the Irish people and what the recent ruling against Apple in regards to taxation means for future business investments.

According to Forbes, Ireland is one of the most business friendly environments in Europe. That, along with access to the European market, a corporate tax rate of 12.5% that they control and a strong ROI, makes Ireland a prime target for those looking to conduct business overseas. Jones describes the U.S./Ireland transatlantic and economic relationship as “the most integrated and globalized relationship” both countries currently have, being matched job for job, pound for pound, and dollar for dollar.

Jones also talked about the impact Brexit might have on the only remaining English-speaking country in Europe. She expressed great confidence in the financial services industry being fully prepared to handle any surge in business, despite competition from Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Paris. On the negative side, a Brexit could increase the risk for tariffs and borders, since Northern Island is part of the United Kingdom.

She also addressed the recent ruling that ordered Apple to pay billions in taxes, calling the European Union Commission’s decision “inherently flawed.” She quickly pointed out that Ireland develops their own tax code and Parliament voted on it, and that perhaps a different forum, such as the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), might be better equipped to handle any future taxation issues.

All episodes of Executive Perspectives are hosted by Jeffrey Hayzlett and can be seen throughout the month on C-Suite TV.

Best-selling author, speaker, and former Fortune 100 CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett created C-Suite TV to give top-tier business executives a forum for sharing thought-provoking insights, in-depth business analysis, and their compelling personal narratives.

“I was able to interview these two women who offered great insight on a number of very topical issues, such as the state of the media, the high level of public distrust of institutions and the impact of Brexit on the global economy,” Hayzlett said. “Nancy Gibbs and Barbara Jones offer a unique understanding on issues that directly, and indirectly, affect a large portion of industries. I think our audience will benefit greatly from this month’s programming.”

For more information on TV episodes, visit www.csuitetv.com.

 


About C-Suite TV:
C-Suite TV is a web-based digital on-demand business channel featuring interviews and shows with business executives, thought leaders, authors and celebrities providing news and information for business leaders. C-Suite TV is your go-to resource to find out the inside track on trends and discussions taking place in businesses today. This online channel is home to such shows as C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Executive Perspectives and Best Seller TV, and more. C-Suite TV is part of C-Suite Network, the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with C-Suite TV on Twitter and Facebook.

About Jeffrey Hayzlett:
Jeffrey Hayzlett is the primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV and is the host of the award-winning All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on the CBS on-demand podcast network, Play.It. Hayzlett is a global business celebrity, Hall of Fame speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with Hayzlett on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or www.hayzlett.com

Building a Great Email List – Tips from Top Marketers

Email is the dominant marketing channel for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers. But successful marketing via email depends on having an email list full of good-quality addresses. This new guide by Adestra will review winning strategies used by both business-to-business and business-to-consumer colleagues. Having both perspectives in a single document is important, because we believe strongly that each side of the aisle can learn from the other.

B2C marketing historically has been more about quantity – getting more names on the list and sending messages to the widest range of people.

B2B is more about qualifying leads. We want to wash out those who aren’t really interested in our products and services, and focus on the ones who do.

B2B marketers often struggle with something B2C marketers have mastered: adding a human voice to their emails and understand what makes email appealing and valued in the inbox. Conversely, B2C marketers can learn from their B2B colleagues about better marketing through lead generation and qualification and using automation to keep customers moving along on their brand journeys.

There’s plenty for both B2B and B2C marketers in our findings. So, let’s get to them!

To download full whitepaper on this, please fill out the following information:

Marketing Espionage: Spy to Dominate Online

By Heather Lutze, CSP,  Master Trainer, Findability University, CEO, Findability Consulting & Speaking

 

Shoe phones, cones of silence, British sports cars, and intelligence gathering is not just for James Bond and Mr. Gadget. Let’s put on our trench coats, grab our briefcases and start to SPY. This mission is yours if you choose to accept it.

 

As speakers, we are pulled in a thousand different directions to market ourselves and build a brand. However, when meeting planners and potential clients search for us, they may not necessarily know us by name. Instead, they seek a desired outcome for their event. With a sea of speakers and so many variables, meeting planners turn to Google for answers. Our greatest marketing challenge is to know intimately what the client needs, what keyword phrases are important to THEM and also how we see ourselves.

 

What is Findability?

 

After working with many speakers for years, I can tell you that “speaker” keywords like “keynote speaker”, “business speaker” and other variations are just the tip of iceberg for the clients use for their searches. We often create websites, blogs and social content based on how we see ourselves and not what problem the client needs resolved. They are turning to a robot for solutions. We need to appeal to the robot AND the human to be truly findable. I call this “Findability” or industry experts call it SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

 

I want to challenge you to think differently. Let us take a proactive approach to marketing and see if we can figure out what is inside the mind of your IDEAL online searcher. We often guess at what might work for online exposure and guessing is expensive! The ONLY way to STOP guessing and to know for sure what your customers are doing is to SPY on them. Don’t worry, all the tools and tricks I will show you are ethical, legal and everyday practice for Internet Marketers. These tools have been my secret Spying Tool Kit to outsmart the competition online and win new business. I am thrilled to share with you the best Findability tools anyone can use…no geek knowledge required.

 

 

OK, let’s get to work. Fill out this form below so you can implement the recommendations as you read this article.

 

 

SPY ON YOURSELF: GRADING TOOLS

Spy On Your Own Website to Establish a Baseline.

 

Your Website: ____________________________

 

MARKETINGGRADER.COM: This tool will give you a WIDE perspective of your current website and a quick assessment of the key attributes search engines expect of an authority web presence. Remember that search engines covet their search results. They only want to put the best of the best under keyword searches based on blogging, social engagement, lead generation and other key factors. NOW RUN YOUR SCORE. Once you write your score down, scroll down the page for detailed recommendations on how to improve your score.

 

 

YOUR SCORE: ___________________

 

WOORANK.COM: This is my biggest secret weapon. This site is a real “nerd” moment as it provides a free 15-page SEO report on all the improvements you can make on your site for better Findability. Run this report, save it as a PDF and give it to the webmaster in your life. Walk through the report and see how much of the “red” you can eliminate from the report. If you manage your site yourself, review the document and make the suggested changes.

 

 

YOUR SCORE: ___________________

 

 

EXTRA CREDIT: Check out WORDLE.NET OR TAGUL.COM. This word cloud tool is nothing special – there are a million of them online. However, if you use it correctly, you can tell how search engines interpret your site and what keyword phrase is most relevant. Copy and paste ALL your homepage content into wordle.net and run the tool.

 

 

The BIGGEST word on the word cloud is the MOST REPEATED keyword on the page. Search engines want to rank the pages that are most relevant by keyword phrase. Circle the biggest keyword on the page, the second biggest and so forth. Now you can see how search engines interpret what your homepage is about. If the biggest word on the page is your name, you may want to consider other phrases (besides your name) for which your homepage should rank. Or you can do this on a competitor’s site too.

 

 

SPY ON YOUR COMPETITORS: WHAT ARE THEY UP TO?

 

 

COMPETITOR #1: WWW.____________________________.COM

COMPETITOR #2: WWW.____________________________.COM

 

 

SEMRush.com: This is a great tool to see exactly what keywords you currently rank under in search engines, as well as your how your competitors rank. Go ahead and run a report for your website. You will get a treasure trove of data on yourself including keyword positions on a search result page, searches per month and any trending for that phrase. Warning: This tool will let you run a single report before asking for your credit card. You can get around this by using different browsers to run more than one report. You are going to love this tool since it offers tons of great insights in a format that’s easy to understand.

 

 

ISpionage.com: This tool is free and you can run as many reports as you like. I have used it for years to perform competitive analyses. Type a competitor domain name into the tool to discover what keywords they rank for and exactly what they are doing to achieve this rank. This is like reverse engineering what your competition is doing and you can glean a strategy that is either aligned with them or different. Remember, just because you think they are competitors offline, does not mean they are a competitor online under a particular keyword phrase. We want to become findable to meeting planners that DO NOT know us but should.  EXTRA CREDIT: Check out KeywordSpy.com. which is another great intelligence tool.

 

 

SPY ON YOUR CUSTOMERS: TAP THE PSYCHE OF THE SEARCHER

 

 

ADWORDS KEYWORD PLANNER: Some of you may know this tool if you run a paid search campaign (PPC). If not, this is the best tool by far to get keyword ideas. Visit Adwords.Google.com, setup an account, and use the keyword planner. Even though you have to enter a credit card number, there is no fee for opening the account and you do NOT have to start a campaign. Just use and abuse the keyword planner to discover your ideal keywords.

 

 

Remember, you want keyword phrases that are 2 – 3 keywords long such as. “Social Media Expert”, “Business Keynote Speaker” or “Leadership Team Training”, etc. Try to be as specific as possible. Create a list of all the keyword phrases you would like to rank for in search engines. Consider creating content based on these keywords for blogs, social media, or web pages. This tool gives you monthly search volume for each keyword phrase. Pick keywords that have over 250 searches per month to gage if writing content based on the phrase is worth your time.

 

 

SPYFU.COM: This is a great intelligence gathering device. They have a number of valuable tools such as the Kombat tool to “fight” with your competitor (your domain verses their domain), and it breaks down the websites piece by piece. They also have a keyword tool called SmartSearch. Here you will get search engine data from Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines. Play around and run some reports to get helpful keyword ideas, as well as understand why that pesky competitor ranks for a particular keyword phrase and you do not. They have so many great offerings, it’s worth setting up a free 30-day trial.

 

 

Have fun playing with these tools. Rip this page out and keep it handy for the next time you see a competitor ranking under a sought-after keyword phrase. Use this Spying Tool Kit to dive into what they are doing, discover what keywords they are using and how you can compete with them in search results. This message will self destruct in 10 seconds.

 

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Lutze, CSP is the widely acclaimed speaker, trainer, and consultant who literally wrote the book on search engine marketing. Two books, in fact—The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing and the brand new Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing. Her writing and in-demand keynotes and Findability University workshops are delivered with the same witty, “no-geek-speak” style that has managed to demystify internet marketing for countless business owners. Her new book Marketing Espionage: How to Ethically Spy on your Competitors and Customers to Dominate Online is due out Fall of 2014. You can visit heather at findability.com.

Restoration and Growth Through Branded Community

by Shawn M. Miller

 

What if you could ignite a reboot and repair in your culture? Today, consumer culture is overwhelmed and divided by a distrust in companies. This results in companies believing they need to coerce and convince customers, making marketing expensive and ineffective. Let’s discuss the restoration and growth of brands through the branded community.

 

The cycle continues within each business.

• Employees don’t trust employers.
• Employers believe they have to control and cajole employees. And so, talent is hard to find and good employees are hard to retain.
• Supply chains are hammered with heavy handed tactics and laden with controls to combat lack of trust.
• Stakeholders struggle to get paid and manage combative companies.
Result = rising costs, stress, and negative company cultures

 

The overall result is a pervasive business climate of Us vs. Them. “Combat” with customers, employees, vendors, and stakeholders. This is unhealthy, unpleasant and unsustainable for the business and everyone dependent on the business. We all feel this, we all see it, and we’re all upset about it. But what can we do? While ethics and corporate governance are valuable there is another way to change this combative mindset through a tactical shift away from Us vs. Them, to a We Culture of community organized around a shared passion for your market.

 

For quickest impact, I’ll begin with marketing and your relationship to your greatest asset, your customers. By community, I don’t mean everyone following you on social media. My definition of a community is when the participants are empowered with ownership and engaged in real action for mutual benefit. There can be no command and control from a central source at your company. The community is also not strictly limited to the specific scope of your company but is passionate about the context in which you operate. Attempts to control will cause failure or limited success.

 

Don’t think On/Off Switch, think Volume Knob

Your job is to turn up to 11 the natural passion of your customers, employees, and stakeholders. You will need to champion this culture shift internally. This is not light-weight work, but it’s possible, and you can do it! In order to build this community you’ll need a brand advocacy strategy. Here are some benefits of building a strong advocate community.

 

The New Face of Your Brand

Your brand community will be organized around shared passion and you’ll ensure a positive culture for restoration through content co-creation vs. combat. What will your community co-create? Whatever they want!

 

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you lose control; you never had control. That was an illusion. Your marketing department has been trying to understand and communicate ‘what they want’ all along. The difference is now you’ll simply allow customers to reveal it!

 

This is where the business magic happens and where you’ll get the resources you’ll need.

 

This will create the finest pull marketing program you could dream of, as your engaged community will invite participation in a more influential way than you ever could. The result will be customers, employees, and stakeholders driving an authentic brand advocacy movement which fuels sustainable growth at almost no cost: A self-feeding and highly efficient community driven by a wave of authentic engagement and attraction. This influence grows exponentially and will quickly out pace even the finest 1-to-many campaigns.

 

The result to your business will be an ignition of passion, a release of pent up energy, about the market in which you serve and the purpose for which you exist. This cultural shift will trigger a reboot and repair to the combative mentality with consumers, employee relations and talent attraction, and supply chain struggles.

 

This is an opportunity for your company to be a cornerstone of change in the greater community in which you live, work, and play. Take it!

 

If you’d like to learn more about building an advocate community and transforming your business pick up my book “The New Face of Your Brand” available on Amazon.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn M. Miller is an Entrepreneur, Investor and Advisor with over 20 years of international business experience specializing in marketing, customer service and training. As Chief Experience Officer at Smync; Shawn is leading development of User Experience on both the brand and the customer side of Smync hosted Social Brand Advocate Communities. Connect with Shawn on LinkedIn, on Twitter @ShawnMMiller, or on Snapchat (theshawnmmiller).