Think of gears as a metaphor for alignment…
Proper gear design is imperative in order to produce the desired result. The cogs (the teeth) must mesh and be precisely aligned in order to work in tandem. When alignment is attained, gears turn and transmit motion. The motion produced, performs a key function as intended by the gear’s design. Simply stated, gears are designed and aligned to produce results – and their performance matters.
Now think of alignment in terms of your service-based business…
In this case, alignment may refer to the fit between your business model and your business development strategy. Or maybe it’s the alignment between your sales process and your marketing efforts. Or even about the alignment between your differentiators and your client’s perception of value. Properly designed business development strategies that fit the way you do business, “align the sales and marketing gears” to produce the desired result – growth.
The fact is, services are the hardest thing to differentiate and sell.
Until the prospect knows you, the perception of your capabilities is highly subjective. Closing new business typically requires a relationship built on trust and that takes time. Further, your “product” is actually an intangible, fairly complex service offering and you operate distinctively from other businesses.
It happens all the time. One firm says we’re the best because we have the best people on board and their competitor says, me too. With whom should the client align to establish a long-term trusted relationship?
The simple litmus test is to ask yourself this question…
And be honest. Would you want to be in your prospect’s shoes when trying to decide “why you?”.
If you find you’re not all that great at answering your own, “why us?” question you’re not alone.
Even the most successful service providers have taken a time-out at one point in their growth cycle to seek help figuring out their, “why us?” response.
With whom do you align that understands the value of your knowledge capital and how to position you for growth? These are just a few of the results that can be produced when alignment is achieved within your sales and marketing practices:
• Shortened sales cycles
• Better utilization rates
• Simplification of the complex sale
• Significantly reduced cost of sales
• More valuable client engagements
• More diverse/balanced portfolio of clients
• Increased repeat business/client satisfaction
• Identification of more ups-selling opportunities
• More highly qualified leads and net new business