Do YOU Have Vision?
This is a question we ask ourselves every Monday morning as we are reviewing our sales pipeline. We bring up the list of deals that are in play, and we challenge each other. We pick at each account, each decision maker, each culture, each opportunity. We do this because we fanatically protect our value statements.
"We help companies and their people grow" and "We help our customers grow at 4x their market average" are statements we make without hesitation. But in order to say these things with conviction, we have to be brutally honest with ourselves about whether or not we think a potential customer is a good fit for our solutions. We want to win ... but more importantly, we want our customers to win.
So how can we ensure that our customers win?
We steer clear of customers who lack vision. We don't deal with customers who lack discipline. As a result, we pull deals out of the pipeline and "disqualify" companies that are not a fit, because we know that without vision and discipline, our customers will fail — even if they buy our services.
If you are the Owner, President or CEO of a printing or staffing company, congratulations! This can be one of the most rewarding roles in the market today. The printing and staffing industries are remarkably similar from a structural standpoint:
- Both the staffing industry and the printing industry markets are filled with growth opportunities and weak competitors.
- Both are highly fragmented
- Both business models are largely transactional.
- Both have a small number of $ billion+ companies, a couple of dozen mid-market companies ($50 million - $250 million in revenue) and thousands upon thousands of SMB competitors.
- In both industries, those companies with vision and discipline can grow rapidly by taking market share.
How do we know this?
We know this because our customers grow at 4x the industry average. Going back to our tagline: "We help companies and their people grow." Our customers grow because they focus on the five things that matter from a progressive improvement standpoint:
- Customer Loyalty
- Product Launch Readiness
- Sales Effectiveness
- Strategic Selling
- Key Account Management
Drummond Press is a great example. After they understood how to effectively identify and measure customer loyalty, they made it a part of their vision and are now experiencing unprecedented growth. Another Butler Street client, SupplyLogic, changed their service model to improve their customer experience and as a result, they are growing much faster than the market. Logo Chair is growing faster than ever because after participating in our Sales Effectiveness Training, they began to prioritize discipline within their organization.
So here's the test. See if you can answer these questions. If you can, then you have vision and you can grow. If you cannot, just understand that while there is plenty of money to be made in living with the status quo, there is also great risk.
Seven questions to help guide your company’s vision:
- Do you want to grow?
- Do you want to transform your business and enter new markets?
- Are you curious about what makes customers loyal (versus simply satisfied)?
- Can you describe what your business will look like five years from now?
- Which of your competitors are the most vexing? Why?
- How will your people skills be different in the future?
- What emerging market opportunities do you see that can create more value for your customers (and your company)?
Here’s the deal: If you are curious, if you are a learner, if you can envision a future for your business that is different from today, then you already know that you have opportunities all around you. Click CONTACT if you think we may be of help to you. If you are none of these things — if you are satisfied with the status quo, then good luck with that. The sharks are circling you and your company may well not exist five years from now. What questions do you ask yourself, your teams and your customers on Monday mornings to see if they are a good “fit” for your business model?
The question we ask will continue to be: Do they have vision?
Jeff Allen serves as the chief marketing officer for Butler Street. Prior to joining Butler Street, Allen served seven years as VP, marketing and product management for Standard Register from 2009 to 2016, where he led the effort to transform the portfolio and go to market processes for both commercial and healthcare business units. Under his leadership, the company launched new solutions and marketing programs delivering over $100 Million in new revenue over the course of his tenure with the company.
As a recognized B2B marketing expert, Allen has presented on topics such as product management, content marketing and demand generation at conferences, including Content Marketing World, ITEX, On Demand, and Graph Expo.