It is jokingly called “Einstein’s Theory of Futility”—doing the same thing and expecting a different result. What Albert Einstein actually said was we cannot solve our current problems with the same patterns of thinking that created them. The same applies to Creating Demand to drive new revenue from existing accounts.
To challenge our thinking I recommend a 5-step approach based on the work of Professor Roger Martin, a recognized leader in Strategy development, described in his book “Playing to Win.” These 5 steps are often referred to as the ‘Cascade of Choices’ because the strategy you develop is based on the choices you make and each series of choices cascades as a consequence of the previous step.
Importantly, the process is iterative. You will revisit your thinking from an earlier step because of insights gained at a later stage in the process. As a result, your strategy is progressively tested, improved, and sharpened until you have a clearly defined plan with a laser focus on how to win.
Step 1 - Define Your Aspirations
What exactly do you want to achieve and what is the time frame to work to? It is important to think beyond annual revenue and margin targets. Consider how you want to be regarded by the client, your reputation, how they engage with you, and how they see you as a contributor to their business. Use the Revenue Storm Go-to-Market Strategy (GTMS) model to set your course here.
Step 2 - Where Will You Play?
Step into the client’s world—review their current state, business aspirations, time frames, and business initiatives. Based on your chosen GTMS in step one, where do you logically fit in that process? Run a reality check on the size of the prize. What is the scale of the investment they are making (or will need to make) to achieve their objectives? How much of that investment can you expect to earn?
Do not limit your thinking here. There can be a tendency to consider only what you think you can earn now. If you were to re-shape your client’s view of your capability in other areas, what additional spend would that open for you?
Step 3 - How Will You Win?
Look again at your chosen GTMS and where you’ve decided to play in steps one and two. What exactly are you going to have to do as an organization to achieve these objectives? Consider each element of your competitive advantage here – products and services, pricing and valuation, reputation and brand, and finally your relationships and connections.
Where you need to re-shape your client’s thinking, use Revenue Storm’s Demand Creation process to develop your thought leadership and value messaging approach to gain access to new stakeholders and create new opportunities. Pay particular attention to your relationships and connections. Use our Relationship Barometer™ Tool to map and evaluate the critical relationships you will need to develop to execute your strategy. Use the Tactical Action Plan section of the tool to build a Relationship Development Plan to establish and cultivate those relationships.
Step 4 - What Capabilities Do We Need?
Based on the choices you have made in steps 1-3, what particular capabilities will you need to execute your strategy? Align the power and capabilities of your organization to win. Include your executive leadership, sales, marketing, product, legal, and pricing teams input here. Everyone who needs to be involved to make sure your chosen GTMS, relationship development and demand creation initiatives are understood, confirmed, and resourced.
Step 5 - What Management Systems Are Required?
Finally, consider what systems and support is needed to run this strategy? For example, how do you build our thought leadership initiatives? How often should the account team meet? How do you capture the information gathered on key stakeholders? How will you track and report on our relationship development progress?
You cannot solve your current challenges with the same patterns of thought that created them.
Use these 5 steps and the Revenue Storm tools and methodology at each stage to change the conversation, the audience, and the game to your advantage.