Successful Sales Strategy

 Strategy has often been confused with theory or as an intellectual excercise or even worse, something that has a tenuous link at best to going out into the marketplace and serving customers.  After all, who could go to the boss and say that the strategy appeared not to be working.  Certainly not GM workers.
 
We use a Neuropersona approach blended with Scenario analysis to measure and support Strategic success and bring traditional strategic theory to earth SpeedSynch to align Products, Customers, Content and Partner Communities.
 
 
Strategic Alignment
 
Identify strategic objectives and metrics.
Map value created and identify the customers that benefit.
Employ Neuropersona best practices analysis to align value proposition, media focus and customers..
  
Neuropersona Strategy Value FLOWS

Neuropersona Strategy Value FLOWSValue Time Perspective The value time perspective below helps map enterprise objectives in the top or Scenario layer to the customers we serve in the bottom or Neuropersona layer. Value Flow Perspective The value flow perspective below identifies where value is created in the value chain so that we can understand the business levers to measure and where value can be quickly adjusted. Neuropersona Media Value Alignment Best Practices

See Uniqlo Analysis to see the application of the Value Time and Value Flow perspectives.
 
Cheers,
Nick Trendov
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Press Releases and Future Success

Consultants often tell their clients to create press releases to represent their ‘desired future’ and then work backwards to the processes and events that must occur to achieve their  objectives.  This approach has two critical problems.

  1. Focusing on one ‘desired future’ can poison our behaviour today by limiting our perspectives rather than preparing us for multiple considerations of what may happen.
  2. Just like forecasting this simple approach fails more often than not as most companies don’t know their current state and their internal focus restricts their field of vision as to what may occur and hamper the analysis and actions needed to achieve their desired future state.

The Press Release technique is interesting but must build on accurate current state information and high quality future scenario analysis to frame press release content links to company stories, processes, software, brands and KPIs ( see the STORY LENS ) in a meaningful way.

Cheers,

Nick www.scenario2.com

FAST SCENARIO

A scenario is a bucket of stories that drives processes, stimulates creation of software, adds to brand value and spawns measures to help us adapt to future changes in the world as we see it today.  Think of a scenario as a number of vignettes about the future and we use them to help guide what we do and when.

Ideally we use two or three different future scenarios to prepare ourselves for different possible futures, to minimize our risk of failure or minimize our risk of NOT SUCCEEDING or exploit future scenario opportunities.

Accountants use scenarios daily.  Forecasts are the intersection point of Accountants, numbers and stories, but sadly they forget the stories behind the numbers and manipulate numbers without considering that story relationships are far different than adding or subtracting, more or less flexible or just plan inexplicable.  Scenarios are not sensitivity analysis (sales up and expenses down) or workflows (if I do this then should I do that) or tools to create web sites (if a buyer goes there they press this button) but rather a bucket of stories, pure and simple. 

For a FAST SCENARIO create a folder, digital or physical, and cut and place stories into the folder.  When finished read the stories to see which internal process, software, brands or measures are affected by the stories.  This perspective is reflected in a simple but powerful tool, the STORY LENS.

Once we understand the stories in the folder or bucket and their relationships to each other we get a clearer understanding of the current state of the business.  We finish the scenario by simply fast forwarding the stories and processes from our new understanding of current state.  We are here now and we expect to be ‘there’ or where the scenario takes us in the time that is of interest to us.

A FAST SCENARIO tells us where we might go and allows us to understand how to prepare.  The hidden value of a FAST SCENARIO is understanding where we are today or our current business state. 

Most companies are very good at understanding where they want to go and forecasting.  Where they fail is understanding their current state as no matter how good their forecasting is, they will not reach their goal as they almost always start from a different place.

Cheers,

Nick www.scenario2.com

Persona or Avatar –either way the wrong choice is fatal!

Here are 2 seemingly innocent sentences that are fatal to marketers, analysts and developers alike:

“The digital persona is a model of the individual established through the collection, storage and analysis of data about that person.”  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/DV/DigPersona.html and “The later games assumed that you were the Avatar and “Avatar” was the player’s visual on-screen in-game persona.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_avatar

The first statement assumes that a persona is created by analysis of a collection of data while the second assumes that the person or player determines their own persona.  Depending on either would be fatal and here are two notions to consider if you believe either.  First, does understanding the past predict the future and second, does what someone tell you help you understand their future behaviour?

Let’s start by considering the notion that data analysis can approximate the desires and actions of a living human being become so popular to even spawn the word ‘numerati’ ?  Working backwards I would think actuaries believed that they could use mathematics to predict a pivotal future event–death for to enrich their employers, insurance companies.  Before actuaries others availed themselves of the understanding of patterns including accountants and long before that oracles and storytellers.  Indeed if you back far enough there was a time when numbers were stories and stories numbers in many cultures and one intriguing example is Channel Number Five Perfume.  Five is the number of the Yoruba goddess/deity Ochun who is the manifestation of love, sexuality and financial good fortune.

While it is fashionable to believe that understanding data leads to understanding the future this is not so.  Indeed this type of thinking often leads to fatal consequenses.  Two simple examples that illustrate the folly of depending on data analysis is the stock market and love.  The stock market cannot be predicted and love cannot be described in a database.  This covers the deficient definition of Persona above and as for the Wikipedia definition of Avatar, no matter what ‘skin’ the player wears we are unable to predict their actions.

What are we to do?  There is a simple concept of Persona Behaviour that you might consider in understanding who people may act in the future.  While we don’t know who those people are we can serve them by allowing them to choose products and services that help them facilitate future behaviours.

The choice is simple, either we believe we know better and tell people what is good for them or we serve them by understanding what behaviours may be important.

Essentially the simple way to view a Persona is a ‘mask’ which is defined by one or more behaviours.  Anyone can where one or more masks but we only have to serve the ‘mask’ or persona behaviour that serves us.  Simple tools, techniques and stories may be seen at www.scenario2.com

Hopefully this view won’t discourage marketers who are conditioned to believe in segmentation or actuaries who believe that numbers trump stories.  Indeed nothing could be further from the truth!

FUTURE POSTS–link numbers and stories for analysis, blending financial budgets and scenario analysis

Shape your Future!

The future is the intersection of people and stories and we can wait to see what the future brings or shape it ourselves!

 

 We create our future and how we influence our future by understanding stories interests me personally.  Scenario2 offers a commercial prospective on tools and techniques that link numbers and stories to inform and help us shape our future including a unique look at Personae Behaviour .

“I WANT IT!” are three simple words that drive markets and understanding them helps us understand “WHY WE BUY”.

When it comes to buying and selling, we follow the money and multiple buyer perspectives including computer buyers, music buyers, current or potential suppliers or potential investors.  Apple is a brilliant example of ‘follow the money’ for success. 

 A change in a story related to Apple and one or more of the “I WANT IT!” perspectives would impact the way the Story Lens is perceived. If a new laptop with enhanced capabilities be introduced with a press release or story then current or new Apple customers think about how it affects them. Does the new product make it easier? Could they buy more powerful software? Will I look silly because I bought the old model yesterday? Will the talk about the Apple brand differently or will they look at their old Apple product differently?

Point the Story Lens at Apple to see the impact of new stories.

If Apple buys new Enterprise software that costs millions of dollars there would be an impact across Apple’s Story Lens. New software causes internal processes to change and impacts customers directly as would happen if a new shopping basket was added on the Apple web site and possibly require customers to pause and learn another way to buy. The software purchase requires new ways to measure productivity to ensure its effective use and value to Apple, Apple customers shareholders and eventually the Apple Brand and stock values.

 If we need to work with stories at a deeper level consider how storytellers evolve from hearing a story, repeating a story, changing a story, crafting a story to living a story.

 Stories create value, good or bad, that can be attached to products, processes, people, places and time.

Stories are my currency.

Cheers,

Nick

Who creates your future?