“We missed our sales plan. It’s our product/marketing/sales/<insert some function here> problem.”
Updated: Mar 3
More likely, you’ve not built enough equity with your target and the customer outcomes for which you wish to compete.
Start by understanding the outcomes that bring someone into a buying situation. Its typically a when statement. Understand what types of solutions they consider and find a unique position your offering can authentically deliver.
Build cues into your offering and go-to-market. Cues that will connect naturally to that outcome and your position. If you consistently deliver these cues over time—whether through your offering or marketing—they will begin to build equity with your target. These cues then become shorthand that help your target quickly orient and go to you when they enter into a buying mode.
Your offering—whether product or service—is simply a solution to the occasion. Products can come and go, be reformulated, or be pre-empted. Building equity in the occasion gives you permission to adjust, reformulate, and even pre-empt yourself as the market thinks of you as being for that outcome, rather than just that product or service. Much harder for your competition to displace.
This requires some adjustments. Gaining clarity and alignment about which occasions against which to compete. Going through the process as noted above. Reworking some processes and reporting.
The benefit? A more sustainable sales line over time. And an organization that is better able to articulate its benefit against how your market really is thinking.