I bet you are wondering why this article isn’t about working from home, managing people who work from home, new sales plans etc. Why would I write about making your product strategic? Well actually, it might mean the difference between selling and not selling right now.
I’m currently in self isolation with my partner and we have decided to go for a walk in the evening. We talk about the day and she was talking about a product they resell, it’s not selling right now, why? The feedback she’s getting is that “it’s not strategic”.
Having lived through a number of recessions and global changes, the first thing that people will want as we switch from “good times” to “bad times” is a business case. Realise you may already give elements of a business case or a return on investment model but as businesses start to burn through cash, purchase decisions will rely more and more on a “cast iron business case”.
The second thing you need to make sure you have is your product positioned as strategic. Why? Because when companies start making decisions on which products to keep and which to cut, if it’s not strategic then your product will get cut.
Some businesses only need a few cancellations and they will fold.
So how do you make your company strategic?
Traditionally Marketing got a journalist or a marketing agency to write a piece of thought leadership and job done. It does not work like that anymore. Nobody reads white papers, especially anything gated. We don’t have time and know it will be just an “advert” anyway.
What you need to do is get your team (Sales, Marketing, Technical, Human Resources etc) to have great LinkedIn profiles. This is NOT profiles written by an external company, this is authentic profiles written by the people themselves. This is not about corner cutting, your customers are not fools.
Get them to grow their networks. You need to move your territory online. A network of x colleagues and recruiters isn’t any good. You need to connect with prospects, customers and people who influence your accounts.
BTW if you don’t have a great profile then people will think you are a spammer when you try and connect and you are pretty much wasting your time.
The third point is you empower your team to write blogs. Just 300 – 500 words, and you suggest the subject or key words. What you will end up with is “a lot” of authentic, key word optimised blogs. This will give you SEO value, but it will also be seen by your (strong) network.
This will build your authority across social and the internet. When it comes from companies to vote which products to keep and which products to dump, people will believe in your product and vote for it.
(Don’t forget you will be the guys with the great authentic profiles, you will be connected to the people who will be doing the voting. They will have seen your authentic, educational, insightful content. Hopefully they will know you and love you. So will vote to keep you.)
You don’t need everybody to buy into this, but enough. Give them permission and start now.