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Strategy

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Target Markets
Customer Segmentation
Customer Needs
Value Propositions

Enablement

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Goals
Process
People
Technology

Execution

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Create
Produce
Distribute
Measure

What drives your commercial organisation?

Which are your most important markets in what order of priority and why? Who are your competition and what is the basis of your advantage over them for each customer segment, in each market?

Dedicating time and resource to the combination of analysis and creativity needed to answer these questions can be a challenge when you’re absorbed in the running of a business. Its importance is almost universally recognised however, and companies without a robust strategy are heavily exposed to hostile changes in the marketplace.

We offer support to our clients drafting well-defined marketing strategies which properly identify their target markets, quantify the needs of their target customers in those markets and determine the value proposition required to meet those needs. We undertake this whilst giving due consideration to the organisation’s capabilities and the business environment it operates within.

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Every strategy is different.

COL never develop strategy in isolation or ‘by numbers’ – it will always very much be your strategy. We are happy to support you throughout development or for a specific part of the strategy only.

Either way, you can rest assured of the analytical capability COL brings to the process, along with creativity which comes from being a diverse but commercially focused team. Our experience linking strategy to action further adds value by virtue of the pragmatic consideration we give to implementation.

We support our clients developing the foundation for their success – empowering them to set their vision in motion and realise their potential.

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Enablement seeks to address how sales & marketing operational infrastructure can best support the execution of your strategy.

COL focuses on outcomes, not PowerPoint presentations and, one of the best ways we can help you succeed is to ensure that your sales and marketing infrastructure is optimised to support the realisation your strategies, plans and ideas.

This involves defining, building, optimising, and ensuring organisational adoption of processes and technology which empower the organisation to efficiently create, produce, distribute and measure customer communications and interactions.

Advances in data and the sophistication of marketing have led to increasingly tightly-defined customer groups and a proliferation of products. This has, in turn, led to marketing functions having to manage more audiences, more products and more messages than ever before.

The situation has been further exacerbated in recent years as technology has reduced barriers to entry and increased market transparency in nearly all sectors. A further proliferation of competitors, along with the expectation of real-time responsiveness has resulted. When we add the fragmentation of media to the mix, it is clear that there are simply more competitors, more products, more brands, and more audiences to manage than ever before…and the rate of growth in all of these areas is only increasing.

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Exasperated.

Clients often come to us uncertain as to why they are experiencing problems but, at the heart of it, is their organisations are having to manage more variables than ever before – all whilst facing increased pressure from more market transparency and competition. The conventional ways of managing sales and marketing, which have developed peicemeal in many organisations, are simply not set-up to help us deal with this pace of change, volume of data, and number of variables.

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Less control, more stress.

This is only made worse by the fact that most often, the root of these problems is misdiagnosed as technological deficiency, or lack of resource, or poor strategy, amongst many other things. The pace of change, growth in the number of variables and volume of information that needs to be managed is simply not widely recognised.

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What this means is that commercial functions often end up becoming too complex. It is this complexity which is the primary reason for inefficient sales & marketing and is the graveyard of ambition.

Our Enablement approach addresses this complexity head-on to get to the root of the problem and affect lasting improvements which increase efficiency, competitiveness, and morale.

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Goals/Requirements

We link strategy to operational efficiency.

In order to do this, we ensure there is mutual understanding and alignment concerning what the organisation is seeking to achieve with its sales and marketing.

Our appreciation of strategy enables us to interrogate the wider marketing and organisational goals, in order to ensure that any Enablement work results in benefits which contribute value, and that effort is not expended on activity which will not.

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Process

This is a fundamentally important workstream in any Enablement project.

It is this workstream where we seek to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the operation currently works, what changes are required to help it support execution of the strategy, and how we can consolidate and standardise processes to gain operational efficiency:

Audit current state
Conduct gap analysis
Redesign processes
Consolidate processes
Standardise processes

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People

You might already recognise the symptoms of gaps in your commercial function. It can often result in the phrase “I thought person X was doing that”

Equally, you may have experienced overlaps in your commercial function, which most often result in a proliferation of meetings, along with heavily compromised solutions.

Based upon your agreed strategy and the processes required to support it, we are able to assess the current placement of capabilities in your operation.

We will identify gaps and overlaps which may be considered for upskilling or organisational change.

The people workstream is key to executing the processes required to deliver strategy and achieve goals.

Quickly, accurately and delicately identifying the appropriate skills is not only essential to success but, fair to a workforce adopting change for the wider organisational good.

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Technology

The most common misdiagnosis of poorly managed complexity, is technological deficiency – 'if only we had system X, Y or Z all our problems would be solved'.

Unless the sales and marketing operation is tackled holistically, any improvement to technology is likely to deliver minimal value. Although technology breaks down barriers and introduces controls, people losing control in one area due to technology are likely to simply introduce additional controls elsewhere to regain their sense of stability.

When technology is implemented before tackling the process we want to facilitate and the people we want to make life easier for, the underlying causes of the problems it seeks to solve are not addressed. As a result, the solution either ends up defining process – which is usually not effective – or, the technology is blamed for being wrong, or not user-friendly when it is later rejected further down the line.

COL assess goals, process and people, then consider which technologies may be appropriate to help automate and increase efficiency. We are able to advise on the procurement of off-the-shelf solutions and customisations, as well as assisting with bespoke builds.

Maximise impact and deliver more efficiently.

COL's Enablement approach is about doing more with less. Enablement allows our clients to deliver ambitious results, that they know are possible, whilst increasing levels of transparency and accountability across their teams.

Better, faster, cheaper marketing means greater competitive advantage. We leave our clients able to support the sales force effectively and, ultimately, able to demonstrate the value they contribute to their businesses.

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The execution of strategy with purposeful action is the final piece of the puzzle to achieving sales and marketing excellence.

This is where many consultancies leave their clients to it – providing a report full of recommendations but, ultimately, no support to realising the benefits thereof.

COL understand that strategy is useless without action and action is equally useless without strategy. Therefore, we provide our clients with the option of utilising our team to help manage execution during the period of change.

Our team are experienced across change management and project management, as well as being senior sales and marketing professionals in their own right. They are here to support you every step of the way as you execute your plans and realise your vision.

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Perspective

When you’re within the problem itself, it can be very difficult to see it clearly, yet alone actively address it. Problems which span strategy, people, process, and technology, will often cut across many different teams and require time, dedication and perspective to deal with.

Where complexity has been allowed to take hold, it’s likely that decisions will have increasingly been made in pursuit of the short-term goals of individual teams. Distinct organisational working practices and cultures develop, meaning that the company begins to operate as a de facto association of small businesses, rather than pulling together as one unit.

In order to bring about change and improvement, the most effective approach is to introduce an agent-for-change; a semi-autonomous force that is able to assess the situation with perspective and grasp the breadth and depth of what is needed. This change-agent is then in a position to cut across silos and dislodge inertia far more easily than an employee of the organisation who, through no fault of their own, is subject to getting embroiled in internal politics, being unduly influenced by big personalities and, often, becoming absorbed into the very problem they set out to solve.

The best results are achieved when organisations adopt an integrated approach with the support of an agent-for-change; addressing sales, marketing, people, process, and technology as interconnected symbiotic parts of the same solution. This is why COL was founded - to provide unbiased integrated commercial support for senior leaders.

Testimonial

  • Action is the foundational key to all success.

    Author image
    • Pablo Picasso
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  • There can be no economy where there is no efficiency.

    Author image
    • Benjamin Disraeli
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  • To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.

    Author image
    • Albert Einstein.
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See all
  • Action is the foundational key to all success.

    Author image
    • Pablo Picasso
    • ,
  • There can be no economy where there is no efficiency.

    Author image
    • Benjamin Disraeli
    • ,
  • To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.

    Author image
    • Albert Einstein.
    • ,
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