The recession feels like the new norm to me. Sometimes we need to just ignore those big ugly macro statistics and get stuff done.

Assuming this difficult climate has allowed you to fine tune your Big Story, the compelling reason for you to exist (what else are recessions useful for?) then it’s time to execute!

Of course if translation from story to execution was easy, we would all do it. However the reason some succeed and some fail, is as much about execution as it is about great products.

The most important part of this execution – translating a great vision into sales and marketing narratives that resonate with customers.

Here are a few tricks I found useful in achieving this translation:

  • Focus on business results you can achieve for you customers, focus on the outcomes that your product/service delivers
  • Think about what you are achieving for your client’s client
  • Relate these business results to real high priority pain being experienced by your customers
  • When I say high priority pain, I mean pain that is causing a quantifiable financial cost to the customer
  • Especially in technology – a great quote to remember – it’s not what the software does it’s what the user does (quote Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody)
  • Build real worked examples for your sales team which allows them to explore with a customer their life with and without your product
  • In my world of helping clients maximize the business value of digital information and content, our teams are trained to ask diagnostic questions to find symptoms of pain –
    • inability to find data for e-discovery
    • Low usage of corporate intranet
    • poor customer feedback from the web sites because of broken links
    • serious delays in migration projects
  • The question is, what are your symptoms in your customers related to your business results
  • Really focus your sales conversations on the specific manager you are talking to. Talk about issues he is personally responsible for. See a fit? Push on with a relevant conversation that builds her career. If no fit, get out of there.

In summary, the Compelling Story  is your big narrative that defines your unique market. Translate that into key parochial business results for each of your customers one at a time or if not – you will fail to execute.
And that would be a sad ending to a beautiful vision.