Corporate Maturity and Quality Pizza

For lunch yesterday, I had a slice of Domino’s pizza. I haven’t had Domino’s in a while so I was pleasantly surprised to be reminded of how much better their pizza is than it was a few years ago. That little reminder got me thinking about marketing routines. I know what you’re probably thinking; what does pizza have to do with marketing?

We’ll get back to that in a minute.

I know that your company spends a lot of time organizing information and creating sales content (sales guides, battle cards, silver bullet lists). Ultimately it’s just variations of the same information in different formats.

I know this because just about every company works this way. If you are in marketing, you probably create this type of content because when you started your job, someone else was creating it and told you “this is the template we use for sales material.” And before they were doing it, someone else had created it and showed them how to do it. It’s like a traditional art form that is handed down to every new generation of marketing person.

But it’s never quite “just right.” Every day someone is either putting together a new sales deck or a slideshow about some product or competitor, because the “template” material you created was made to apply to several sales deals, not just one. And truth be told, there’s really no way around having to custom tailor information before it can be used efficiently.

Once you’re done organizing and framing what you know, some poor salesman is going to have to shuffle through those battle cards or skip around a Powerpoint slideshow to re-customize it for his or her particular deal. All things told, there’s a lot of time and money wasted by everyone involved in this process that you’re only doing “because it’s way things have always been done.”

Unfortunately, being the best at building slide decks, silver bullets, and battle cards doesn’t mean you’re doing the best at helping your sales teams win more deals. What you might not realize is that all of this time spent creating and reading through marketing and sales materials is a huge, unnecessary waste of resources.

You see, there is a better way.

What if you had a system that could automatically create customized sales guidance for you? Instead of spending time creating yet another slide deck every time there’s a new potential customer, you could be utilizing a system to unify all of your resources and to free yourself from creating or modifying new sales decks, battle cards, and slide decks forever.

At Compelligence, we believe that a mature company doesn’t rely on manually reapplying information, but rather they enter information into a database once, and then automate the time and resource intensive processes. This allows for streamlined communication between content creators and the people actually using the content.

We understand why you might be resistant to this kind of significant change: “But Powerpoint slides are a big part of our sales process.” We’ve heard it all before. But the reality is that growth works through change.

For a company to mature, they must find better solutions to all their needs. This is an opportunity to build real efficiency and effective best practices into your company. Doing something “just because that’s the way it’s always been done” is the best way to get into a rut.

Now back to Domino’s Pizza.

You might remember that Domino’s Pizza used to offer a deal that if you didn’t receive your pizza within 30 minutes, your pizza would be free. For a long time, this was just “how it was done” at Domino’s, because it was a core piece of their brand image. As they continued to invest in that brand, though, they didn’t see a correlation in growing sales.

After their stock hit an all-time low in 2008, Domino’s finally came to terms with the reality that their continued focus on quick delivery had blinded them to the fact that their pizza was about as tasty as the box it came in.

They could very well have poured more advertising money into their existing advertising and brand image, but instead, they decided to try to do something new, different, and better. They even did something pretty radical: they admitted publicly that their pizza was no good and that they were going to fix it.

They abandoned the focus on hurrying pizzas out the door as fast as possible.

Their bold move paid off and Domino’s is still going strong. Within only two years after their stock prices hit that all-time low of $4.00, they had bounced back up to $32.50 per share.

So perhaps it’s time for you to take some bold new steps toward corporate maturity as well.

Maybe your focus on delivering all those silver bullet lists, sales guides, and slide decks is a lot like delivering bad pizza as efficiently as possible.

Maybe there’s a better way to deliver sales guidance and to win more deals.

Compelligence can show you how.


Like Selling Ice to an Eskimo: The Trouble With Information

You know the old saying about trying to sell ice to Eskimos. Common sense notwithstanding, it still happens all the time. What’s worse is that you’ve probably been on the receiving end of it.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that you need better information to make sure that sales happen as efficiently as possible in your company. But choosing the perfect schema for your company’s competitive intelligence needs can be daunting.

There are many services that compile, sort, or assess massive amounts of information from across the Internet. These service providers will tell you that you don’t know enough about the market or the competition, or that you cannot adequately use information without some kind of automated searching tool. They say you need more information in order to be more informed. They want to sell you ice.

We have a revolutionary idea here at Compelligence: you don’t need more information; you just need better access to the information you already have.

The fact of the matter is that no amount of automated Googling and searching is going to provide the quality of information that is already possessed collectively by your employees: the salespeople who already know the customers and the market, the marketing professionals who write your silver bullets and tailor the same information to suit a hundred different positioning needs day in and day out, even those employees who used to work for your competitors.

You already have the information you need, you just need to take what you know and make it unified, accessible, and actionable.

This means your focus should not be on trying to collect more information, but rather, on finding a strong method for compiling resources, streamlining communication, and sharing information. When every member of your team has quick and easy access to all of the information they need, their collective knowledge synthesizes itself into well-founded, industry-aware positioning and strong, unified sales messages.

We call this specific and organized kind of information “guidance.” Guidance is useful, processed, evaluated knowledge rather than un-assessed, un-edited, un-directed information.

For example, imagine that you are trying to drive to a new restaurant in an unfamiliar part of town. You can use a map to get you there, but it will take attention, careful assessment, and continued effort on your part throughout the drive. Alternatively, instead of just bringing a map (the information) along with you, you could get proper directions (guidance) before you leave the house and then simply follow the steps, only ever having to make the most immediately relevant decisions at any given time. Guidance tells you exactly what you need to do, whereas information needs interpreting.

Others may tell you that they will help you to know your industry better. Approach this type of pitch with suspicion: the fact of the matter is that you already know your industry better than any competitive intelligence company can—but you likely just can’t access all of your own information. Compelligence is unique in that we won’t try to sell you more information to get bogged down in; we will give you the tools, methodologies, and best practices to turn the knowledge you already have into the kind of guidance that speeds sales and builds corporate maturity.

We’re not going to sell you ice. We’ll teach you to build an igloo instead.

Compelligence allows every member of your team to access exactly what they need and to provide feedback directly to the content creators. This means that instead of wasting time tailoring information by hand time and time again, your marketing team can see at once what your whole sales team needs to know and they can make all of the relevant information available once and let our program pare down and direct what each individual salesperson sees on their screen while they’re on call with potential customers.

One person does the work once and everyone reaps the benefits.

We even train you to make sure not only that your team understands how to utilize our tools, but also to teach new methods of comparison, communication, and identifying industries to optimize the way your company approaches intelligence building.

We’re not providing competitive data, we’re providing a framework for competitive guidance. You can save the ice for the party; there’ll be plenty of sales to celebrate.