Last week, in preparation for a commercial launch, I asked the CEO of one of my companies the following questions:
- Do you and your team feel you know the 3-5 things you do that no other company can do?
- Do you feel your customers, prospects and industry analysts understand what these unique capabilities are and value them as “must have”?
- Do you believe your Corporate Sales/Investor Presentations, Corporate Demo and Corp Website feature your unique capabilities?
- Do you believe each and every person inside your company knows your unique capabilities and value propositions and can recite them verbatim?
These questions sound fairly simplistic but in order to answer affirmatively requires a company to have put in place strong internal communication processes.
I have been fortunate to have been a member of at least 2 start ups that had dramatic success – Oracle and Siebel Systems.
One of the common threads between these two companies was their ability to generate a set of unique value propositions and to require everyone in the company understand them and be able to communicate them.
Both with Oracle and Siebel, every employee at the time was required to be able to restate: Who we are, what we do and why we are uniquely qualified to do it — identically.
Sales reps at Siebel couldn’t start selling until they were able to memorize and give a corporate presentation and corporate demonstration that passed muster by members of the Siebel Product management/marketing team.
The effect of this was to ensure that consistent and tried, tested and proven value propositions were being communicated through every external interaction.
So, my question to you is do you believe your company can answer affirmatively to the 4 questions I proposed above? If not, you might want to think about what this is doing to your brand and revenue execution.