Have you seen teams take the lead with little time left? They then switch to prevent play and try to milk the clock. But, the other team goes up-tempo, takes nothing-to-lose risks and wins. Why not play relentlessly to win and beyond by being a perpetual innovator?
The pace of digital-channel change is accelerating. Is your company changing in step with the expectations of the next-gen buyers at your best accounts? Or, are you too busy hustling at the status quo? “Playing not to lose” by:
- Sticking to the knitting and avoiding any mistakes
- Pushing substitutions to commodity brands that pay bigger rebates
- Trimming costs and depreciating assets
- All to make monthly numbers and pay steady, lifestyle-dividends to shareholders
What are “Playing-to-Win” Distributors Doing?
- Getting customer profitability analytics
- Ranking customers by net-profit.
- Identifying the ones that are also: most innovative; faster growing; and open to new buy-sell system solutions.
- Surveying these best customers to redefine and improve basic, service metrics. And, to provide digital, virtual and personal services as desired: 24/7/365 (on their phones!)
- Thinking big (let’s invent a win-win, sole supply relationship), but acting small. Doing experimental learning with one best, amenable customer at a time.
- Eventually creating new services that can be productized and scaled.
- Surveying key suppliers about their omnichannel, direct-to-end-user engagement strategies. Then, offering to collaborate (v protesting) with these new end-customer-centric necessities.
- And, feasting on competitors Playing Not to Lose!
Reweave – Channel, Business and Selling – Models
An analogy: assume your business model is like a cat that now needs to bark. Putting a dog’s larynx into the cat surgically is folly. The bigger vocal cords need: more wind; bigger lungs; a bigger rib cage; etc. You need a dog. Relevance? Tacking a better, web-selling site on to your old business model is not sufficient.
But, 99% of a cat’s chemistry could be reincorporated into building the dog. Why not reduce your business model down to elemental costs for every service activity to then re-build customer-centric replenishment solutions for key, willing customers? Forerunner distribution channels (drug, grocery, hospital supply) did this when their entire customer base flipped to wanting – customized, open-book, cost-plus, services à la carte for fees -solutions. Then, add digital and virtual tools as needed.
Seek to partner your best customers. Their subsequent growth will grow you too!