Planning a pivot: a guided strategy

How can you position a complex product so that prospective customers can easily understand the impact on their business?

In the best of times, answering this question is a major challenge. Add in a pandemic, and overcoming a customer’s uncertainty about your product-offering and the timing of their purchase becomes a ‘mountain to climb.’

Plan Your Pivot is a guided workbook that takes you through five highly actionable exercises that will give your teams something to think about, work through together, and build solutions that you can start testing right away.

There are principles in here that could help any business, but companies that will benefit the most from it are companies who sell to other companies (B2B), and most specifically in the fields of:

  • Complex technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Engineering and other professional services

The five exercises are each accompanied by a set of guiding questions to give you somewhere to start, and to act as a facilitator as you move through the workbook.

Exercise 1: The Kick off

Like any project, the Kick Off is one of the most important moments. This is where you set expectations, present the current situation and the desired outcome, and motivate your team.

Exercise 2: Assess Current Opportunities

Companies in the B2B space or with longer sales cycles have some unique advantages during a time of crisis: long term relationships. Leverage these relationships to learn and to test your theories before you make major decisions.

Exercise 3: Rethink Your Product-Market Fit

Within your existing business model, you have a full and meaningful toolkit: domain expertise (what you make), relationships (who you make it for), industry expertise (the problem it solves). In this exercise, we want you to drop your assumptions, widen your perspective, and look at what you do through the lens of a new problem or a new set of constraints and see if you can come up with a new solution.

Exercise 4: Pivot Your Positioning

Positioning is a foundational piece for any marketing strategy. It influences everything that comes next in the sales and marketing process. It requires us to flip our thinking from the product to the impact. If you can really position your solutions well, you can remove so much of the friction within the sales process.

Exercise 5: Redesign Your Process

In the case of COVID-19, face to face interactions are no longer an option so lunch and learns, visits, in-person demos are out of the question. But in this particular case, people are also dealing with more personal time constraints and anxiety, so getting their attention is even more difficult. How do you remap your processes to create a new funnel?

The outcome of these exercises is a prioritized plan of how to position and sell your products or services to a market that you may have previously underserved or underestimated. We expect this exercise to be iterative and interactive. Be prepared to test ideas, talk to customers and partners, and to be open to the feedback you get. The idea is to rapidly prototype your marketing and business development processes.

Click here to download the workbook, provided by the team at On Purpose. They focus on providing brand strategy guidance to organizations looking to adapt to a changing world.

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