What do you do when sales are flat and you’re no longer seeing real growth in your business?

What do you do when sales are flat and you’re no longer seeing real growth in your business?

The causes behind stalled growth can be numerous, and there is no simple diagnosis for flat to declining sales. But in our two decades of experience, we have learned that one of the biggest threats to growth is commoditization.

Commoditization occurs when customers, your sales team, and perhaps even you, can no longer differentiate your product from that of your competition. The result is that businesses often begin selling on price rather than value. Because they don’t see the differentiating value of their product, they continually lower the price in an effort to stay competitive.

The important thing to note about commoditization is that it is not something inherent to the product. Rather, it is a mindset, adopted over time, often without realizing it until it’s too late.

The good news is that commoditization is also reversible if you know how to identify and address it. To break free of the commoditization stranglehold, you must shift your perspective. You must be willing to see your product, not as a commodity, but as a viable and valuable solution to your customers’ problems.

Sound easy?

The first step is to diagnose the problem. Take our Commoditization Diagnostic below. If you find yourself putting checkmarks next to multiple scenarios on the list, your company may be at risk of commoditization. Our hope is that this diagnostic tool can help you break free of a commoditization mindset and embrace an attitude that leads to transformational growth.

commodization

Copyright © Julie LaNasa 2015

Do you have a bold vision for your organization’s future?

Do you have a bold vision for your organization’s future?

Visionary leadership is the key to transforming your organization. To embrace it, you must be willing to take an honest, sometimes painful, look at where you are today, and be courageous enough to paint a bright, bold vision for your future.

The work of transformation begins with vision because when the road is difficult—when an organization experiences the growing pains of real change—a clear, powerful vision sustains the path.

When we work with clients, we like to use the image of a frame to communicate the importance of vision. Just as the greatest works of art are supported and enhanced by their frames, the frame for your business provides solidity and structure.

The left side of the frame demands the brutal honesty of assessment. Where is your business today? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Don’t sugarcoat anything.

The right side of the frame is where your inner visionary shines. Think about the future of your company—where do you want to be two years down the line? Be bold. Be daring. Allow yourself to say: “Our vision is to be world-class, undeniably best in leading _________________.”

Only by taking stock of where you are and where you want to end up can you begin to evaluate the necessary steps—the small or large changes in leadership, new sales and marketing processes, redesigning the organization, different ways of recording and evaluating data and monitoring customer interactions—to achieve that vision.

Look at our Journey Map below, and start slowly. Begin with the frame—the current state and future state of your business. Where are you today and where do you want to be? Then move into answering the questions in the center of the map which are designed to help you think through how you achieve your future state!

journey-map

Copyright © Julie LaNasa 2015

How do you know when you need a consultant?

How do you know when you need a consultant?

At Collaborative Consulting, we believe that true transformation is within everyone’s reach. But the journey is not for the faint of heart, and because the path can be arduous and difficult, an experienced guide can make all the difference.

So many pieces must come together in order for change to stick. It requires the right combination of tools, processes, people, mindset, capabilities, and strategies for measuring and evaluating success.

Below, we provide a snapshot of the different pieces of the transformation puzzle. Whether you seek professional guidance or decide to go it alone, use these resources to better understand your organization and carve a path for your future.

need-consultantCopyright © Julie LaNasa 2015
*References to chapters in Julie LaNasa’s book

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