New businesses with technology products targeted to larger business and public sector prospects do well to support strategic and tactical sales and marketing efforts simultaneously. The inclination is to over emphasize one or the other set of activities. Some of this over emphasis is the result of the personality of a CEO, who may have a proclivity to focus intently on one or the other set of activities. Nevertheless, CEOs with prior business launch experience will have the foresight to be on the watch for excessive attention to either strategic or tactical sales and marketing efforts.
Of course, a big driver for excessive attention to tactical activities is revenue generation. A CEO will do better to spend lots of time up front planning on the right amount of capital to fund the business through early stages than to look to marketing and, where feasible, selling unfinished technical products that, once bought by promising prospects, may bring lots of woe to a promising startup through bad user experience.
Just recently I spent some time with a CEO of a business that has been around for over 10 years selling systems integration services to corporate and public sector users of business products sold by Microsoft. When I asked him about an original application that he and his team had finally brought to market, he noted that they had built the solution on top of a framework that, with after thought, they ought not to have used. The incomplete forethought evidenced by his decision is indicative of the kind of strategic mistake that some under funded businesses just can’t avoid making. With the application built and already presented to the market, there is little if anything this CEO can do to correct the problem. Better line up the funding in advance and hire a manager of systems development who can be held accountable to substantiate platform decisions from prospect communications, market research, etc than make a strategic mistake that will not be easily corrected post system build and product launch.
So, if the funds are in place (a best of possible worlds) then the time must be spent, consciously, attending to tactical and strategic activities for sales and marketing. Disregarding, for a moment, the substantial benefit to be realized from not making a mistake when choosing a platform for system development, just consider the greater benefits to be realized from managing tactical steps as strategy is executed; for example, tracking the activities of strategic partners and channel partners to ensure the success of the big picture marketing distribution strategy.
Much of the above has to do, specifically, with the direction offered by the CEO. I am interested in opportunities to assist CEOs as they grapple with the task of keeping the rudder in the middle of the stream. Please call me, Ira Michael Blonder, IMB Enterprises, Inc at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion about your product and your plan, not to mention how you plan on steering your boat.
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