Assess

Are your customers’ expectations changing significantly?

Is your market rapidly shifting?blueline-action

Is your historically successful sales model no longer getting the results you need?

What Do You Do When Your Sales Model No Longer Works?

Your marketplace is changing in fundamental ways. Your customer’s business model has changed. The decision makers have changed. Not surprisingly, the sales model that you and your competitors have relied on for decades is no longer delivering the results you need. You aren’t sure that you even need a sales force anymore. But there are pockets of success in your organization.

Read about how one major pharmaceutical company reached out to Blueline Simulations to help revamp their sales model.

5 Steps to Beat Your Proven Method

At first blush, it make sense that major corporations would pay handsome fees to consulting firms whose unique value proposition stems from implementing “proven” systems and processes that have previously been tested in dozens of other clients. However, post implementation, it often becomes apparent that the organization’s response to the “proven” systems and processes is less than favorable.

For years, Blueline has been practicing a different approach, one that we refer to as “listening to the voice of the business.” Our belief, validated through dozens of client projects, is that the answers to solving your organization’s greatest challenges lay dormant in the minds of your people – and all you have to do is ask.

Mining insights from within your organization has some added benefits. For starters, the resulting systems and processes are uniquely yours. That means that you are extending competitive advantage, rather than moving to parity with your competitors who are all implementing “proven” solutions. And, by engaging your people in the process, you have empowered them and begun the all important process of securing their buy-in.

Although Blueline’s “Voice of the Business” process always follows these same five steps, it never fails to delight our clients.

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If you would like to know more, by all means send us an email or give us a call. If you still aren’t convinced, take a few minutes to explore these blogs that my team and I have written over the last year or so. Each of these implementations was profoundly impacted by Blueline’s “Voice of the Business.”

LOOK! WE’RE IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL! (KIND OF)

I was talking with a client recently and we were discussing the powerful impact successful change strategies can have on an organization. We were both sharing our continued surprise at how simple strategies can have such far reaching impact. Even though we have both seen and experienced it many times it is still delightful to watch the impact of successful change collaboration unfold. Our discussions led us to a past client experience. One we are proud of and never tire of sharing… Take a look. It’s a great story. And it’s a story I’d love to help create in your organization as well.

A process for collaborative change: Blueline Simulations’ “Voice of the Customer.”voice-customer

1. Listen first. A series of stakeholder interviews reveals prevailing biases and mental models.

2. Build a straw man. We propose a design that is explicitly informed by the client’s own words.

3. Tell the story. We record a webinar and produce an interim report to introduce the design to key organizational influencers.

4. Test and refine the design. Stakeholder response leads us to produce a new iteration in preparation of the next step.

5. Present the big idea. The final report is a testament to the work of the organization’s stakeholders… and becomes a powerful artifact for change.

What is the “Soul” of your Business?

As part of a potential organizational change project, I recently read a book called All Customers Are Irrational by Bill Cusick. One of many things that he said that really stuck with me was that companies need to articulate their soul.

blueline-soulSo I started to make a conscious effort to ask our customers and associates what makes us who we are. I’m really proud of the responses that I received. It all started with the way that our clients perceive our people. I typically heard things like: “amazing,” “incredibly creative,” “I trust you,” “truly impressive,” and “it’s clear that we got your best.” And the way that our people feel about the projects that they are working on: “I own this,” “I’m accountable,” and “I’ll find a way.” So, with a little help from our writers, I made my best effort to distill this into what I believe is the soul of who we are: “Creative, personally invested, flexible and accountable.”

Blueline’s “soul” has become a tremendous sense of pride for me, my Partners and our team.

Whether you are embarking on a major change, developing leaders, or inviting new Associates into your organization, I would strongly encourage you to define the “soul’ of your business.

Do You Really Know What Your People are Thinking? Here’s how Blueline Uncovers the Voice of the Business

At Blueline, we have set a high bar for creating cutting-edge interactive classroom and electronic training. Yet oddly, the fastest-growing service in our business is something we refer to as Blueline’s Voice of the Business (VOB) Process.BLUELINESIMS.COM

Maybe it isn’t really odd at all.

It’s a little funny (and a lot scary) that some custom learning developers suggest that they can do a thorough needs analysis in just a few hours.  I guess that might be okay if you are developing a simple training program.

But at Blueline, one of our core convictions is that sustainable change requires an intervention far beyond the training delivery.  Every custom solution we develop aligns to specific, mission-critical business objectives.  And when your goal is to impact the business, you aren’t going to uncover the answer in just a few hours.

About six years ago a long-time client asked if I could interview roughly 50 stakeholders – each of whom had a unique perspective about the problem that needed to be solved and the most effective response. When I pushed back, the client admitted that maybe all 50 wouldn’t have unique perspectives, that in some cases our goal would be to see what if any commonalities they shared. As a practical matter, all 50 needed to be involved if for no other reason than to earn their buy-in.

What I discovered during the interviews was that, in fact, each stakeholder did have a unique point of view, honed by their own special set of experiences.  And, that the interview questions needed to evolve and the discussion morph to get the most out of each interview. I experienced first hand the power that involvement has on buy-in and learned that the best way to get my arms around any problem is to examine it from all angles.

From the client’s perspective, the process was even more eye opening. The process delivered information, mental models, patterns, and insights that were surprising, unsettling, empowering… and even transforming.

That first experience was seminal in creating what is now Blueline’s Voice of the Business  Process offering.  Sure, the process has evolved a bit: for one thing, I’m not the only one conducting interviews. For another, interviews are just one piece of a very comprehensive process designed to allow our team to quickly become expert in a critical aspect of your business. This enables us to build consensus where there are disparate points of view, and to allow us to turn a broad range of inputs into insights.

Every new prospect demands maximum speed and flexibility in our design process.  Thanks to Blueline’s VOB Process, our clients can also expect that we will get it right.

Whether your need is to wrap your arms around a difficult business problem, build consensus where there is disparity, build buy-in, or all of the above, we’re here to help.