To be successful in business, well actually to be successful in life, one needs a world class attitude, world class skills and world class knowledge. World class knowledge helps optimizing personal confidence, sales confidence, strategic confidence and leadership confidence. It is an indispensable part of the P of Preparation.
But it could become a potential swamp too. A time consumer without limitations, a brain and energy drainer. So how do you prevent from drowning in data and make sure you collect and maintain the must-haves rather than the nice-to-haves.
Our model the 7C’s of Knowledge provides you with an overview of the most relevant knowledge categories and provides you with a tool to develop your wider business acumen.
What does each C mean and what are the best resources for building my knowledge base?
Everything related to the wider market environment you and your customers are active in, and the macro influences that may impact on an organization. One can identify them using the PESTEL analysis
Everything related to your company, from vision to execution, which may have relevance for your customer and for you. Who makes the decisions, how do departments integrate together. As much of your time will be spent influencing in- and externally.
Your company’s website, annual reports, social media, publications, etc.
Build expertise in channel dynamics and knowledge. Retail, Food Service, Discount, e-Commerce. Or in the insurance world brokers, agents, financial institutions, direct clients. Become the go to person for all info on the channel.
Branche organisations websites (i.e. https://retailanalysis.igd.com/) financial services reports, research channel specific reports (i.e. Nielsen, IRI, McKinsey, Boston, Deloitte)
Buyers buy categories, not brands! So in order to be able to provide your customers with propositions and advice to grow their business, one needs to think category and the role of the various products/services (including yours) within that category.
Research category specific reports (i.e. Nielsen, IRI, McKinsey, Boston, Deloitte), competitor websites, customer websites
A healthy knowledge and understanding of the competitor will help you handle objections, negotiate better, absorb the pressure of the role and to raise your own bar. And what do you know about your customer’s competitor? How can you help them to become more competitively advantaged?
Their websites, annual reports, google news
The customer of your customer! The target of all our mutual business efforts (ours and our customer’s) is the final end user of our products/services. Do you know what drives them, how do they consume, shop, buy? What does their omnichannel shopper journey look like and how can you use that knowledge to consult your customer.
Research consumer specific reports (i.e. Nielsen, IRI, McKinsey, Boston, Deloitte), customers
The primary focus of our efforts. Help your customers grow their business in order to grow your business. A great criterium for collecting your 7C’s of knowledge is the relevance to your customer. That means, you need to have ultimate knowledge of their business, objectives, drivers, strategies, kpi’s etc. etc.
And of course your contacts!
Collecting knowledge is time-consuming. But the return on investment can be enormous. And once your knowledge base is up to date, it is rather easy to maintain that level.
Use Google Alerts to do the collection for you and have it reported once a week by mail. Just scan the headers in the mail for important news and done!And please share with us any other great sources of information you are using, in the comment section or by mail firstname.lastname@example.org