The success of a business is determined not just by doing something well but doing it with scale and repeatability.
There is no better example of this than the Toyota Production System (TPS), which was developed by industrial engineers at Toyota Motor Corporation between 1948 and 1975. Commonly referenced as just-in-time manufacturing, TPS created the oxymoron of “mass customization.” Customers can, both, request a highly-customized car and expect to receive it quickly.
Business-to-business sellers face a similar challenge. Customers have a unique business and a unique set of business outcomes they are trying to achieve—and sellers need to quickly assemble a customized value proposition to align with these.
The art of lean manufacturing for cars is based on having a foundation (work in process) that receives its final refinements based on a customer order. For example, perhaps there are five combinations of chassis and engine, and perhaps 90% of orders for a region request a sunroof. Cars can be assembled to this stage without risk of obsolescence and wait for the customer order to determine the paint color and speaker system.
The Ecosystem Platform for outcome selling is designed around a similar paradigm. There is a pre-built library of core templates that empower our clients to identify and quantify the value of the business outcomes they deliver to customers (across categories such as increased revenue, improved productivity, mitigated risk, and reduced costs). Additionally, the platform leverages multi-dimensional indexing to efficiently enable derivations of the core templates based on specifics of the opportunity. For example, a core template quantifies the business impact of mitigating risk through improved security and compliance. For a financial services opportunity, the platform dynamically populates the template with the likelihood and impact of Payment Card Industry (PCI) non-compliance, whereas for a healthcare prospect, the focus is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Through technology and automation, Ecosystems has established a new type of “mass customization”—sellers can, both, request a highly-customized value proposition and receive it immediately.
A hallmark of TPS is the efficiency it provides for the full supply chain, from customers to manufacturers.
Similarly, Ecosystems distributes efficiencies to the supply chain of stakeholders required to bring targeted outcome conversations to the point of sale. Product management, which typically owns the creation of messaging for sales consumption, is not building an inventory of hundreds or thousands of deliverables to align with all potential customers. Rather, they maintain a modular library of business outcomes, with unique messaging indexed by attributes of the customer, such as industry, region, or audience. The platform then owns the assembly of the right combinations at the point of sale.
Sellers also recognize improved efficiency as they no longer have to crawl through sales portals and knowledge management systems in hopes of finding a relevant asset. Instead, it is dynamically manufactured on demand—”just-in-time.”
About the Author: Michael Plaskow is CTO and co-founder of Ecosystems. For over 20 years, Michael has helped Fortune 500 companies differentiate their products and services by quantifying and communicating business value. Michael has helped companies navigate the technical and business process challenges to improving performance for all sales streams, from large (named) accounts to enterprise to SMB, direct versus channel, and public versus private sector. Michael holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering and a minor in environmental engineering from Pennsylvania State University.