David or Goliath?
Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath. The upstart shepherd boy confounds his elders and betters by stepping up to the plate and taking on a fearful, giant of a warrior who has been terrorising his compatriots for days. As they square off, the two characters know who they are and what they are capable of in a particular competitive landscape … or do they? The big man knows he is dominant in size and strength, recalling the victories of the past. But past performance is no guarantee of future results. He had clearly not carried out a full SWOT analysis before laughing at the young, fit and agile shepherd boy with the slingshot, who routinely took on lions and bears to protect his flock. David picks up five smooth stones, and neutralises Goliath with just one of them – an insignificant, and apparently harmless weapon, in the hands of an expert.
So, what’s the point?
Every successful organisation should take the time to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate the opportunities and threats of the marketplace. SWOT analysis is a simple model, prompting in-depth research of the competitive landscape. Thorough SWOT analysis takes time, however the ROI is so good that it is one of the cornerstones of successful Sales and Marketing strategies, delivering incredibly valuable insight for existing products and services, or when developing new products and services to target new opportunities.
SWOT analysis may also be the very piece of work that protects your business from slow decline.
This is not a one-off exercise, so remember to check your SWOT analysis at regular intervals; a great task for a few members of your Sales team, to help them rehearse their key messages and objection-handling skills. And, if your entire workforce has been working remotely during lockdown, gathering managers over something as fundamental as SWOT analysis will bring focus to the core discipline of doing business and winning orders.
Can you answer these questions for your organisation:
What is the competition doing?
Where have they pitched their products, services, pricing, their ‘voice’ and key messages in the marketplace?
What are the five smooth stones that will ensure your team wins the day?
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