May 9th, 2018

Getting Strategic Alliances Right – Capitalizing on a Collaborative Advantage

Roughly 70% of all strategic alliances fail.[i]  For most companies, the concept of a strategic alliance makes sense and seems simple, so why do they consistently get it wrong? While partnership may sound straightforward, companies often commit four mistakes in selecting and executing alliances: They choose the wrong partners with misaligned strategies, They don’t clearly … Continue reading “Getting Strategic Alliances Right – Capitalizing on a Collaborative Advantage”

March 28th, 2018

Connecting Your Embedded PS Business to Your Strategy: Turning the Primary Revenue Gears to Drive Growth & Value

Many corporations have added Professional Services (PS) to their businesses to drive greater customer intimacy and differentiation.  But, how do ensure you’re maximizing the benefits? If you’re looking to unlock greater opportunity provided by your PS business, consider the following questions: What is the role of PS in your overall strategy: For most product-based companies, … Continue reading “Connecting Your Embedded PS Business to Your Strategy: Turning the Primary Revenue Gears to Drive Growth & Value”

April 19th, 2015

Where Does Customer Intimacy Apply in Your Business?

One of the first questions we get is “Where in our business would this apply?” It’s a good question – because in many corporations, multiple customer engagement models co-exist in support of various parts of the portfolio – and will continue to do so. To answer the question, it helps to think about the nature … Continue reading “Where Does Customer Intimacy Apply in Your Business?”

February 26th, 2015

Developing Compelling Service Chain Linkages

Linkages are pre-planned connections from one offering that pulls through the next offering. The connections are made by carefully pre-planned and executed sales activities. Of course in reality, linkages do not begin at the end of one project and end at the beginning of the next. Linkages are positioning activities that take place during the initial sales process and during projects. The positioning may not only be related to the next project in the Service Chain, but also can be made with regard to the entire Service Chain.

December 14th, 2014

Evaluating Ideas: Criteria to Foster Customer Intimacy

When developing Service Chains™ it is important to evaluate their business value and your ability to implement them in the market. At McMann & Ransford, we recommend tracking the following criteria to help foster customer intimacy:

August 12th, 2014

Leading with Ideas: The Key to Customer Intimacy

Let’s take some time and discuss the power of ideas and their importance as the central component of a True Solutions.  Good ideas facilitate the road to true customer intimacy. 

A solution is the embodiment of an idea – and how the idea can be realized.  The idea is the kernel of the change in the relationship from pushing products and discussing business opportunities.  Often conversations that are supposed to be about solutions are really about how to better use our products and get more bang for the buck in our relationship; these are valuable issues but not True Solutions™ discussions. 

July 2nd, 2014

Marketing & Customer Intimacy

In the simplest sense, marketing has a direct role in market strategy, participation strategy, and enabling the success. Because of their unique role and perspective on the business, marketing owns or is heavily involved in the strategy of the business, and often drives the decision-making process of how to address commoditization issues.

February 2nd, 2014

Developing True Solutions – Not Product Development

Typically in the Form phase of the Customer Intimacy Journey, you will develop the initial True Solutions™ sets and take them to market. Like product development, a framework and process exists to define, develop and take your Solutions to market in a deliberate and defined manner. This building block is key to your Intimacy Engine™ success, so it is important to recognize early on what is different about developing True Solutions™ compared to typical product development.

So what is different?

November 29th, 2013

Beyond Solution Selling: Customer Intimacy as a Path to True Solutions

During the first stage of the Customer Intimacy Journey it is important to create and deliver solutions that have a visible impact with your clients

 As you know, terms like “solutions” and “customer intimacy” are overused in the management consulting industry, and I believe often mean too little.  In this blog, we’ll try to distinguish our thoughts with not-so-clever use of the terms True Solutions™ and Intimacy Engine™.  I want to talk about what True Solutions™ are and how it is crucial to the building of the Intimacy Engine™ business model.

September 28th, 2013

Keeping Momentum: The Customer Intimacy Transformation Challenge

Anything worth doing is, by definition, challenging and requires fortitude. How do you keep the organization focused and maintain the momentum?  

Let’s keep in mind that companies have difficulty focusing for long periods of time and (like children) want immediate gratification. Therefore you and those who are like minded must be responsible for getting them on the journey and keeping them on the path.