As the saying goes: failing to plan is planning to fail. In this blog we list what not to do when implementing an effective specification strategy.

You’re working by instinct

In many companies there is the tendency to “shoot from the hip” and work by instinct. While it is true that most of us have worked in our industry for many years and intuitively understand it – it is also true that the environment we work in is changing. This means that adopting the same old approach will not help you maintain your position. Do you truly understand how your customers select their products, what they have used before and how they source product information? Conducting research can uncover the facts and lay the foundations for a strong specification strategy.

You’re failing to develop clear achievable objectives

Are you making decisions as dilemma’s present themselves? Not taking the time to think strategically, as day to day tasks are too pressing. It is a common trap to fall into.

Equally a strategy not thought through carefully could be a recipe for failure.

True strategic thinking needs the management team to take “time out” from the day to day issues. Thinking time needs to be given to questions such as: What are our strengths and weaknesses? How are our competitors performing? What do our customers think about us and our competitors? What are the problems facing our customers? How can we develop and use our company’s strengths to exploit these opportunities?

The answers to these questions should be based on the facts gathered from your research as from this a defined specification strategy can be drawn up. A strategy that has clear achievable objectives that help you achieve your goals.

You haven’t communicated and got buy-in to your strategy

Great your sales team understand their objectives, you have your specification strategy in place, wrong. Specification sales is a whole business process. Not communicating your strategy across every business unit is a fundamental error.

Employees can only commit to your strategy and its goals if they know what they are. Equally the strategy needs to be communicated clearly and inform on how each unit plays their part, so you can get buy-in from across the business.

You’re being side-tracked

Being distracted by quick wins and easy pickings is tempting. But remember the reason for devising a specification strategy is to position yourself as the preferred supplier. To move away from deals delivered on cost alone. Remember the bigger picture. Yes you have to be flexible, but you must also retain focus and use scarce (human and financial) resources wisely and remember the sustainable business growth your specification strategy aims to deliver.

You are not reviewing your strategy

Creating a strategy in itself is not the end goal; forgetting to refer back to the objectives and goals of your strategy means you are not following the roadmap you set yourself.

Equally ensuring your map is up-to-date and accurate is also important.

Review your plan regularly to measure and refine its effectiveness. Taking time to review your strategy will help you stay focused, identify any holes in your knowledge, relevant training required by your team and hence deliver your business objectives.

With regular forecasting and research, and well thought out objectives, you will be in a good position to direct and measure your progress towards your end goal.


Further information

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