So you managed to get through Blue Monday unscathed, ready to tackle the world head on and get results, right? Let's start with a little test. Are these actions of reaction or anticipation?
I know what is happening in my market. I plan and I stay ahead.
I checkout my competition and act so that I always have the edge
I communicate often with my customers so that I can deliver what they need from me next.
So which type is this? This person sounds like they are on top of things? They are making positive choices and not drifting on the tide?
This person would have a self-perception of being forward looking, planning for the next challenge and staying ahead of the competition and the market.
Well, think again. These are reactions. Yes, this person is studying the history of what already exists and responding in accordance with their established beliefs. To describe as forward-looking is pure spin. It positions those driving through business looking in the rear view mirror with apparent "foresight". Don’t be fooled by this approach.
The focus of anticipation is what might happen next year. What new opportunity may exist that we have not yet observed? What disruptions are potentially on the horizon? How would these circumstances conspire to create new opportunities? And, of course, new threats?
You can't connect the dots looking forwards
One trouble with anticipation is that it’s quite hard. Plus often you don’t get credit. By the time your vision is proven, all and sundry have ‘identified the trend’ and have a plan to deal with the future. But if you have followed your gut and executed effectively, you will be a long way in front.
What about a real example? Say, conversational commerce for instance. The process of reaching customers whilst they are in conversational or messaging applications, and "anticipating" their purchase needs. That sounds fairly futuristic? NO. That is not anticipating but reacting. Your customers have already moved off to new platforms. You are chasing to communicate with them where they now are.
Try this. Physical stores will all but disappear, except as places of entertainment. (Remember over 80pct of business is still done 'in the real world'). Parallel to this customer expectation to be being informed will continue to rise.
Where will your organisation need to put its salespeople and how will it do it? Will you need to be able to deliver sales expertise in digital channels on demand 24x7?
Sure this switch to digitisation might not happen. You decide.
Think about how you are going to solve tomorrow's biggest problem and consider what you should be doing today. I can offer you two choices: 1. Get religion and say your prayers, or 2. Implement AMO.ai to get ahead - and don't lose your customers.