Most Competitive Intelligence (CI) people I talk to face a constant barrage of sales support questions, requests for competitor-killing presentations, and – my favorite – demands for that killer product feature that no competitors can match. These concerns are present in every company, but they get even more intense in sales-driven companies, especially those headed by CEOs with a sales background.
Now there’s nothing wrong with sales support, but most of my CI friends and colleagues pine for quality time to “be more strategic” – to get ahead of the game and engage more proactively with their clients. That quality time, however, is always in the future, put off until ‘next month,’ ‘next quarter,’ ‘once the launch is behind us,’ ‘after the big conference,’ ‘at the end of Q4,’ or… whenever. Unfortunately, that magic moment rarely comes.
We’re working to recommend some techniques I’ve learned from Agile software development to help you get ahead in your Competitive Intelligence and Product Marketing world. I want to help you get ahead so that the strategy meeting ‘next month, maybe’ can become that strategy meeting ‘we had yesterday.’
The Agile world recently received a modernized refresh in their framework - what Josh Kerievsky calls Modern Agile. This framework simplifies the 12-part manifesto from 2001 into to a four-part wheel that declares the primary values of Agile.
Image Courtesy: ModernAgile.org
We have taken this wheel and applied it to the world of CI:
In our upcoming series of articles, we want to describe the parts of this wheel. We’ll start with “delivering continuous value” – which we believe to be the most critical to effective CI.
Very few people have been talking about Agile in the CI world. A Google search in May 2017 revealed almost no references to the idea. This is where our world is going, though, and I can tell you that it will help you get ahead. It’s not easy - it is sometimes exhaustive - but I’ll take that any day over the feeling of defeat that comes from being reactive in a sales support role.
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