What are you building without a Blueprint?

If you don’t measure, you can’t benchmark;

If you don’t benchmark, you can’t scale;

If you can’t scale, you can’t grow.

Karin Bellantoni

Getting stuck in the status quo can happen to anyone, we are all human.


Look what happened to Kodak?!


They resisted entering the digital market. Eastman Kodak, the 131-year-old film pioneer that has been struggling for years to adapt to an increasingly digital world, filed for bankruptcy protection two weeks ago. You know the old saying – “Adapt or die”.


Frequently we speak with executives and business owners of companies stuck in a rut; both wanting to grow, but continuing to use the same tactics that got them there. They lost sight of what they were trying to build or didn’t know how to reinvent themselves – to get them back on course.


It really takes stepping out of your business and getting some objective help. Being “on” versus “in” your business as the great Michael Gerber says.


Most companies and their sales management team do a great job developing a sales forecast and measuring results, but most don’t create a blueprint that contains the strategic methods and measurable activities to get them there.


When you launched your company or your division you were excited, market conditions were great, you were running on high adrenaline, maybe you had a unique offering and little or no competition.


Today business is not the same. Trigger events like: market saturation, multiple competitors, economy, changes in the way your industry does business and delivers its product or service.


When you are stuck in the status quo you will notice a drop or stagnant mode in your sales revenue. Meetings turn into inner arguments on what to do (tactics), what’s wrong; maybe it’s the sales people, maybe it’s simply the bad market; and the questions go on.


What you need is a new Blueprint.


Imagine if you got into the wine business in 1980. We were drinking Mateus, Lancers and Paul Masson. If you started in 1980 you rode the wave. You were brilliant and lucky, you worked really hard. You had little to no competition and were market creators.


Now, it’s 2012 and everyone from former investment brokers looking for a new challenge or even your neighbor is a wine maker.  It’s not as easy a feat as it used to be.


As Anthony Robbins says:
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”


A blueprint is a strategic plan based on a full diagnosis of where you are today versus where you want to be.


Here are six quick tips to consider when creating your blueprint:

  1. Optimize your sales resources – Be a change agent. Do the unthinkable. Utilize your outside sales teams to market research the street. Collect data live from your customers and sales teams as to where your market is and where it is going. Create strategies to get ahead of the competition and win more business.
  2. Attitude – Eliminate historical barriers. We have always done it that way, may not do anything for you today to help you achieve where you need to go to grow market share.
  3. Sales Process – Measure Key Performance Indicators around your sales process. The more you can measure activities the greater chance of finding winning formulas.
  4. What are you selling? – Sell trust and relationship before transactions. What kind of customers do you want? Relationship buyers or transactional buyers?
  5. Targeting – Analyze your best customers from the past. Look for characteristics and traits that are prevalent. People do business with people not just companies. Finding more Ideal targets will lead to shorter sales cycles and more quality customers.
  6. Social Selling – Your company may have a social media plan but are your sales people proficient at using the social sites to strategically sell more effectively?   Every company needs a Social Selling strategy in today’s market.


Much like a building built from a Blueprint, what goes into the strategy of building your business needs to be tested and proven before you start to scale.


Every day, actually twice a day, I get to walk past the World Trade Center. Upon its completion in 2013, One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western hemisphere by pinnacle height and among the tallest in the world, with its radio antenna reaching a symbolic 1,776 feet in reference to the year of American independence.


Amazing, is the only way to describe the unified efforts of the owners, architects,  construction workers, scientists, IT people and more to create a lasting and powerful structure in Lower Manhattan, NY.


If only Bonanno Pisano had a strategic Blueprint when he built the tower in Pisa!


6 thoughts on “What are you building without a Blueprint?

  1. This site rocks. I am so impressed with you. That you came up with arguably the most impressive and innovatively written site I’ve ever seen is predictable given your genius. This will get real results. I love your quote. You are headed for greatness. I love you.

    • I was very eacuornged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  2. Karin & Blueprint team:

    Great redesign; awesome post! The whole blueprint theme really resonates with me. More importantly, what you can do for a salesforce with i-snapshot, is incredible. I was blown away to hear about the 19.7% increase in selling opportunities during the week and an unheard-of adoption rate over 90%, due to the ease of use, and frontline sales and management seeing the value of the information.

    “What are you building with a blueprint?” is also a great tagline. And look at what you built, with one.

    Stay the course, Karin.

    Mike Kunkle
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikekunkle
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/mike_kunkle
    Blog: http://neuronnexus.posterous.com

    • Thanks Mike.

      We like it too!
      i-snapshot is an amazing tool and the strategy we add makes the whole process a powerful win for field sales management.

  3. Dear Karin:
    I am impressed with your business savvy and grasp of the dynamics of success and failure. It makes rational sense to begin with honest introspection and the setting of goals, and then following the Blueprint outline of the series of steps to attain them – in an obviously different way as it has “always been done” before. Congratulations!

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