SCICO’S Pen­tagontm Model: A Sharp Way to Con­duct Busi­ness

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Sharp’s Pen­tagontm model fo­cuses on what will hap­pen after the cus­tomer has bought the prod­uct and how the cus­tomer will in­ter­act with the prod­uct. The suc­cess of the prod­uct is all in the hands of the con­sumer. If re­tail­ers get this right, then suc­cess in in­evitable… ‘Get­ting the Num­bers In’ is by far the most im­por­tant as­pect for any­one work­ing with and es­tab­lish­ing new busi­nesses. The en­tire sales force is built to do just one thing – bring in the num­bers. With start-ups, there is a con­straint of mar­ket­ing as well. Mostly, in all the new ven­tures, the mar­ket­ing strat­egy is de­signed in such a way that every as­pect of mar­ket­ing is linked to sales. Hence the ter­mi­nol­ogy ‘mar­ket­ing-linked sales strate­gies’. This re­sults in mar­ket­ing per­son­nel be­ing in con­tin­u­ous pur­suit of the sales team to en­sure the mar­ket­ing plan is suc­cess­ful. This in turns takes the ac­count­abil­ity very high. The mo­ment one starts to link every as­pect of their new ven­ture with sales, is when they start to fall into a trap. Since most of the star­tups are built on a Push strat­egy rather than a Pull strat­egy, the en­tire busi­ness re­volves around mak­ing the prod­uct avail­able. From the founder to the sales ofćcer- ev­ery­one is do­ing just one thing – push­ing the prod­uct to the cus­tomer. Talk­ing about how ‘Be­low the Line’ is the core-skele­ton on which the en­tire busi­ness is de­vel­oped, Vi­jay Sokhi, Founder Di­rec­tor, Sharp Con­sult­ing and Im­ple­ment­ing Com­pany (SCICOTM), says, “From my pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences, I was very in­ter­ested in know­ing that if the sup­port is pulled, how would the busi­ness be­have? Any busi­ness, new or old, needs sup­port but if the busi­ness is not able to sus­tain when the sup­port is taken out then the prod­uct be­comes hand­i­capped.” After an ex­ten­sive study of new busi­nesses, Sokhi de­vised a strat­egy that would help start-ups build up a sus­tain­able busi­ness model. This is based on one sim­ple rule – In any busi­ness, there are some things that are in one’s con­trol and there are oth­ers that are not. To get the cus­tomer one can cre­ate pack­ag­ing,

FROM MY PRE­VI­OUS EX­PE­RI­ENCES, I WAS VERY IN­TER­ESTED IN KNOW­ING THAT IF THE SUP­PORT IS PULLED, HOW WOULD THE BUSI­NESS BE­HAVE? ANY BUSI­NESS, NEW OR OLD, NEEDS SUP­PORT BUT IF THE BUSI­NESS IS NOT ABLE TO SUS­TAIN WHEN THE SUP­PORT IS TAKEN OUT THEN THE PROD­UCT BE­COMES HAND­I­CAPPED. – Vi­jay Sokhi, Founder Di­rec­tor, Sharp Con­sult­ing and Im­ple­ment­ing Com­pany (SCICO)

mar­ket­ing, sales and dis­tri­bu­tion, but all these ef­forts are on one side of the buyer’s jour­ney i.e. lead­ing to the point of ac­tion. Once the prod­uct is picked up by the cus­tomer, the in­ćuence is over. The prob­lem is that most of the start-ups focus on the as­pect of mak­ing the cus­tomer buy the prod­uct. Hardly any­one is look­ing beyond the point of pur­chase. This be­hav­iour led to the for­mu­la­tion of Sharp’s Pen­tagontm model. In one of the case, Sokhi saw that when­ever the prod­uct was sam­pled live, sales went up and as soon as the sam­pling was pulled out, the sales dropped dras­ti­cally. Then again when sam­pling re-started, sales zoomed again. Anal­y­sis of this be­hav­ior revealed that the sam­pling was suc­cess­ful be­cause the peo­ple who con­ducted the sam­pling where very well-trained. So, when­ever the cus­tomer ap­proached the sam­pling sta­tion, they tasted, liked and pur­chased the prod­uct for home con­sump­tion. But once they took the prod­uct home they messed it up be­cause the method of prepa­ra­tion, although not cum­ber­some, had some specić­ca­tions that had to be fol­lowed. This is the ba­sis of Sharp’s Pen­tagontm model. One needs to focus on what will hap­pen after the cus­tomer has bought the prod­uct. How will the cus­tomer in­ter­act with the prod­uct? All the start-ups focus on get­ting the prod­uct off the shelf. They miss the core part – the after sales as­pect. The suc­cess of the prod­uct is all in the hands of the con­sumer. If busi­nesses get this right, then suc­cess in in­evitable.

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