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