Theory of Constraints – and product management – Part 2

In yesterday’s post I spoke why I like the Theory of Constraints and how it can help in identifying the possible reasons, why the product or service is not taking off in the market as desired.

The key advantage is gained when you speak the logical steps and while speaking you realise that there’s a gap in the logic. As a example if you have a product or service in the B2B space. In B2B the process generally involves giving presentations, giving proposals, then negotiations etc.

Now lets take an example. If I need to have 18 proposals in the “market” in by 31st March, because only when you have proposals, can you get orders. While mathematically it is a simple equation that for 30 proposals you need to connect to 900 contacts ( I have used a multiplier of 50, which could vary from industry to industry) and then go through the process. Most people follow this method and then try to do carpet bombing with very little success.

On the other hand if we were to follow the logical process that is defined by the Theory of Constraints then the logic could look like this

If I have a clearly defined Ideal Customer profile

AND

If I have a set of 250 unique accounts confirming to my ICP to whom I can send an email

AND

If I have correct email ids of the relevant person in these 250 companies

AND

If I can send 50 emails to these companies everyday

AND

If 10 people respond back

AND

If I can show my presentation to 2 people every day or 10 people in a week

AND

If 3 people out of the 10 in a week like my solution to their problem

AND

If out of the 12 people in a month, 3 ask me for our proposal

THEN

In 6 months I will have 18 proposals in the market

Now if you will speak through the above sequence of logical statements, you will realise the flawed & undefined assumptions, in the argument. One item which is not included is the fact that the customer should have a budget, the statements don’t include the amount of followups that will be needed, what is the assumption behind 10 people responding back, etc. So just connecting to 900 contacts will not help you hit your target

Once you get that data then you can actually analyse whether your target is doable and what is the first thing that you need to hit at to open the “lock” in your constraint. You can also look at it in a different fashion to see for a given target, what all you will need to put in place to achieve it

Try this method and let me know your feedback.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!