A Serious Market Opportunity
Mark and his top people saw a serious market opportunity. In early discussions, Detroit – GM, Ford, Chrysler – showed high interest, while the German car-makers remained somewhat reluctant. The project requires modification of one of the company‘s best-selling products. And this means both significant investment and close collaboration across the Atlantic.
Mark’s sales/marketing organization had first to get a high level of clarity about the potential market demand. They held many discussions with their customers. From there they went to their colleagues in engineering who evaluated the technical challenges. Engineering recognized the potential immediately and identified both what was feasible technically and what might present a challenge. Engineering was on board.
A product innovation does not always translate into financial performance, however. So they refined the business case and took it to their commercial-financial colleagues. Initially not convinced, the numbers-folks requested additional information. Mark‘s team worked three straight days on their calculations and were able to convince even the most skeptical ones on the financial side of the organization. Finance was on board.
Mark and his team need to be very persuasive when they go to the board. What does it mean to be persuasive in the American business context?