Find the Spider

Find the Spider

By Scott Sambucci | May 30, 2013

Find your spider.

spiderIn 1994, Nancy Krieger wrote a landmark paper in the field of epidemiology – “Epidemiology and the Web of Causation: Has anyone seen the spider?” Prior to her publication, epidemiologists cited a “a web of causations” as the reason a particular disease blighted a population. (Also see: Overdetermination)

Krieger posited that instead, biological individualism accounts for the causes of disease, and that an entire population is nothing more than the sum of individuals. Therefore applying blanket causes of diseases to all members of that population is an incorrect diagnostic model. She wrote:

Another important aspect of the ‘web’ is that it does not differentiate between determinants of disease in individuals and in populations. Stated another way, it fails to distinguish between… ‘the causes of cases’ vs ‘the causes of incidence’…

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The Web…

These are the multiple causations leading to your company’s sales incidences:

  • “We get a lot of referrals to other company CEOs…”
  • “We really understand the client’s needs.”
  • “Our demos focus only on the features that match the client’s core needs.”
  • “We walk every client distinctly and precisely through the stages of the sale”
  • “We earn the votes of the CTO and VP of Product Management so it is easy for the CEO to approve the order.”
  • “Our technical documentation answer every concerns about our code base and stability.”

This is your web.

…and the Spider

For each client, there is one dominant reason – the spider – that explains the purchasing decision for each sales case.

  • Maybe your spider enabled an engineering team to cut a 10-person offshore team, saving $1,000,000 per year.
  • Or your spider increased the client’s production speed by 35%, leading to more than $3,000,000 in annual revenue.
  • Or your spider mitigated a new regulatory burden from their industry’s overseers.

You need to find your spider for your product for your market for each sale.

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