Cut Myths/BS & Get Results
It is 5:00 AM on a Monday morning as the business leader looks in the mirror holding his first cup of coffee. Ahead of him waits a long and painful day because his professional career “runway has almost run out”.
Several quarters of erosion on sales revenue and margins, with few highlights here and there to show inspiration, have brought about this morning. It is one of the worst career scenarios a professional can face, because sales revenue and margin growth results are all that matter.
Today, it is clear that this leader has not made behavior changes in the key people to achieve the targeted results. The solution has not been delivered and this is disappointing because the fact is this leader is to blame, period.
Now, today, the answer must be delivered to the Board of Directors in the form of strategy and tactics along with a plan and process to roll out the necessary change and implement so results are delivered to the bottom line. In the end, profit is all the Board of Directors cares about, as should be.
Answers are demanded! Cut the myths and BS and get results; or else, one of the worst career scenario becomes the worst scenario possible.
Luckily, at 5:01 AM on this Monday morning, the business leader realizes where he went wrong the most in the past was with the person starring back in the mirror. You are an expert at hiding this fact from yourself and everybody else but eventually the truth comes out. Let pride go! Sorry, your far from perfect.
Always looking to change the system and people for the better, but making sure you never change. Just admit this sentence and you have a chance.
The 5 top reasons why strategy and tactics do not work the majority of the time a business tries to improve revenue and margin are listed below.
Remember, the scenario explained above has to be in place or the rest doesn’t matter.
1. Poor execution with managers and front line marketing & sales
Executing revenue growth plans requires clear communication and expectation setting with the people involved. The resources and tools needed by the people to deliver the intended results must be understood and provided.
Let’s think about this from a different angle.
Remember the game you played as a kid where someone would whisper a “message” in one person’s ear and then they pass that message in whisper to the next person and they then do the same and so on and so on?
Well, we know how this turns out. By the time you get to the end of 5 to 10 or more people, the message is “diluted and wrong”.
Yes, this happens in your company too. So, the moral to this story is that if these 3 elements listed below “break down” your company loses revenue!
- Expectations aligned from execs to all people impacting customer’s buying decisions
- Resources and tools for your people need to be available, effective and utilized by all
- Clear & consistent selling communications aligned with the objectives & resources
2. Lack of energy and leadership from executive level to front line
Sales systems are run by people and people need to be motivated and inspired by leaders. Leaders can guide a single team of people or teams of people. Leaders are supposed to guide the people to clear and common objectives, despite challenges that will arise.
Remember the “pirate shows” you wanted as a kid or even an adult where there was a frightening “Captain of the ship”?
Did the Captain show weakness or lack of energy for the crew’s objectives…No!
If the Captain did, there would be a mutiny.
Now, in business, sometimes leaders use elements of democracy while others are more totalitarian. Regardless of style of leadership, unless a clear authority in power is demonstrated by the leader to the people, growth will not happen. Also, unless the people are “energized” to overcome obstacles and achieve objectives, they will fail and you will lose market share. Attitude can win the game!
- Being visible and present with the people, while having right attitude to motivate them, is hard for leaders due to “everyday life” but too bad
- When your people aren’t happy you get less market share as a silent mutiny
- Selling requires individuals to have thick skin in the market place to survive, so allow your people to drop their guard internally and feel a part of the team
- Lead by example means go to the front line with your people to motivate
3. Disconnect with the targeted market place
If understanding your customers is “business 101” then you must have 100% of the answers about who, what, why, where, when, etc. for your entire universe of prospects.
The reality is, understanding you buyers is complicated and constantly evolving, so it is definitely “business 901”. It is alarming to see the level of disconnect between companies and their market place. Especially when this means lost revenue and potential margin erosion.
Remember how when you eat at a sit down restaurant, a server comes by to ask you what you want to eat?Since they’re not mind readers, they must ask you details on exactly what you want from them. If they are good at serving, they will ask you how things taste, what you like, why you like it, and what else they can do for you.
Get the point? How constant and real is the information you gather from the market place?
The lesson here is simple;
- Be direct and ask the questions you need to know in order to sell more at higher margins
- Use technology to communicate with customers and uncover needs, wants & idiosyncrasies
- Customer surveys are not over rated, but are under used and misused
- Constantly capture market research & demographics for your exact buyers and key influencers, then translate that information to your strategy so it translates into your tactics
4. Performance management poorly executed
Performance management (PM) includes activities that ensure goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner. Performance management can focus on the performance of an organization, a department, employee, or even the processes to build a product of service, as well as many other areas. PM is also known as a process by which organizations align their resources, systems and employees to strategic objectives and priorities.
Unfortunately, PM is too often stored in “gray matter” and not actually built into documented and regimented protocols executed by management.
It is through PM that a business defines itself to customers and sets the expectations customers have for the business in addition to expectations the business has for the employees.
Simply put, poor PM is like running a little league baseball team without a consistent training schedule, practice routine, and batting line up. The moral here is that if the people in a company lack a consistent system to manage performance, the objectives will suffer!
7 steps need to be executed to operate a successful PM;
- Delivering regular relevant job feedback
- Setting and communicating clear performance expectations
- Linking performance to compensation clearly
- Identifying organizational career paths for employees
- Evaluating performance and delivering incentives in a fair and consistent manner
- Providing appropriate learning and development opportunities
- Recognizing and rewarding top performers
5. Lack of KPI
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are a part of the glue that holds your selling system together and on the right path. Having the right metrics in place to hold people accountable is mission critical. By measuring key activities over time, leaders can establish KPI to help guide the success of the business.
Ever notice how professional sports teams place tremendous value on “stats” and “figures”?
How would a professional sports team do over a 2-3 year period without any collected data?
Looks like the pros do not want to experience the answer to this question, nor should you!
The moral here is that “you can’t improve what you don’t measure” and when it comes to revenue and margin growth, businesses have much to measure when it comes to the activities of marketing and sales people and systems.
- People are resistant to being measured and put on display unless they are #1
- Measuring the wrong activities can actually reduce your sales and margin
- Measuring is a constant process and requires hard work and discipline
- Turning KPI into dashboards requires serious resources and demands full time focus from some people and part time focus from the executives
Get in touch with us if you are serious about increasing your revenue.