Tag Archives: Strategy

Making the Best & Most Profitable Decisions for Your Business

Recently, I had a conversation that opened up a critical new distinction.

decision-makingA client was struggling with redefining her relationship with a new partner in her business who wasn’t working out as well as expected.

During our call, as she grappled with how to move forward, I noticed she repeatedly seemed to be taking the path of least resistance and making concessions I thought, deep in her heart, she knew were not in her best interest.

The decisions she reached seemed reasonable enough; her decision process sounded rational enough, yet I knew something was amiss.

I interrupted her thinking out loud process by throwing her a curve ball posing the question, “If your business had a personality, how would you describe it?” She proceeded, quite quickly I might add, to use terms like ‘curious, detailed, tech savvy, trendy, challenging, informed and knowledgeable’.

It was quite an amazing experience to hear her describe her company and ‘brand’ so clearly. It also gave me new insight into how she sees herself and business and gave HER a new decision-making tool.

I asked her how well her partner represented the feel of that brand. “Hmmm. Not very well”, was her response.

I then asked if that curious, tech savvy, trendy entity were hiring someone for the business, would he/she hire the person who is now the owner’s business partner. “Probably not”, she replied.

Our businesses have needs that , while intimately connected, are separate and distinct from our personal needs (and fears). When we look from that more impartial, perspective we can be more objective, less concerned about our insecurities. When our ego is out of the way, the truth is more apparent. If we don’t to that, we’re doing a disservice to the future of our business and casting a shadow over the possibility of our life.

So the next time you’re agonizing over a decision about your business, take a step back. Rather than making the decision from your point of view, envision the best and highest expression of your business and determine what IT needs for that highest expression rather that what would make you feel safe and comfortable.

Stepping into the ‘role’ of the business and making decisions based on what it needs in order to accomplish the goals you’ve set for it will give you a different perspective from which to view the landscape and the perspective to make critical decisions using the right criteria.

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The Difference between Sales Process & Sales Tactics

SalesProcessMany people don’t understand the distinctions between strategy, process and tactics.

A strategy is an overall plan to achieve specific, generally long-term, goals. It’s an approach, a broad, general roadmap, a way to go about doing business.  A strategy defines how an organization intends to get from where it is now to where it wants to be in the future, perhaps three to five years out.  Pursuing Whales to grow revenue is a strategy.  Going global is a strategy. Penetrating a specific industry is a strategy. Increasing visibility to raise awareness about a product or service is a strategy. A strategy may include time frames but typically they are ‘end point’ dates.

A sales process is repeatable plan.  It outlines milestones involved in bringing on new clients, moving the prospects from “Stranger” to “Raving Fan”, for example.  It defines what is needed along the way to move from one point to the next. A sales process will also help you determine how likely you are to close a particular deal. It is in some regards, independent of the people who implement it.  Obviously people are involved in the process but if it is laid out well, it mitigates the reliance on a Rock Star salesperson.  A primary principle of  Whale Hunting: Land Big Deals, Transform Your Company states, “Success is 90% process and 10% magic”.  Once proven, people can be taught to implement the sales process.

The steps in a sample sales process might be as follows:

  1. Qualify
  2. 1st meeting
  3. Proof
  4. 2nd meeting
  5. Proposal
  6. Close
  7. Intake

Sales tactics, on the other hand are day-to-day activities individual team members execute in service of the strategy that has been laid out.  Tactics outline what will be done.  They are measurable and can be assigned to specific individuals. They are observable and trackable.  A tactical plan (made up of a series of tactics) may cover a time frame of six to 18 months.

Let’s say a company decides to implement pursuing large firms as a strategy to achieve aggressive revenue growth targets.  The company will likely have already set specific revenue targets and due dates.  Here are some sample tactics for the various roles in the firm

  • CEO: Schedule an in-house workshop to introduce Whale Hunting to the entire company
  • Sales Specialist/Assistant: Spend an hour a day researching and compiling dossiers on selected Whales
  • Sales Manager: Recommend three whales to approach to CEO
  • Salesperson: Contact a key decision maker at the prospective whale to schedule an initial meeting within 5 days of receiving a completed dossier
  • Subject Matter Expert: Make a list of Good-to-Great questions for an upcoming meeting with a prospective whale

Defining and communicating a strategy throughout an organization helps align the staff and focus its attention on what’s important. Tactics help people find their place in and get engaged with the strategy. Tactics give staff personal accountability, ‘skin in the game’, that can be measured and rewarded.

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