I caught up with a client for whom I did some strategic restructuring and optimisation work for in early 2015.
Their’s was a tough case because they were in a sector that took a hammering last year (and continues to this year) and their economy and currency were doing their level best to compound the problem!
Nonetheless, there are always things that can be done to future-proof revenues and protect profits; so we got stuck in.
The MD confided in me that they had struggled to make a profit across the wider business last year, however, the business line that we worked on had high revenue growth and was the only business line to make profit! Result!
So what made it work?
In essence, I took them through a three step process that positioned the business for growth.
Now, the year still had to be executed but because we aligned their leadership first and then equipped the front line sales staff, we could drive through results. (I often get asked to “sort out” the front line sales folk and ignore the leadership. That’s just crazy…)
We also did some subtle but powerful restructuring.
…So here are the three steps I spoke about earlier, and I run these as a strategic retreat for (sales) leaders and assist them to set their year up for success.
Step 1: Strategic Vision – you have to refine, clarify and communicate the destination. Sounds obvious but it’s not always known across the sales org.
Step 2: Strategic Priorities – we select a hand-full, and often from a long list of ‘vitally important’ priorities. The danger here is either focussing on too many priorities or picking the wrong ones!
Step 3: Strategic Alignment – this is a ruthless and objective look at the organisation and how to align it, at all levels, and create execution plans around the strategic priorities. This is the key to success.
I run this on three days and over two weeks; and we dive deep.
I like this process; It’s important but also easy to implement…
…and the results? Well, they speak for themselves!
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