Strategy Execution Process
The formula for success in business is a combination of great strategy and effective strategy execution. VP’s of Sales and Marketing and Business Unit Heads can relate to this as they are the people in commercial organizations that are responsible for both strategy development and sales execution.
When business units fail to achieve their objectives, it is usually a case of not having a strategy execution process resulting in poor execution. Take a look at how you are doing this year. Are you on track to hit your objectives? Are you crushing your sales numbers or are you falling short?
Regardless of which one it is, I would suggest that you take a moment to rate both your strategy and your execution on a scale of 1-10, with ten being excellent.
Business Unit Scorecard:
- % to Objective: ______
- Quality of Strategy: ______
- Quality of Execution: ______
Did you score better on strategy than on execution? Why do you think that is? Do you see any correlation on how you performed versus how you scored on strategy and execution?
What I have learned over my many years as a VP of Sales and Marketing and working with VP’s is that many large companies have well-developed marketing processes and rigorously follow the process.
You and your marketing team have worked relentlessly over the past two months. They have analyzed their markets and product performance, developed strategies, and tactics, performed dry runs and presentations to senior management to finally gain agreement on their budget and targets for next year.
Can you relate?
Like most business units you have ended up with a challenging objective for next year.
Think about it, you:
- Developed great strategies and tactics
- Have the right team in place
- Wonder what else you can do to set your business up for success
Based on the strategy execution process we talked about earlier, you need to start building your business execution plan. Do you have a formal strategy execution process in place?
Like many companies, you bring the sales management team in for a meeting and present the marketing plans to them. You probably plan a kick-off meeting for the sales force early in the year to do the same.
This is where most companies fail to maximize their performance. This is not a formal strategy execution process. The reality is that your competitor probably does the same thing.
If you want to crush your sales numbers, it comes down to execution.
The Strategy Execution Process
Step 1: Success Factors
Most businesses try to do too much. My belief is that focus is critical to success. The key is to work with your team and define the 2-3 things they need to do extremely well to crush your sales numbers.
It is not an easy task to agree on these 2-3 critical success factors. However, it is essential that you take the time to figure this out. Companies that can focus on doing a few things well will beat their competitors who do many things but not great at any of them.
Step 2: Alignment
If you have one sales manager, there is no need for alignment. Once you have 3 or more the sales managers, alignment becomes important. Conversely, if you have several marketers, the need for alignment among the marketing team must be considered.
Lastly, it is important that both the sales and marketing teams are on the same page on how to drive sales. It is worthwhile to have them aligned on how they can all work together.
Step 3: Accountability
As a business unit head, you are pulled in many different directions. You don’t want to micromanage your people, yet you want to ensure that they are accountable to do what they have agreed to do.
One way to keep them on track and develop them at the same time is to have them work with a performance coach on developing their leadership and meeting their success metrics.
This becomes a turnkey approach that supports the sales manager on executing strategies and crushing your sales numbers.
Step 4: Track
Once you have decided on your critical success factors for your sales and marketing teams, you need to develop the metrics you are going to use to determine how well you are doing in each of the areas.
The key is to set up a dashboard so all members of the team can have visibility to their critical success factors on a monthly basis. These need to be granular, meaning each sales manager and marketer is getting feedback on how they are executing against these metrics.
Step 5: Review
The final step in the process is reviewing how well you are doing against your business execution plan. As the leader of the team, you need to be disciplined to hold quarterly performance review meetings. It is imperative that you use these meetings to learn what is working, to create new opportunities and to focus on how to improve your execution.
Are you interested in finding out how you can crush your sales numbers through strategy execution? You need to act now, as there is a short window to put a strategy execution process in place before the start of the new year.