How to Align Your Organization for Growth and Predict Bookings Performance with Strategy Automation
How often have consultants delivered a brilliant strategy to a client that sits in a binder on the shelf? More often than not. Why? Because executing a strategy well is often more difficult than coming up with the strategy in the first place. And all the brilliant strategies in the world don’t help a company grow unless that strategy is executed.
I have to say, I am a terrible consultant. It has never been enough for me to lay out a plan without seeing it through to results. My first job out of college was with one of the top management consulting firms. I still remember being perplexed at the fact that we were going to give a strategy to a client knowing full well they wouldn’t be able to implement it. I know I was naive, but it left me empty and disillusioned.
Now that I have implemented successful strategies for dozens of companies, I have verified that a good strategy well-executed trumps a brilliant strategy delayed – every time. Creating the machine for growth is imperative – we have seen the results of dramatic growth, IPOs, and accelerated acquisitions. The fuel for growth is execution.
So, assuming you have developed a strategy, what do you do with it? That brings up the first imperative for growth: Alignment.
Alignment. How do you get your entire organization on the same page? I have so often seen silos of brilliance in emerging companies. Really smart people are doing really smart, often heroic acts to help their companies. But if everyone isn’t pursuing the same, focused, deliberate strategy, chaos ensues. And executives can’t figure out why they aren’t scaling.
So, strategy must be communicated across the organization, and every function must align their own plans with that strategy. Beware of those who disagree with the strategy! Allow debate on the strategy when it is being set, but once it IS set, everyone has to align with it. If you have people in your organization who want to go their own way, divergent from the strategy – or worse, disparage the strategy behind closed doors – you have to consider whether or not those people belong in your organization.
Collaboration. Everyone has to understand exactly what they need to do to support the strategy, and how their role relates to all the other roles. How often have you seen marketing and sales departments blaming each other for poor bookings performance? Marketing accuses sales of not following up on their leads. Sales says marketing leads are junk. The reality is that bookings success should be a jointly owned responsibility across marketing and sales. Our philosophy of a jointly owned revenue pipeline is very powerful. Get your marketing and sales folks to collaborate on the process, the qualification criteria, the follow-up effort and timelines. By removing subjectivity from the process, your teams lose the wiggle room to cast blame.
Execution. Marketing and sales execution should be dictated by the strategy. Once process is set, pipeline models can be created that precisely calculate everyone’s goals – marketing leads, inside sales meetings, sales opportunities and quotas. Then the work of running campaigns becomes obvious. Marketing knows who to go after and what to say, as derived from the strategy. Sales knows how many deals they should be working at any given time, and what the characteristics of those deals should be… as derived from the strategy.
Performance Measurement and Optimization. You have transactional systems that measure activities for marketing and sales. Your CRM is the foundational system for sales automation. You may also have a marketing automation system, or at least some basic system to execute marketing campaigns. We rarely see these systems architected in a way that allows you to see end-to-end performance. How do you know which marketing activities are valuable? Not clicks! Not visits! Not followers! Marketing activities are valuable only if they result in bookings. Period. And your systems can’t tell you that. So how do you optimize the use of your constrained resources?
Strategy Automation. The growth function of the organization has been one of the last to mature their use of systems to optimize performance. Strategy has been so disconnected from the transactional systems. All of the above imperatives are now architected into a system called Strategy Automation. It not only provides the workflows to create strategy, but it carries that strategy into marketing and sales planning, all on a single platform. It directs your transactional systems, your CRM and Marketing Automation systems, and receives real-time feedback across the entire revenue pipeline to show you what is working and what isn’t. It closes the loop on strategy performance, so you can refine and improve your strategy to accelerate growth.
With Strategy Automation, you can activate whatever strategy you have across your entire organization. You can see if that strategy is likely to result in bookings – way before you miss your sales targets. And you align everyone from the top down.
ayeQ is the only Strategy Automation platform on the market today. We built it precisely to solve the challenges we have seen in companies that have stalled growth or are experiencing erratic sales performance. It is the natural result of putting an engineer in marketing (me!). And I have to say, I feel very fulfilled knowing that we have created a solution that moves strategy into execution.
If you are an emerging company, or a company that is experiencing stalled or unpredictable sales growth, I would love to share the value of Strategy Automation with you. Reach out to us today.