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Managing B2B Strategy


Adapted from the Process of a Nuclear Submarine Captain

Over 20 years ago, as I embarked on my professional career, my father gave me a piece of paper entitled “The Professional Management Loop.” It contained a set of boxes arranged in a circular path. He told me that if I followed this process as a leader, I would be successful. I still have that piece of paper, and I have yet to find a management methodology that is superior. And he was right – when I have followed this process, my teams have been highly effective. The times when we have fallen short, I could identify the point in the loop where we failed.

A little background – my father, Hugo Marxer, was a nuclear submarine captain, part of Rickover’s nuclear program for the US Navy. When he retired from the Navy, he worked for an organization responsible for inspecting nuclear power plants. So, you see, when he drafted this management loop, it was pretty important that people did their jobs correctly.

So, my dad’s management approach is brilliant in its simplicity. It basically says this:

  • Define what you want to do – the “direction”
  • Tell people the direction
  • Verify people understand the direction
  • Translate the direction to specific responsibilities at all levels
  • Ensure people are committed to the direction
  • Monitor performance as people work towards the direction
  • Hold people accountable for their performance
  • Identify performance shortfalls, and put feedback loops in place
  • Improve direction based on the feedback loops
  • Repeat

Now, having seen more “new approaches” to strategy and management than I can count, I have yet to find one that is more efficient in achieving what my dad’s management loop has proven over and over again. What I’ve found is the simpler something is, the more likely it is to be adopted, and the more opportunity it has to actually make a difference. And making a difference has been the hallmark of my work for over 20 years. Originally a change agent in the executive ranks of numerous B2B technology companies, I founded a consulting agency that was a growth accelerator, following the methods I had established for strategy, sales and marketing.

An engineer by background, I recognized the repeatable science behind growth. While there is art in establishing thought leadership, brand and campaign messaging, and product packaging, an engine must be built to increase pipeline growth. Feedback loops must be in place to continuously optimize sales and marketing resources, and refine the go-to-market strategy to accelerate business growth.

That was the inspiration behind ayeQ. Not only did we want to give B2B companies of all sizes access to enterprise-level market strategy, but we wanted to provide the engine that systematizes strategy management and provides the feedback loops for executives to make more informed decisions on their strategic direction.

The critical aspects of building this “Strategy Platform” were to empower cleverness and speed, the essentials of accelerated growth.

  • Cleverness – Do smarter things. Create a great message and a great solution. Magnify that message by aligning your entire team around it. This is the Art.
  • Speed – the faster you take solutions to market, and the faster you can adapt to the needs of customers, the more likely you are to achieve market leadership. Automate feedback loops for faster insight. This is the Science.

ayeQ is built on a proven management loop (thanks, dad!). It systematizes a proven process, aligns your entire team, calculates the right goals, and provides feedback for rapid optimization and predictable revenue streams.

For more on this topic, download the latest Executive Guide: Strategy Management.

Everything we do at ayeQ is lean – including our Executive Guides. We address particular aspects of the ayeQ strategy loop in each guide. Having helped dozens of companies achieve dramatic growth, leading to IPOs, strategic transactions, and market leadership, I can assure you that this process works. We hope you find our guides helpful.