As the CEO of your business you want to grow a profitable, sustainable business, built to last. You start with sales which are flat, declining or at best in single digit growth. So you start with a sales trainer to boost sales. Doesn’t work. The symptom of weak sales you assume is caused by a weak sales team. Not true or at least you can’t say that until you have an Operational Blueprint in place.
In 2011, The Portfolio Partnership worked closely with 5 clients who grew sales on average at 40% by embedding a relevant Operational Blueprint.
The Patriots have an Operational Blueprint.
IBM have an Operational Blueprint.
All of the businesses I managed over the last 25 years had an Operational Blueprint.
All 20 businesses that I sold for attractive exit proceeds had an Operational Blueprint.
If you are achieving a net profit of $1m or more you will never scale your business without an Operational Blueprint.
- Create a COO role (inside, outside, part time – related blog post)
- Define your positioning statement so clear your 10 year old can understand it.
- Build a Business Plan that shows how you will execute your positioning.
- Align all your marketing narrative and sales scripts with your positioning. Test: if you listened in to a sales call or read any page of your web site you would recognize your company.
- Define all operational metrics that demonstrate the progress of all departments achieving the Business Plan.
- List essential projects that need to be completed this year to progress your objective of moving to the #1 slot in your niche.
- Divide these projects into 3 buckets: strategically essential, cross departmental priorities, and departmental must haves. Allocate leaders of every project, ask them to define success criteria and deadlines and sign off a budget if required.
- Redefine your Product Road Map by reconciling everything back to your positioning. Apple spent $1.8Bn in 2010, that ranks it #70 of 1000 large R&D spenders, Microsoft spent nearly 5 times that at $8.8Bn which ranks it at #4, but who do you think of as more innovative? Alignment of R&D with your core strategic aims is the number one factor in effective R&D according to Booz & Co. Kill feature creep. Kill wild punts. Focus and curate ideas that drive you to #1 in your niche.
- Build a talent nurturing system ( see related blog post) and talent acquisition process (see related blog post) that reinforces your positioning and defines the importance of each role to the company’s mission.
- Update staff regularly on achievements against the Business Plan and key projects and therefore the fulfillment of the positioning statement
Only by embedding an Operational Blueprint that aligns all departments around a common cause will your strategy really be executed with passion including increasing sales!
For a review of the key playbooks that form the basis of an Operational Blueprint see here.