How do some management teams keep winning while others struggle to find any growth. It can’t just be about great markets. The Inc 5000 is full of private companies delivering humongous growth covering literally dozens of markets. A plethora of activities. No pattern here to copy.
No, often the secret comes down to the really simple stuff executed with skill and consistency. Here are my favorites discovered by trial and error or just observed by watching really smart teams.
- Having said, what I said, about activities above, it is still important to pick something you can be really good at and specialize . This may be a small part of your existing business or the core of the existing business. What it isn’t is a brand new area where your track record and skills give you no credibility or insight.
- Define marketing’s purpose as a sales lead generator. Every single activity they execute should be connected to generating people who are interested in buying your product.
- Drive marketing to articulate on one sheet for each product the likely symptoms that your product solves and the business results you deliver for customers.
- Determine the 10 most important metrics that show marketing is succeeding, graph them and write down stories that explain them.
- Create a strong relationship between the head of marketing and head of sales but don’t combine the roles. It’s as bad as combining the CEO and CFO roles!
- Teach sales professionals your products well and the world of their prospects even better.
- Teach sales professionals how to sound like businessmen by rehearsing really insightful questions with them, that will engage prospects.
- Define 3 big projects that if successful will transform the growth of the business. Allocate a minimum of 3 staff members to each project with one as leader to make them happen.
- When reviewing progress always establish first what has been achieved since the last meeting. Don’t waste time with irrelevant history.
- Set the rule that all employees can come to their managers with a problem as long as it’s wrapped in a solution worthy of discussion.
- Never employ unlucky people.
- Use white boards comprehensively to broadcast progress as well as distributing the electronic version.
- Launching products is a cross department activity. If one department gets ahead of the game, no one wins.
- A timely thank you note handwritten, is as effective and much quicker than any new lean process introduced.
- Ensure all customer success stories are written up in one page summaries covering the Challenge, Solution and Results.
- Build metrics for all staff to help them manage themselves, automate their production and teach how to interpret their meaning.
- Set abort criteria for new projects when emotional attachment is at its lowest.
- Ensure all meetings are justified around the questions they are trying to answer.
- When setting deadlines, use reverse time lines to determine realistic interim landmarks and then build in a little slippage.
- Work out the easiest and cheapest way to train your staff, do it consistently and build an organization of learners.
- Anchor your cash flow forecast with strong evidence from your sales pipeline not just your cost base. (of course this demands you have robust pipelines)
- Build an army of recruiters, always be recruiting for the bench. Explain to staff, to journalists, to recruitment professionals to all friends and family, the type of performers and performances that you need in your business. Remember 90% of eligible candidates are not looking for a job.
Want more tips – buy my new book on Amazon, packed with 1000s more. Give me a review as well and I’ll send you some great bookmarks to use and share.