Turmoil and uncertainty aren’t going away anytime soon. So, as business leaders, we are left with two choices – bemoan this fact or do something about it!
Complaining about reduced budgets, labor constraints, accelerated timeframes on go-to-market strategies, added competition, increased channel options, and the like are futile efforts. There will always be challenges, but there are also tools, processes, and people that can help you overcome these challenges!
Winning companies understand this fact. Their success is built on the ability to analyze where they are today and use that knowledge to find the resources that are going to get them where they want to go tomorrow.
How exactly do they do that?
The most successful companies leverage the 3 T’s – tools, team, and training – to succeed.
When business leaders hear “tools” they usually think of the shiny equipment or expensive software systems that have bells and whistles galore. And while technology (in its many variations) is certainly a key component that modern businesses must rely on to increase capacity and achieve greater efficiency, high-priced tools are not the only workhorses in today’s most successful companies.
Anyone who got their start at a small business or in a startup environment is accustomed to using small things to achieve big results. Leveraging every little resource and tool to get the most out of it is central to the guerrilla marketing-type approach that got the most successful leaders to where they are today. So, whether the tool you’re utilizing has a hefty price tag or not, your goal should be to extract as much value out of it as possible to give you the best possible return.
Sometimes you will find that the best tools for your business are the inexpensive options built to compete with the big players in the industry. When evaluating a tool focus on what it offers, how it works with your activities and operations, and the ways in which it can meet your needs now and in the future.
In other instances, your best tools will be those that you create yourself. For instance, building a revenue resiliency toolkit is a powerful tool that your company can lean on no matter how much uncertainty or turmoil exists in the market. This kind of tool will assess your company’s current resiliency and help to develop a revenue action to plan to respond to changes. It will evaluate your brand, finances, sales/marketing, capacity, technology, and supply chain in relation to the current industry climate and identify ways to respond to keep your business growth on track no matter what tomorrow brings.
Of course, in addition to the right tools, you also need the right people in place with the right skills and right mindset to overcome new challenges. You simply cannot grow a business without growing a team. That may mean hiring more staff, but it doesn’t necessarily need to include adding headcount. A team can grow when existing team members are upskilled to provide proficiency in a new area.
But when new employees are hired, especially when they’re coming into key roles, ensure you find people that can work with the resources you have. It doesn’t matter how adept someone is at what they do if they don’t know how to (or don’t want to) work with what you already have in place. For instance, if you hire a Chief Revenue Officer who only wants to work with a big team (when your company just has a handful of dedicated employees) or only has faith in a specific CRM platform (that isn’t the one you use), how successful will that person be in the role? Likely not very! Aim to find a match between what you have and what an employee needs to be successful.
Remember, your team is at the heart of your business, so everything that you do needs to be people focused. Encourage cooperation and collaboration both within teams and between teams. Trust managers to make good decisions and give them the authority and autonomy to execute the company’s vision. Include them in overall strategic planning and decision-making to allow them to share in the company’s success. Understand that you will need to be willing to give up some control to make this happen, but that the return you get for doing so will be worth it. Consider this fact: acceptance speeches always credit others for a successful outcome. No award-winning CEO or star celebrity or top athlete gets up on stage and says, “I want to thank myself. I wouldn’t be here without me. I’m the only reason any of this worked – me and me alone! I’m just that great at what I do.” Instead, they know how to work with and leverage others to accomplish greatness.
Be the kind of leader that inspires their employees to do their best work by creating a Leadership Action Plan. This approach, based on Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk, outlines how to help employees set goals, create measurable steps, evaluate outcomes, and adjust plans to achieve more by simply asking, “Why?” As a leader, the right people can’t be effective if they aren’t aligned in their efforts and focused on the company’s WHY.
You can have all the right people, but if they don’t know how to do their job well, they won’t succeed. Train your employees to utilize the tools and resources you have and to lean on each other.
If you’re underfunded, pressed for time, and/or overwhelmed, start with assessments. Professional assessments like the Core Values Index (CVI), DISC Assessment, PI Behavioral Assessment (PI), or Working Genius Assessment will give you insights into your employees’ core nature, natural talents, abilities, motivations, needs, drives, and potential for success. I particularly love the Working Genius assessment because it accurately identifies a person’s natural character traits to provide managers with a better way to lead their teams and employees with a greater capacity for achievement.
These kinds of training tools allow managers to unlock the barriers standing in the way of their staff achieving their full potential so that they can elevate their careers. Without these kinds of assessments, training, and mentoring team members can get stuck where they are and fail to contribute effectively to the company’s growth and resilience. But with the right training, managers can foster curiosity, creativity, and innovation in their employees and themselves, resulting in increased revenue generation potential regardless of external circumstances.
When you need help developing a strategic approach that can withstand tomorrow’s challenges, reach out to me! Every day I help B2B organizations align their sales and marketing functions to grow profitable revenue in a way that helps them to withstand today’s biggest challenges. Whether it is an integrated marketing plan, sales and distribution strategy, client development program, or strategic marketing framework, our strategic approach to revenue consulting is tailored to your specific business needs to generate results.