Are You Focused on the Right Customers?
A couple of years ago, I met with a COO of a 40 billion dollar company who was extremely frustrated with the revenue forecast for the year ahead. Many of the companies in their pipeline didn’t fit the right profile for their strategy. In his mind, it was clear that they shouldn’t be working with them. And yet, the sales team was allocating considerable time, energy, and resources to bringing these companies in as clients.
The disconnect between the company strategy and what the sales team is doing on a day-to-day basis is common. It’s a misalignment that derails companies from achieving their growth objectives.
As an executive, you might find yourself concerned with the type of new business coming in. Or aghast at how much money is spent pursuing customers outside of the desired profile. If so, you need to ask yourself and your team, is our sales team directed by our company’s strategy? Have we been rigorous about defining our ideal client profile? What must be done to ensure we stay focused on our target markets?
Once these questions are answered, it comes down to execution to ensure the pursuit of the right customers. Successful execution of your strategy is as much about what you shouldn’t do as what you should do. In most cases, it’s as simple as pursuing business that fits the bill, and letting go of that which doesn’t.
Read more about how to get your sales team to execute your strategy in my Harvard Business Review article here