Strategic reflection is one of the core leadership behaviors of winning organizations. How often do most organizations practice this discipline and honestly look into the mirror? Since 95% of most company’s employees can not define their corporate strategy – it’s not often enough.
The challenge with looking only in the mirror is that you can become accustomed to believing that the blemish on our face is fading when in all actuality – it is getting darker and potentially unhealthy. Left to our own devices, most of us do not take seriously what we are actually looking at.
As I advise executives on business strategy I have seen the power of honestly addressing 10 key sales strategy questions. Addressing these questions on a quarterly basis is a strategic discipline that will unleash new value and improve customer alignment. Here are the questions:
10 Sales Strategy Questions That Can Change the Game:
- What are the three company assets that truly differentiate you from the rest? Do your customers agree and value these assets?
- Are you strategically relevant and the only ones who do what you do with your top customers? (How do you know?)
- Have you designed an umbrella strategic position and a strategy map that delivers consistent results and competitive insulation?
- Do you think your overall cost of sales is where it should be? Are you comparing it to an industry standard or a projected financial model?”
- What is your sales dashboard and what are the top 5 metrics you are focusing the organization? (Would everyone know the 5 metrics top of mind?)
- How have you chosen your strategic customers and are they resourced appropriately to drive targeted outcomes?
- Is your sales organization creating new value which aligns with the boardroom priorities of your top customers?
- Do you have the right people with right skills in your sales leadership team? Is this your #1 Business Objective?
- Does your sales compensation reward customer loyalty and longer term success? (Are you rewarding your sales organization on building a high performing client relationship?)
- Are your sales and marketing teams aligned and hardwired to your customer’s strategic agenda? Would they consider your company a corporate asset?
Creating a disciplined sales strategy supported by the rhythm of periodic integration meetings is vital to team health – focus and results. So why do many of us fight it? Part of the answer may be lack planning discipline and administration skills or the fear of looking in the mirror and seeing cracks in the operation.
Whether you look in the mirror or not – the cracks remain. Be brave enough to purposefully address the business needs- while designing strategy that provides completive insulation and industry differentiation.