Many books have been written on Leadership. I haven’t read most of them. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t worked for and with both good and bad leaders. Based on my observations from a combination of working in both small private and Fortune 100 NYSE corporations, and as a consultant to industry executives over the last 20+ years, I would like to offer my readers, a profile of an outstanding leader.
At its purest intent, and to be most effective, a marketing and sales audit should not be to uncover incompetence, to fix blame or to penalize, but rather to discover opportunities to make both marketing and sales more effective. If the motivation of an audit is solely to find a scapegoat or divert blame, the problem is not in the firm’s marketing and sales function, but rather in its culture.
PinPoint change is a simplified, three-step approach for affecting high-leverage, rapid process improvement. A PinPoint change comprises; 1) the identification of the single most critical and ineffective business process preventing the firm from achieving its objectives, 2) the identification of the specific process change needed, and 3) focusing, laser-like executive attention and decision-making on the few key people in the organization that must quickly change their behaviors to fix those ineffective processes. This does not necessarily mean removing or replacing them – unless, of course, they simply cannot or refuse to quickly learn and adjust behaviors.
If you are consistently thrilled with the responsiveness and results of important tasks you assign to your direct reports, there is no need to read on. On the other hand, if you are like the majority of business owners and executives we have worked with, you are probably frustrated at times by the lack of understanding, speed of response and quality of the results of those requests. There are two major ingredients to getting what you request done well. The first is Motivation and the second is, what I will call the Assignment Dynamic – which of the two is much more complex but, actually, easier to manage.
Lean is the process of maximizing the value delivered to customers by eliminating any wasted marketing or sales activity or expense that does not create, communicate or enhance customer-received value.” In this QMP Insights blog we offer an approach for improving both top and bottom-lines through the application of “Lean” principles to six key areas in the marketing and sales function of a firm.
After many years of both conducting sales training workshops and personally selling, I have come to recognize six popular misconceptions about selling. And, I must say, every time I broach those myths during a sales training session I get push-back, disbelief, the wagging of heads and several audible "No Way!'s".
Many two-owner businesses start out as equal partners to avoid potential conflict. After all, what could be more fair than a 50-50 split? It avoids a potentially awkward discussion about whose contributions are more important, and allows each partner to equally share in the risk and reward. Unfortunately, what looks like the easy way out can turn into a nightmare. No matter how compatible or easygoing two people may be, they will not agree on everything. And if one of those disagreements involves a major decision, an equal partnership can mean a permanent deadlock leading to a shutdown of the business.
Program delays challenge management in all types of enterprise – profit, non-profit, public and private. Stalls, stumbles, delays and barriers seem to randomly and inconveniently attach themselves to all types of organizational initiatives. Whether a firm is struggling with a critical initiative intended to dig its way out of a stuttering economy or dealing with the challenge of quickly responding to unprecedented growth in customer demand for its new product, all initiatives hit roadblocks. Some suggest that roadblocks are simply a way of life in business – inevitable. That may be true. But if these banes are inevitable and ubiquitous, shouldn’t the management tool kit and training programs of the firm include an effective method for dealing with them? I am not going to tell you that I have discovered some magic formula for the total avoidance of stalls, stumbles, delays and barriers. Rather, I will share a process and 12-point checklist for rapidly discovering their root cause and overcoming them.
When hearing about a “Big Deal”, managers must confront the challenge of what to do about it – ignore it, or prepare. Preparation may comprise some or all of capacity planning, inventory commitment, equipment capacity increases, cash planning and workforce planning. Failure to anticipate these factors can result in an inability to deliver to the customer what they want, on time, should the deal actually break. On the other hand, a knee-jerk financial commitment based on the potential of the deal, can leave the firm with a lot of unusable inventory should the deal fail to materialize. So, how does a manager judge the reality of the “Big Deal”?