A poor alignment between strategy and sales is evident in many U.S. companies. One of the reasons for this is that few strategies are built in compliance with the realities of the customers. For example, when DSM attempted to eliminate the threat posed by digital storage by introducing its own cloud-based storage, its sales dropped significantly due to the differences in the clients’ IT departments and the difficulties in pricing. Frank V. Cespedes reveals a plan that the companies could use to ensure a better effectiveness of their business strategies.
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The 4-step method involves communicating the chosen strategy, continuously improving sales productivity, improving human performance, and ensuring the relevance of the strategy for the business. The first step, according to Cespedes, is essential, because people would not be able to implement a strategy that they do not understand. It is necessary to involve the employees with the strategy for them to understand its implications for the business-customer relationship. Improving sales productivity on an ongoing basis is also important for the strategy to be successful.
Managers need to concentrate on boosting customer cell capacity, close rate, and profit per sale. It is also critical that they understand the effect of the strategy on all those variables to prepare for any adverse effects. Given the high rate of annual turnover in most sales companies, it is necessary to train the employees regularly to make sure the workforce stays up-to-date with the current strategy. Moreover, the management should work to identify the skills needed to maximize the effectiveness of the strategy and to improve these skills in the workers. Finally, it is crucial to ensure that the strategy meets the financial requirements of the business. Obsolete strategies should be replaced with more applicable alternatives.
Overall, Cespedes believes that the central goal of any business strategy should be to increase sales and raise more profit. The author argues that making use of social media or staying ahead of any disruptive innovations is not as crucial as establishing a positive relationship between the implementation of a given strategy and the sales profits. According to Cespedes, the proposed method would help to minimize any adverse effects of the strategy on purpose, while at the same time making its implementation easier and more efficient for the business.