This is the second piece in a series of six articles that will guide your own sales and marketing transformation. This article details the necessary steps to take to set your own sales and marketing transformation up for success. Don’t forget to read the first article in this series; It’s time for a sales and marketing transformation.
The first two critical steps
The two steps critical for a successful transformation occur before you even begin. The first is determining the underlying problems that are stopping your business from performing as desired. The second is getting the transformation off the ground by writing a clear and compelling business case. Fortunately, there are simple and pragmatic strategies that will set your transformation up for success.
Find the right problems to solve, and the right solutions to solve them
All too often, businesses get excited about the latest technology or business methodology and think it will be their silver bullet. After investing months of effort and thousands of dollars, if not millions, they find that the only meaningful change is a hit to their bottom line. What these businesses miss is a comprehensive understanding of what is not currently working in their business, and what they need to change to achieve their business objectives.
Understand what your business’ technology, processes and people look like today.
A business can be broken down into three core components: its technology, processes and people. It is important to have a detailed understanding of a business’ performing across these three key areas. This will provide insight into which component is underperforming or misaligned, and therefore what the focus should be for a transformation program.
Time needs to be spent on the details to truly understand how a business operates. This can include conducting detailed reviews of business process maps, or simply documenting them in the first place. It means knowing the tasks that employees spend their time on, and how they complete them. It also involves engaging with the people who are responsible for completing the day-to-day tasks to truly understand the challenges they face.
“The right people, doing the right things, with the right tools, at the right time.”
Define what you want your business’ technology, processes and people look like tomorrow
After pinpointing the problem areas, it is important to continue focusing on technology, processes and people when designing the future of the business. This ensures that the right people are doing the right things, with the right tools, at the right time. Let’s investigate an example where a business with outdated technology is believed to have processes and people that are still working effectively. The business decides to implement new technology and replicates the existing processes to avoid any impact to culture or capabilities. This means the opportunity to fully realise the potential benefits from the new system is missed. While aspects of a business may not be broken, they will likely need to be adjusted to effectively respond to new solutions that are implemented.
Delivering a compelling business case
The final hurdle before launching a transformation is getting sign-off from leadership. We have seen our fair share of 30-page business cases that take three months to pull together and we advise against this approach – strongly.
Our advice is that a knockout business case brief should articulate the following:
- A simple and compelling goal for the organisation that executives can rely on
- The challenges the business is facing
- The people, process and technology solution(s) required for the business to meet its goal
- The time and cost of the transformation
- The return on investment
Since the leaders signing off on the transformation often do not have a lot of time, the business case must be simple, clear and concise. Our experience is that significantly more one or two page business cases receive sign-off and endorsement compared with those written as formal, bound reports.
Contact us for more information on how we can support your sales and marketing transformation.
Next up in this series will share our tips for running a great transformation program and guide you through avoiding some of the more common pitfalls.