magazine | July 8, 2016
Charting a Path to Strategic Alignment
Keith Cox is vice president, Americas, at UPS Capital, a UPS company focused on providing finance and insurance to businesses with physical supply chains. In a recent conversation with SBI, Cox discussed how his sales team consistently makes its number.
Cox began by plotting his sales team on the revenue growth maturity model. This five-stage methodology helps companies assess their current level of strategic alignment and set goals for future growth. It also predicts a company’s likelihood of hitting sales objectives. As companies advance through different levels, their odds of making the number increase. By applying this methodology at UPS Capital, Cox was able to attain both internal and external alignment.
Level 1: Chaos
Organizations at Level 1 may have a corporate strategy, but functional strategies do not exist. Sales teams tend to overcommit and under-deliver. They do not make their number consistently and it’s a chaotic state. Luckily, UPS Capital is nowhere near this level.
Level 2: Defined
Organizations at Level 2 have defined corporate and functional strategies. However, these strategies are not being used and are completely separate from each other. While UPS Capital is not a Level 2 organization, it bridged this stage at some point. “It creates churn in your sales force and sales leadership,” says Cox. How did UPS Capital get past this stage? According to Cox, the key is communication of strategy and vision.
Level 3: Implemented
At Level 3, the corporate strategy is fully implemented within the functional strategies. This results in repeatable success. At UPS Capital, Cox takes the CEO’s strategy and then determines how to apply it in going to market.
Level 4: Managed
At Level 4, the corporate strategy and the functional strategies are defined, aligned, and implemented. UPS Capital has achieved this state.
“We’ve taken a step back to align ourselves,” says Cox. “It’s a great feeling because you’re able to focus as a sales team. You are aligned with the customer and their journey.”
Level 5: Predictable
At Level 5, organizations have defined, aligned, and implemented strategies that dynamically and proactively adjust to changing market conditions. Emerging best practices are identified, embraced, and implemented faster than the competition. This is utopia for sales forces, UPS Capital included. It’s what Cox strives to achieve with his team.
Ultimately, the goal is to become a Level 5 organization. At this stage, companies are able to easily acquire customers and generate more revenue than lower-level competitors.
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