It’s the business version of caring for a classic car. Clean and regap the spark plugs. Adjust the carburetor. Reset the points and check the timing. When you get it right, you’re rolling on Saturday night. Clearly, the detrimental effects of not getting strategic alignment right are huge.
Strategic Alignment, to Get Where You Want to Go:
Apply the same principles to your organization and everything clicks. You make your quota. And 2016 is a great year.
We’re talking, of course, about strategic alignment and its importance in business. But much confusion exists about what strategic alignment is. So before we go further, let’s look briefly at that.
Align the Internal and the External:
Strategic alignment involves three components. Internally, it’s an integration of corporate strategy and functional areas’ strategies. The external component is market understanding.
SBI Research has created an excellent guide that details strategic alignment. You can download “How to Make Your Number in 2016” for free here.
In it, you’ll find the Revenue Growth Maturity Model. Use it to determine and strengthen your business’s level of alignment.
Maturity Is Key:
The model identifies five levels of maturity an organization can exhibit. These range from “Chaos” to “Predictable.” As a business grows in maturity, strategic alignment strengthens. Operations improve, costs of customer acquisition drop, and customer value over time rises. At the “Predictable” level, you’ve reached full strategic alignment.
Your Competition Is Handing You an Opening
We discovered 91 percent of companies don’t mesh internal strategies with external market research. Even more surprising, most business leaders can’t explain their own corporate strategy. Only 9 percent of top companies recognized the importance of thorough market knowledge.
You should consider this an opportunity. Get out in front of your competition.
Sales must have good products and solid leads from marketing. Marketing can’t develop leads if people won’t buy the product. And product needs marketing to put sales in touch with buyers. All need to match up with the corporate strategy.
Rely on your market research to identify and evaluate external headwinds – and openings.
Get it Running:
Don’t forget to factor in talent. Strategy by itself is only a document. Your team has to bring it to life. The ability to execute is half of the strategic alignment picture.
“How to Make Your Number in 2016” makes the point plainly. “Clearly, the detrimental effects of not getting strategic alignment right are huge. We must understand that because 100% of revenue comes from the efforts of the product, marketing and sales teams. While sales is responsible for the quota, they can’t win without help from their cross-functional teammates.”
Strategic alignment has a development curve. Decreasing cost and increasing revenue come into place with effective implementation.
Like a car with fouled spark plugs, a company out of alignment may run. But it won’t run well. Pop the hood of your company. See where you can synch up its systems.
Next time, we’ll take a look at Maturity Model Ranking.