You run Sales at your company. You’re sitting alone in your office. It’s 6:30 at night. The parking lot has thinned out. It’s dark, and you’re not used to the time change yet. You just finished the last of the 7 conference calls you had today. Your brain hurts. Your company is in the midst of the annual planning process. You have a board presentation next week on your strategy to make the number. The weekend ahead looks shot because of your workload. You have a long flight tomorrow morning. You hope there’s no wifi on the plane so you can just think.
Does any of this sound familiar? If you’re a Sales Leader, I guarantee it does. What are you thinking in this scenario? Here are just four of the 100 things going through your head:
- Are we outpacing our competitors?
- What are the best companies doing differently?
- Are we focusing on the right slice of the market?
- Is my team good enough?
If you read this blog regularly (or even occasionally), you’ve noticed a recent theme. We keep suggesting you review our “How to Make the Number in 2018” or . This post examines who should, and should not, leverage the annual workbook. Spoiler alert: the person I’ve described above definitely should.
When Sales and Marketing Leaders ask about the Workbook, they have some common questions. Here they are:
“Who is the Workbook designed for?”
There are 2 versions of the Workbook. One is the traditional hard or soft copy of the workbook. It includes success stories, use cases and quizzes. The other is an interactive tool called the Revenue Growth Diagnostic. It’s an online self-diagnostic that allows you to benchmark your strategy against the strategies used by market leaders.
The Workbook is for executives who want to be market leaders. To be a market leader, you must grow revenues faster than your industry and your competitors. We call this “making your number” and if this describes you, this workbook is for you.
“Which companies benefit the most from receiving this research?”
If you’re expecting a list of industries, you’ll be disappointed. Companies who benefit the most from this research have cultural, not industrial, similarities. They:
- Need increased revenue growth.
- Value speed over perfection.
- Can point to a list of frustrating failed initiatives from past years.
- Are unsatisfied with the status quo.
- Have leaders who possess genuine curiosity and strong points of view.
“What will this Workbook tell me?”
It teaches you what market leaders are doing differently than everyone else. We call these emerging best practices, and they are very different than best practices. Think of them as tomorrow’s best practices today. Emerging best practices are methods being used exclusively by market leaders. They are powerful differentiators that cause revenue growth to accelerate.
The workbook will also help you develop a world-class Sales and Marketing strategy. Most leaders think they have one and a lot of those leaders are wrong. Most strategies are just a collection of disconnected tactics. The Workbook helps you identify the gaps in your organization’s strategy.
“What happens after I read the Workbook or complete the Interactive Tool?”
It will help you understand if you have a chance at success. If you are the CEO or Head Sales and Marketing at your company, you may request a Workshop from SBI to help you understand the results. Sometimes you can’t do it all on your own. Time spent participating in workshop exercises, under our supervision, is designed to help you “make the number.”
“Should Sales Reps, Sales Managers, Sales Ops, and others read this Workbook?”
Maybe. In some cases you may have the ear of top leadership. If you are thoughtful and upwardly mobile, you might benefit from it. But be forewarned. If you don’t have power to make organizational changes, you may become frustrated.
“Strategy is nice, but I’m out of time. I need (insert 3 key initiatives here) done immediately.”
Strategy is hard. If it was easy, everyone would have a strategy that worked. In today’s ultra-competitive environment, strategy provides a clear competitive advantage. If you want to stress-test your strategy, have a look at our or . Who knows? You may spend fewer evenings sitting in your office, wondering where the daylight went.