How does a board member evaluate if the sales and marketing strategy is being executed?
Florjancic says, “From a board’s perspective, you have to start with what the company really looks like. Is the company a market leader? Are they a follower or are they a turnaround in process? Depending upon where you are in that spectrum, the board will take a different view as to future performance.”
As CEO, you will spend many hours in board meetings. You will also spend hours preparing. But what does the board really want, and how can you best prepare? Greg Alexander, CEO of SBI, sums it up nicely, “If everyone is on the same page all the way through the board and they agree on a set of KPIs, then the prep work for the board meeting shouldn’t be that laborious.”
Even if the CEO and the board are on the same page, what happens when something goes amiss? First, if you’re CEO, Florjancic suggests pulling your management team together and gathering the facts. After you assess the situation, you must understand what went right versus what went wrong. This crucial step will lead you to fairly strong conclusions as to what needs to be fixed and how you should go about it.
Additionally, Florjancic emphasizes the CEO’s role in leading sales and marketing. He believes the CEO has to be the No. 1 sales and marketing leader in the organization. Even more importantly, the CEO needs to be out front with the customer, as he or she is critical to understanding the marketplace.
The last element of success in Florjancic’s view is your team. He recommends surrounding yourself with the best team money can buy. “You want the best people working for you, because you don’t have all the answers as an individual — you can’t possibly in today’s very complex world.” He sees hiring, onboarding, coaching, counseling, and training as part of the manager’s key functions. And at the end of the day, Florjancic says strategy is pretty simple. It’s the allocation of three things: people, money, and time.