The management team just presented the 2015 plan to the board. You, a board member, agree with the plan but not the timeline. You want to hit the growth milestones earlier in the fiscal year. If the management team can do this, you can accelerate value realization.


In my practice, I work board members to help their companies reduce the time it takes to hit the EBITDA target. Over the years, I have learned a few things in this area. Here are some suggestions for you.


#1: Modernize the marketing strategy. The buying behavior of decision makers has changed forever. Social, mobile, and search have rendered yesterday’s marketing playbook obsolete.


In your next board meeting, ask the CMO to tell you how much it costs to acquire a customer and what is the life time value of a customer. If he/she cannot answer this, this is a sign your marketing strategy is outdated.


#2: Modernize the sales strategy.  Prospects buy differently which means you need to sell differently. This requires new organizational models, hiring profiles, compensation plans, and channels to market.


In your next board meeting, ask the head of sales to show you a map of how the customer buys your product. If he cannot, step-by-step, this is a sign your sales strategy is outdated.


#3: Benchmark the productivity of the sales and marketing departments.

In your next board meeting, ask the CEO to tell you how productive the sales and marketing team is relative to the industry players, and best-in-class. If he/she cannot show you a comparative analysis, you have trapped opportunity that needs to be unlocked.  


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