In SBI’s 2016 research report, we included a six-part case study. Each part illustrated a step in the revenue growth process we outlined.


Combined, these six parts present a detailed anatomy of a top performing company. Woven into this anatomy is our key finding of 2016: Strategic alignment grows revenue.


By now you’ve downloaded the report and (hopefully) read it all the way through. This post is going to give you a unique view of that six-part case study. Read on for the ultimate before-and-after story.


Strategic alignment provides the foundation for peak performance.


Background: Before Strategic Alignment

A technology company was struggling for survival. Revenues were trending downward. A recent acquisition was having a negative impact. Customers were leaving faster than they could be replaced. A stock that once traded for over $100 was trading for less than $5. The company needed a new direction, fast.


This company had no functional strategies to speak of. What strategies they did have were misaligned from one another.


Market research was ad-hoc and not actionable. It was often compiled using secondary sources, such as buying reports. No one trusted the insights.


The corporate “strategy” was really just the result of an old collaborative executive exercise. It was just a set of mission, vision and value statements. Not only was it outdated, it was inadequate.


The product management process had ineffectual gates that were easy to bypass. This resulted in products being green-lit that shouldn’t have been. Product launches failed miserably, and Sales and Marketing dreaded them. In turn, Product Management dreaded hearing from Sales and Marketing.


The annual marketing plan simply included programs that would run through the year. Marketing messages were developed internally, then blasted into the market. The marketing team responded to product launches reactively, without forethought. Sales complained that Marketing wasn’t providing good leads, and budget was wasted on marketing.


Sales’ “plan” consisted of a spreadsheet that showed how they’d meet their sales quota. Sales initiatives, if approved, were executed in isolation. Sales tried to drive lead-generation activities to make up for poor conversion rates. The sales team hated product launches. Launches meant downtime, new KPIs and an ineffective comp spiff. Sales and Marketing were constantly at odds.


New hires were made on “hunches” rather than on well-designed processes. HR was engaged only if there was a problem.


The Aftermath: A Top-Performing Company at All Levels

After following the steps outlined in our report, the company is growing revenue. The stock price has doubled. Revenues are now growing at 20%. New products are being well-received by the market. The transformation is showing sustainable success.


Market research is now looking at the market, industry, competitors, accounts and buyers. It is compiled from both secondary and primary sources. The process now considers each functional group and produces actionable insights. It is also driving decisions across the organization.


The CEO created a new corporate strategy based on market research. He gathered input from all the functional leaders and included their key decisions. The corporate strategy ruled out markets where the company could not compete. It now keeps the company focused on its advantages.


The product group used the corporate strategy to set the product road map. Products are now only invested in if they actually solve market problems. This has made product launches more successful, and partnering with Sales and Marketing easier.


Marketing used the corporate strategy to understand its objectives. They used market research to gain deeper understanding of their buyers and customer behavior. The marketing team now works with the product group to test new concepts. They also gathered feedback from Sales and worked to become better partners with them. This resulted in better lead-generation and improved launches.


Sales used corporate strategy and market research similarly to how Marketing did. Now they are more effective in their sales efforts and focused on company objectives. Sales was included in product road-map decisions, which got them excited about launches. Through training, they became more comfortable talking to customers about the products. They also gave Marketing feedback on what was working and what wasn’t. This resulted in a better partnership between the two teams.


The Talent group created a successful hiring process in conjunction with corporate strategy. Now the new hire success rate has doubled to 80%. Company leadership now engages the Talent function proactively and creates actionable development plans. Today, talent is a competitive strength for the company.


The success of this technology company is a direct result of strategic alignment. Learn more about how to apply this to your company. Register for a live How to Make Your Number in 2016 workshop. An SBI strategist will come to your office for this pivotal 90-minute training.


Mike Drapeau

Makes data and analysis come alive so clients can understand the “what” and “why” and design solutions that fit the environment.
Learn more about Mike Drapeau >

Once the leader of SBI Delivery, Mike is now head of the firm’s internal talent development, so he has had the fortune to help some amazing sales and marketing leaders. He starts by earning their trust. Much of this comes from his deep base of experience. With more than 25 years in sales, sales management, pre-sales and sales operations, he’s never met a challenge he didn’t like. And with backgrounds in sales leadership, marketing, and sales operations, he shuns the idea of being a desk jockey and relishes the idea of living in the field.


Mike maintains, develops, and leverages SBI’s library of emerging best practices for sales and marketing, which leads to evidence-based solutions, custom-fit to each client. Maniacally focused on execution, Mike does not believe in giving clients fancy deliverables with no operational details. He knows that field adoption is key. After all, if behavior doesn’t change, the lift doesn’t come. Likewise, if those closest to the field adopt the solution, the client wins.

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