This is not an easy task. But it is one that must be completed by all CEOs. John began by discussing the groundwork of his corporate strategy. Why does his company exist? What’s their mission and values?
“A lot of people don’t even think about mission statements as part of their strategy. They think it’s sort of old-fashioned, and we actually think it’s very important,” claims John. The company’s mission is “protecting people and enhancing lives.” He went on to explain that their focus has been on the concept of the right people doing the right things the right way.
Once developed, John discussed how this is applied throughout the organization. For example, how does it affect the sales team?
Empowering the Sales Team
Greg Alexander, CEO at SBI, asked John “If you have your vision and values, how do you make sure your sales team engages with customers? How do you make sure the customer experiences these?”
John claims it is all about promises. At Rentokil, they have 3 promises: a colleague promise, a customer promise and a shareholder promise. The colleague promise was notably first in order. This was purposeful, as John believes that if you have the right employees, the customer delivery will be well understood and well delivered. He goes on to include that transparency of communication is key. “We have a clear set of company values that our sales teams use to explain our value proposition and that, we believe, drives the way they interact with their customer,” says Myers.
Greg and John both agree that you have to have your mission, vision and values to establish a solid foundation for the company.
Defining How to Serve Customers
Additionally, Rentokil’s brand promise is tied to 3 principles: service, relationship and teamwork. Service is defined as being passionate about delivering excellent customer service to every customer. The second piece is relationship, which is defined as valuing productive, long-lasting relationships with their colleagues and customers. The final piece, teamwork, is a recognition of the fact that Rentokil is a complicated business. Only through working together can they deliver great results.
You must be able to articulate your brand promise as easily as John can. And more importantly, it must get validated every day.
Rentokil believes that happy, engaged employees equals happy, engaged customers. At the end of the day though, results are important. “How do you determine the financial objectives that the company must meet?” asked Greg.
John responded, simply with measurement. Rentokil is a “scoreboard company” meaning they measure their results constantly. They are always trying to improve based on results, and have identified their strategies for the next 3 years.
They identify the initiatives to support those strategies. These outputs then drive a “bottoms-up” budget for the coming year. The budget is the output, rather than the other way around. John contends “you start with strategies first. It’s a much more supportable message.”
Defining Your Competitive Strategy
The final piece to the puzzle that John discussed is competitive strategy.
John began, “we start by identifying the segments we want to operate in and the competitors in those specific segments.” The first piece is done by identifying segments that are profitable, rather than believing all segments were created equally. Another tip shared by Myers was using your customers to learn about your competitors. Staying close to your customers allows you not only to know what’s going on in their business, but also to learn the value propositions they’re hearing from your competitors.
At the end of the day, your corporate strategy must allocate people, money and time to generate profitable growth. This puts your company in the best position within its marketplace. John has done exactly that.
If you want to know what a good strategy looks like, register for our workshop here. We’ll combine our research with your organization to put you on the path to success.