Many companies pursue projects aimed at motivating early stage buyers to consume their offering. And yet they don’t. Some blame design. Some blame the concept itself. Few blame poor execution. But they should.

Who Is at Fault for Your Failed Initiative?


The golden goose of demand generation is finding new buyers unaware of your solution and then motivating them to learn more about you — your company, your solution, your people.


These projects typically include some mix of persona research, buyer journey mapping, prospecting process improvement, content marketing, new messaging and brand, social selling, and/or mobile enablement.


Some get results. Some don’t. Many run out of steam, with high expectations unmet and legions of new customers never welcomed.


This failure to achieve the desired results (i.e. new logo customers) frequently gets laid at the feet of the CMO and sometimes the CSO/CRO. It was a “poor idea, poorly executed”, they say, or some version of that cause.


And then the company manages its own decline because, without new customers there is no bright future.


But SBI’s experience and field research indicates that the flaw is almost always NOT in design; instead it is in poor execution.  Namely, the inability of the organization to drive the necessary behavior change. 


Download our Execution Indicators Tool to leverage and track 6 different metrics to evaluate your execution, and to evaluate the measurement, source, and status of the 6 metrics.


What to Do About a Sluggish and Ineffectual Execution Capability


Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither, too, will you be able to recover quickly from a flaccid and weak execution motion. It takes a new people, a fresh approach, and sometimes even tools.


But most of all it takes consistency and organizational patience — two things often in short supply in corporate America.


If you want to snapback and get your initiatives back on track, here is a brief primer on what to start doing tomorrow:


  1. Hold 1 person accountable for the organizational change. This is not a responsibility to be spread like peanut butter over the organization. Indeed, there are many hands helping; but only one head in the noose.
  2. Pay them well for success. Nailing a strategic project of this magnitude should be a career achievement. A pat on the beck is not enough. When your change leader is successful, pay them well. And extra. Because now you a set of new customers to thank him or her for.
  3. Make it their full job, not their second job. This is the biggest temptation our clients face…just take an ‘A’ player and load them up wit a second set of full time duties on top of their current ones. And then expect both to be carried out well. This is asking for the impossible. So don’t ask for it. Make the change initiative their full time job, for a 6-12 month period.
  4. Hire some expertise in driving change. Change management and organizational behavior is a specific field that requires expertise not in great supply. Hire out for it. The risk is worth the reward.
  5. Implement for Leading and Behavior Metrics. Instrumentalizing the effort is key. There will be problems and the need for mid-course corrections. To get ahead of the curve you need to look down the road. That is why leading and behavioral metrics are crucial. They give leaders the necessary over-the-horizon radar so that obstacles can be avoided and chokepoints resolved early on.


Download our Execution Indicators Tool to leverage and track 6 different metrics to evaluate your execution, and to evaluate the measurement, source, and status of the 6 metrics.


For more execution related content, read the following articles:



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Mike Drapeau

Makes data and analysis come alive so clients can understand the “what” and “why” and design solutions that fit the environment.
Mike has led every function at SBI – Delivery, Sales, Talent, and Technology. Now he is a leader for Account Management, Private Equity Partnership, and long-term business development at SBI.


He has personally led over 100 projects for SBI over his decade+ time since its founding in 2006.


This starts by earning trust – of clients, of PE firms, of prospects. Mike obtains this by leveraging deep domain expertise, with more than 25 years in sales, competitive intelligence, sales management, marketing enablement, product management, pre-sales and sales operations. Mike relishes the idea of living in the field. So he does.


As a founding partner, Mike built out SBI’s library of emerging best practices for sales and marketing, which leads to evidence-based solutions, custom-fit to each client. Mike built himself many of the solutions now part of the Revenue Growth Methodology. And whatever he touches gets adopted. This is part of his commitment to making it happen in the field.
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