What do I mean by intentional success? I’ve worked for many great companies over my career, and I’ve seen varying definitions of business success. In my experience, simply achieving or surpassing your targets isn’t a cause to pop open the champagne – not in and of itself. That’s because you’ve just raised the bar, and the expectation is to do what? Do it again, do it better, deliver bigger or faster results, and so on.
As we look ahead at that next challenge, it’s probably a good idea to examine how we got here in the first place. Was it due to a perfect Go-To-Market plan, followed by flawless execution of an organized sales strategy? Or did a large deal close at the last minute to save the day? Did we know what we were doing all along and accomplished our stated goals, or did we just get lucky again?
If we know how we got here, we can probably make alterations to the system we used and apply what we learned to the next fiscal period. That’s an intentional process with intentional results. But what if we’re not sure how we achieved “success” this time? What if we were accidentally successful?
Whether you’re a sales executive of a Fortune 500 company or a sole proprietor growing a small business, the desires are similar – grow your business and achieve your strategic goals. These accomplishments require deep knowledge of your business plan, your data, who can help, and how you spend your time in a given workday.
The Silo Connect Framework
I created the Silo Connect Framework to identify the business silos involved in marketing and selling a product or service, as well as provide feedback loops to Product teams. It provides a framework that companies of any size can utilize as it moves from merely hitting sales targets into a philosophy of true Customer Experience Management. By using this holistic approach and connecting different divisions and Silo Leaders, intentional success is much more likely. This article provides a quick overview into a few of the Framework’s crucial components. I’ll elaborate in more detail in future writings. For now, let’s just hit on a few of the key ingredients.
One Source of Truth (Your Data)
Good data is the foundation of the Framework. You could have the best enterprise applications in the world, but it won’t matter one bit if the data underneath is garbage. Your goal should be to have your customer dataset serve as a “single source of truth” – the clean, up-to-date version of each record within your CRM, marketing systems, etc. Develop data strategies around entity resolution, de-duplication, and consolidation. Not only does this make account and lead management easier for sales teams, it’s a necessary component of being a good (and compliant!) steward of your customer’s information.
Be Intentional with your Marketing and Demand Generation
Ensure your lead generation and prospecting strategies are in sync with GTM plans. Too often, sales teams just do what they know – what they’ve always done. Look for ways to transform your sales teams and help them build new skills that fit the objectives precisely. Use clean data and work with Marketing and Product groups to determine the best tactics for new customer acquisition, white space hunting, and growing relationships with existing customers. These efforts should also create an added benefit in fostering healthier cross-functional relationships within your company, bringing Silo Leaders together.
Superior Pipeline Management
Accurate and timely pipeline management is impossible without good CRM hygiene. But even if your pipeline is pretty clean, some organizations make it frustratingly difficult to make CRM changes or updates. Make sure your CRM Operations team is kept up to date on your sales goals and challenges and include them as part of your extended cross-functional army. Keeping your CRM updated also provides views to any Silo Leader, who can foresee problems and possibly offer assistance that you didn’t know you needed yet.
Also, many CRMs have easy ways for sales to enter account updates quickly and conveniently. There’s now no excuse for sloppy CRM habits.
Automate and Simplify
Find natural points in your quarter or year to uncover new ways to automate tasks and simplify processes. This should be an on-going initiative within the company. Ensure each employee has the right access and view per job level and share your progress with cross-functional peers. You may find that they have the key to unlocking the next automation project!
Standardize your Business Management Process
Many companies do this already, and several enjoy a love-hate relationship with their BMP. The key is to provide standardization in a way that also enriches your corporate culture. Value each leader’s input, but also value their time. Many organizations want to see time spent: 50% selling; 30% prospecting; 20% administrative tasks. Use automation to get that administrative time down. Reduce meeting numbers and length and do everything you can to avoid meeting or participant duplication. Operating this way can also help increase employee retention.
Getting to Intentional Success Has Benefits
There’s more to this Framework that I’ll explore in future posts. But as we look at this on the surface, some benefits quickly emerge:
- Stronger cross-functional teams across multiple silos
- Better pipeline quality
- Improved funnel views
- Easier to manage and distribute information
- Decisions made on-demand and in real time
- Reduce time spent in meetings
- Improved resource allocation
- Launch customer experience initiatives
- Prove real value to the customer
Have you achieved intentional success in your business? Or have you been accidentally successful? Do you have some examples of how automation and simplification worked for you? Please share in the comment section below.