To get from Canada to the United States in eastern Ontario, you need to cross the St. Lawrence River. When you cross the Thousand Islands Bridge, it’s like you are crossing two bridges. In between each bridge is an island. If you only cross one bridge, you get stuck on the island in the middle of the river no-man’s land. This paints a picture of the crossing from strategy to execution. Many businesses get stuck in the middle of the river because they don’t have both bridges. The first bridge is between strategy and planning. The second bridge is between the plan and execution.
Bridge #1: Focus-From Strategy to Plan
Without a plan, a strategy is simply an idea. The first bridge to revenue needs to convert your strategy into an actionable sales and marketing plan to attract and cross-sell ideal clients. Rather than have one individual build the revenue growth plan, it should be created by the leadership team. When core leaders have input into the plan there is a much greater chance of buy-in. The plan should be documented. It should contain a clear picture of your goals, Ideal Client profile, the Ideal Client Experience, and the sales and marketing processes that need to be created and optimized to drive revenue.
Bridge #2: Processes-From Plan to Execution
While the first bridge is critical, without the second bridge, you get stuck in the middle of the river. Plans need to be executed. The key to execution is process. Most areas of a business like finance, HR, and production run on processes. However, when you look at sales and marketing, it’s more like the wild west. Sales people are told to, “Go make some calls!” Marketing people also tend to struggle with focus. Implementing sales and marketing processes creates a bridge from the plan to execution. It allows you to understand the resources needed (people, message, technology, and data) needed to support the processes. When new sales and marketing people come on board, you can train them on the process.
Here’s the challenge: you need bridge builders. Visionaries like to live on one side of the river with strategy. Integrators live on the other side of the river with execution. While both these roles are critical, it is important to make sure that you engage resources to build the two bridges. While bridge builders can come from inside your business, there are many benefits to engaging external resources to help you build the two bridges. At Convergo, we help teams build the first between strategy and the plan in our Revenue Growth Workshop. Then we build the second bridge between plan and execution by helping companies develop their core sales and marketing processes