If customers are the key to predictability of sales, they also represent the biggest threat to it.
In the past, organizations had the opportunity to manage the buying cycle of customers by initiating that cycle with awareness and interest-generating marketing activity, or with strong account relationship management. Today the internet enables customers to take near full control of the buying cycle and social media introduces a whole new set of influences that reduce the possibility of control even further.
Customer-facing organizations have attempted to meet this challenge to predictable and sustained results with a variety of often unconnected initiatives. They have developed new sales processes, built lead-generation engines, and used different approaches to become more accountable. They have made attempts to become strategy-driven by implementing Balanced Scorecards and become customer focused by deploying the latest and greatest CRM technology across marketing, sales and service organizations.
What is missing from these independent efforts is a unifying focus broadly embraced across the organization and consistently acted upon.
A central focus on the customer is such a unifying purpose. Not a mindless mantra, an employee cafeteria poster or the bandwagon of investment in technology, but a clear-headed management and leadership philosophy.
Change Strategies' eight leverage points, and the interactions among them, form the foundation for building and maintaining a central, organization-wide and consistent focus on the customer. Our two decades of work with some of the world's largest and most successful companies provide the practical basis for developing actions that deliver results.