Strong, repeat purchase and service relationships make sales results sustainable
Continually asking and answering these questions will help leaders and managers assess what it will take to put their organizations on a path to more predictable and sustained results with a central focus on the customer.
The Essential Questions
Accept the immutable truth of the buying cycle
How well have your customer-facing organizations embraced the buying cycle as the focus for all actions they take separately and together with customers and prospects?
Base all customer-facing strategies on a common understanding of the customer
How does your organization define customer?
Is that definition consistent across the organization?
Are all of your strategies unified, across customer-facing organizations, by a common understanding of the customer?
Make conscious decisions about the best ways to serve customers and prospects
What range of best ways to serve customers and prospects do you consider in developing strategy and why do you make the choices you do?
Believe in people as your difference-makers in the marketplace
How do you define corporate differentiation and competitiveness in the marketplace in people terms?
What investments are you making to achieve and maintain your people-as-difference-makers advantage?
Create both a culture and the reality of accountability
What measures does your organization look at regularly?
How do people in your organization use results to define and implement necessary and continuous improvement?
Lead change, don’t dictate it
What about your customers and your relationships with them create a sense of urgency for change?
What vision can you articulate about how those relationships could be different and about what impact those changed relationships would have on your people and your company?
Initiate internal innovation
Internal innovation, if done well, can be every bit as growth and value creating as new product and service development. Do you have an internal innovation engine that drives continuous renewal?
Retake control of business requirements for technology
How well-defined and cross-functionally integrated are your business processes?
How engaged are your customer-facing business functions in defining requirements for technology and ensuring that they are met?