By Bill Swanson, CEO Decisions
Revenue is down and so is profit. You listened to your customers, assessed the competitors, enlisted the brightest of your team, and sifted through the brains of the best external experts. You’re feeling good about your decision to signed-off on that five hundred thousand dollar Sales Improvement Program; you locked the door and made your way to the parking lot. It’s 6:30pm and you’re excited about a long holiday weekend with the family; a time to relax and renew. As you flip the steaks, cook the potatoes, and plan the weekend, the flames under the steaks bring to mind your hot new Sales plan. You begin to ponder… ponder if your market will alter their behavior and increase sales as promised by your team. Can we drive down the expense line using a new position in market strength? Will our up and down channels be convinced and ensure our new products will be supported by them? Will improving Field Sales capabilities and efficiencies do their share to increase revenues? Can marketing successfully define the improvement, and will the company become more profitable; or did I miss something…? The answer to these questions becomes personal. It’s my credibility with the Board, the Bank, and the sales force. Within the smoke of cooking beef lays two questions; questions that should have been asked at the beginning of the decision process: Was the decision making process fully correlated to the sales objective, and will the projects and programs produce recognizable value to the customer?