Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Strategic Priorities & go-to-market initiatives

Now market is in good shape, it has recovered a lot and people in India are anticipating good growth rate in coming times. I have been traveling lot in India, during last couple of months, especially after recovery of market. I have visited lot of factories small and big, organized and unorganized, professional and unprofessional. One thing I have noticed that way in which we Indians are working is maturating. Small- small companies are focusing on concept of day to day field execution. In India developing strategies in some respect is easy part but executing that strategy in alignment with strategic priorities is real hard job.

Now a day’s most of the organizations are flooded with enquiries, but they do not have capacity to execute or full fill the orders. This is the only time when underdog can prove by making themselves proactive. It is often most difficult because you are dealing with combination of factors in business such as market analysis, strategy development, incentive, people management, developing a performance culture, and sustaining that culture in face of inevitable market changes that are often outside the control of selling company. Aligning strategy and sales is therefore critical to long-term revenue growth for most firms, and poor alignment means both direct and opportunity costs for companies. But it's especially critical for small entrepreneurial firms. They are often competing with bigger and better-resourced companies in their markets. They need to move faster and more coherently than big companies, and that means they must be better than big companies at aligning their strategic priorities and their go-to-market initiatives.

One must understand externals in business and their impact on sales. These externals are as follows:

1) Industry you compete in

2) Market segment where you choose to play

3) Nature of customer

Too often leaders of firms use their industry as an excuse for not doing the things that can, in fact, improve strategy execution and profits. It's very important to understand your industry and its market dynamics. But industry is not destiny. As usual in business, the important levers in aligning strategy and sales are committed leadership and management behaviors.

Across the industries you can find lot of companies that are successful in aligning strategy and sales and driving long term profitable growth. One such example is PACCAR, a producer of heavy-duty trucks that has been consistently profitable for over 70 years. It commanded a 10 to 15 percent price premium versus its competitors throughout this period. And over the past 10 years it realized an average total ROE of nearly 20 percent.

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