Even the strongest managers are not mind readers. Without an impartial way to assess operational strengths and weaknesses as well as current strategies and processes, it is difficult to know how to align your leadership and make critical decisions that will most strategically benefit the business.
According to J.R. Samples, Founder of Accountability Partners, top executives often lack accurate information on the day-to-day challenges that hold back their field sales and marketing teams. Often, new sales VPs are brought in to fix sagging revenue but wind up feeling like thoroughbreds trying to pull a loaded wagon. Why? Systemic and dysfunction issues compromise their ability to take the organization forward as fast as everyone desires.
Organizations with stable leadership often have the opposite problem. Their challenges persist because they have stagnated or become complacent about their position in the market. And the silo mentality is in full effect in many sales and marketing organizations. These companies need a catalyst to improve communication between the two teams.
“Everyone likes strong leadership, but management must be careful not to unwittingly create the ‘bobblehead syndrome,’” says Samples. “In a meeting, an executive might get a lot of fervent agreement: ‘Yes, we should do that. Couldn’t agree more.’ Once the executive leaves the conference room, it’s back to business as usual.”
The foundation for success starts with an objective diagnosis to ascertain your current level of effectiveness – what Samples refers to as a baseline. Without an impartial tool, however, assessing current efforts can be a biased, complicated, and ineffective endeavor. Top executives want to align the goals and objectives of their sales and marketing teams, but without a fair arbitrator and a structured process for defining the underlying issues, it’s quite possible to miss critical ways in which the organization is misaligned.
“Sometimes it’s a lack of trust. Other times, it’s the lack of a comprehensive, objective process that gives everyone an equal – and in some cases anonymous –method for providing feedback. Executives need factual data about what people are seeing and thinking, without bias and all the drama,” says Samples. “Leaders are entrusted to provide a proper environment and method to capture which strengths need to be expanded and which constraints need to be addressed.”