The business leaders that are most successful at driving growth are those that embrace continual improvement across all aspects of their company, ensuring initiatives are delivered in measurable timeframes.
Growth leadership is challenging as much as it is rewarding. Growth requires agility, open minds and a desire to improve the company and individuals within the business. The ability to cut through and bring forward the changes and improvements amidst all the other demands within a company’s day to day operations. It is about operating a different business model from those traditional competitors.
The ability to keep focused on the plan, an eye on the end goal, and navigate your way through. The market is active and agility to change to customer demands and expectations is core to longevity, increasing the demand for Growth Leaders.
Growth is imperative; therefore, change is a given
Developing this level of agility requires changes, sometimes significant changes to how most companies run their sales and marketing functions today. Divisional leadership needs to embrace the need for change and see it as an opportunity for both the company and individuals.
Growth leaders require sales and marketing teams to be dynamic, and they have unique and different priorities to other departments. Let’s look more closely at those traits of companies with growth leaders.
1. Defining growth: instant results vs sustainable growth
Many growth initiatives deliver instant and short-term results by allocating funds or resources to double down on winning products or cross-selling additional products to existing customer bases. Marketing and sales respond to falling numbers seeking instant gratification from campaigns. The problem is only temporarily resolved, and the same challenge will return sooner.
Growth leaders focus on sustainable growth, which demands more engagement from marketing and sales teams. They require agility and a willingness to change ways of working which are unavoidable in growth environments. It is about bringing new practices to connect with a changing audience of customers to support longer-term growth. This means working to disciplines, process and methodologies as the guardian of topline growth and bottom-line.
2. Organisational readiness
Successful growth in sales and marketing depends on the leadership team’s flexibility and readiness to make changes across their business. To adapt and align to customers and smarter ways of going to market. Their ability to inspire, lead and support their teams through the process.
Implementing growth initiatives at the desired pace of the market requires rapid learning of new or enhanced skills. There can be the potential hiring of new talent to meet additional identified requirements, implementation or upgrades to existing systems. There must be an overall willingness to participate and see the process through.
3. External factors
The competitive landscape is agile and activated to win. Your competitors’ capacity to adapt faster and/or grasp new opportunities can directly affect your company’s performance. The bottom line is speed wins.
While you may be perfecting your offer, dealing with internal challenges, your competitors may have already released their new products or services and gained sales and market share. Therefore, successful growth leadership should incorporate agile sales departments supported by agile marketing departments.
4. The role of marketing
Growth is typically focused on sales performance, but marketing plays an instrumental part in delivering on growth initiatives in today’s competitive landscape. Therefore, marketing and sales must work together and be integrated into the business. It is crucial to identify, and where necessary, insource specific marketing talent and capabilities to provide the momentum to support growth. Marketing and sales must be fully integrated, working to the same plan in non-traditional ways.
5. People and teams
Growth has a large human component, and this requires leadership, guidance, coaching and motivation. Sales teams need to be aligned on the new strategy and embrace the new way of doing things. The leadership teams at the national and state level need to embrace and deliver initiatives timely to increase success.
This is the key factor to any successful Growth Leadership. The ability to implement timely, consistently and recognise when minor changes are required to adapt to the changing market. Sustaining performance through the implementation phases is hard work and where many people lose focus and get diverted by seemingly challenging barriers. Through sound measurement and horizon management practices, successful growth leaders steer the company through and ensure the implementation is completed.
To become a growth company, you require growth leaders in sales and marketing who demonstrate a desire to engage in change and development of themselves and their teams. They have an eye on future growth possibilities and a long term view of how to achieve the results.
Sales Focus Advisory assists companies in building operational models for marketing and sales. You can reach out to the office to organise a time to discuss your specific needs via our contact form or telephone 1800 699 997
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