In light of the global economic chaos smart CEO’s recognize that this is actually an excellent time to assess and tune every aspect of the company’s revenue engine. “Business as usual” just won’t cut it because we’re not facing an “as usual” market. The time is right for an interim executive, the master mechanic of a sputtering revenue engine.
Fresh ideas, complete honesty, and an absence of bias is required to conduct an insightful audit of the company’s revenue engine—the marketing and sales functions that lead to revenue generation.
This is yet another excellent scenario for using interim managers. Frankly, only an outsider can provide the unbiased perspective necessary for an accurate assessment of the inner workings of the revenue engine. Also, only a well-seasoned executive with strategic and tactical or operational experience in marketing and sales has the in-depth experience that an assessment requires.
Here’s what one typical interim engagement might look like if aimed at assessing the effectiveness of a company’s revenue engine and realigning it for achieving 2009 revenue targets. This engagement could be lead by a VP or C-level interim marketing executive with back up from a VP-level interim sales executive (or switch the lead and backup roles).
- Assess characteristics and capabilities of the sales force and channel partners. Define the ideal set of characteristics needed for success over the next 12-18 months and make recommendations how to align the organization accordingly.
- Assess the compensation strategy and plan. Revise as necessary.
- Assess the opportunity pipeline. Just how real is the forecast? Revisit and adjust the opportunity scoring methodology—remember this isn’t business as usual.
- Revisit and assess if the stages of the pipeline are well defined in light of today’s business climate and how your customers are purchasing. Is a CRM system being used properly?
- Evaluate if marketing and sales strategies and tactics and properly aligned to each other and to the pipeline.
- Assess every component of the marketing plan, specifically the positioning strategy and all lead generation activities. Are the right investments being made? Will the marketing activities be sufficient to generate the required leads?
- What metrics are being used to measure marketing and sales? Are these the right metrics or are there others that better indicate contribution to company objectives?
- Conduct an analysis of the competitive landscape. A formal SWOT analysis is good, but at least conduct an analysis of positioning, messaging, and direction. How does the company compare?
- Review all customer satisfaction surveys, or if none exist conduct a survey that includes key question for Net Promoter Score.
- Assess management. Are the right people in key roles within Marketing and Sales? What skills are missing that should be added via training or outsourcing?
No doubt the list could include 20 steps or more. It wouldn’t be difficult to create another list of 10 steps with completely different activities. However, I’ve seen that if these areas are evaluated and tuned to the realities of the marketplace by un-biased, seasoned executives, the company’s revenues will jump.
In this example scenario the two interim executives assigned to the engagement could conduct the assessment and make the majority of changes in about 3 months.
There are three primary benefits to engaging interim managers for this work:
- Unbiased, objective counsel from senior executives.
- They drive the assessment and the action to make necessary changes.
- They are focused on the engagement’s objectives while the existing management team keeps their eyes on the day-to-day operations.
Imagine: A revenue tune-up in 3 months. No loaner car required.
Want to learn more about the effective use of interim management in marketing and sales? Preview the book, Leadership On Demand: How Smart CEO’s Tap Interim Managment To Drive RevenueRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
About 12 months ago I saw the need for a book that would enlighten CEO’s on the strategic use of interim managers in Marketing and Sales. With the help of co-author, Paul Travis, and editor, Theresa Heath, we interviewed top executives who had experience with interims and wrote our book. Leadership On Demand: How Smart CEO’s Tap Interim Management to Drive Revenue is now available in paperback and eBook. We self-published the title using the latest in print-on-demand technology and eBook technology. We’re selling the book directly from our site and through book resellers . The news announcement appears below and can also be viewed here.
Management’s Antidote for Turbulent Times
New Book Sheds Light on Practice of Using Interim Managers in Marketing and Sales
March 28, 2008, Austin, Texas. What is the little-known secret some CEO’s use to keep employment costs down while maintaining growth strategies during uncertain economic conditions? The answer involves the prudent use of interim or on-demand managers within their Marketing and Sales departments, according to the authors of Leadership On Demand: How Smart CEO’s Tap Interim Management to Drive Revenue.
Although companies are familiar with using interim or on-demand executives to fill temporary gaps in HR, IT and Finance departments the new book provides fresh insight and best practices on how to use interim, “just-in-time” talent to impact the revenue engine of their organization—Marketing and Sales.
The authors contend that too many companies have allowed temporary gaps in Marketing and Sales leadership to retard their revenue performance. The gaps occur in three areas: a key management position is vacant for more than a month, a critical set of required skills is missing in the organization, or there’s a shortage of management time to accomplish an important business initiative.
“This topic is one of great importance to our economy and society. The chapters do a good job of identifying the general trends that would lead a company to consider the utilization of an interim manager,” said John Mavers, First Vice President, Washington Mutual Bank.
Through its 14 chapters the book shows CEO’s how to identify when interim management should be considered, how to structure an engagement, how to socialize the solution within the organization, how to justify the fee, etc. The book includes interviews from CEO’s, COO’s and Board members who share their experiences and insights about the prudent use of on-demand leaders in small and large organizations.
Leadership On Demand: How Smart CEO’s Tap Interim Management to Drive Revenue is published by LOD Publishing, LLC and can be ordered from www.leadership-on-demand.com or http://www.Amazon.com. The suggested retail price is $28.95 plus shipping and handling. The title is available in both paperback and eBook formats.
About the authors
The authors and editor of the book have over 75 years combined sales and marketing management experience primarily in high tech, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.
Charles Besondy, author. After a career holding marketing leadership positions for small high-tech companies in Washington State and Texas, Besondy began his consulting and interim management practice in Austin in 2001. He has conducted interim management assignments for a range of companies, such as a Web start-up, a computer manufacturer, s professional sports franchise, and a large financial services vendor. Regarded as an authority on the topic of interim management for marketing functions he is co-author of the book, Leadership On Demand: How Smart CEO’s Tap Interim Management to Drive Revenue. His blog on the same topic, One Riot – One Ranger, is a popular source of insight and leading-edge thinking on the topic of interim management.
Paul Travis, author. Having managed a team of 10 and a budget of $5 million as a Vice President of Marketing for a publicly traded internet security company, after executive roles in foodservice to software publishing, Travis made the move into consulting. He has served in both project and interim capacities primarily in branding, product marketing, and launching new offerings – for technology, food/beverage, and manufacturing clients situated between British Columbia and the Midwest United States. In addition to his capacity as President of the Institute of Management Consultants – Pacific Northwest Chapter, he serves on the board of two privately held companies. His blog, www.60-Second-Marketing.com, features educational insights around snapshots of “hits and misses” in the marketing world.
Theresa Heath, editor. With over 25 years of experience, Ms. Heath is an innovative leader skilled in creating and implementing business development plans that reinvigorate sales teams and grow new products and markets. A strategist with a global and conceptual perspective, Ms. Heath approaches problem-solving in a relational and holistic manner by utilizing experience, intuition and knowledge to craft fresh and imaginative solutions. Heath is a versatile executive with both sales and marketing expertise in the healthcare and technology sectors, with a particular emphasis on bringing new technology successfully to market and exceeding company goals. Her background and flexibility serve her well in consulting, particularly in sales turnaround situations, developing new markets and new product commercialization.
Title: Leadership On Demand
Subtitle: How Smart CEO’s Tap Interim Management to Drive Revenue
Authors: Charles Besondy, Paul Travis
Editor: Theresa Heath
ISBN: 978-0-9802035-1-6 (paperback), 978-0-9802035-0-9 (eBook)
Category: Business Management
Length: 112 pages
Retail price: $28.95
Binding: 6”x9” trade paperback
eBook platform: Requires PDF reader software
Illustration: Charts and tables
Additions: Case studies, resources, survey, Website for the book’s readers is http://www.leadershipondemand-book.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
By Charles Besondy
Every CEO I know can be described with one or more of these labels:
- Orchestra conductor
- Chess master
- Pied piper
- Puppet master
Try it. Think of the CEOs you know (perhaps yourself even). Pin the label on the CEO. It’s fun. While personalities and leadership techniques vary, CEOs all have one thing in common—they manage resources to drive results. More specifically, the CEO blends and directs the talent, infrastructure and finances at his/her fingertips. When he gets the combination right success usually is the outcome.
However, if it was easy to get the right combination every company would be widely successful. More often than not, the limitations of the talent, infrastructure, finances, or time (our number one enemy), muck up the works and restrict success.
Interim management should be the CEO’s best friend and secret weapon (or favorite ingredient if you prefer the chef label more than the general label). By relying on interim managers in the marketing function, the CEO can apply exactly the right marketing skills and experience to an initiative for exactly the right amount of time—all while working with variable budget dollars rather than fixed budget dollars.
This ability to augment the CEOs arsenal with the right talent at the right time can be a major competitive advantage in that it enables business agility.
- The company can jump on market opportunities or react to competitive moves swiftly and adeptly. It takes far less time to locate and retain an interim manager than to recruit a full-time senior manager (even if there is headcount in the budget).
- Existing teams aren’t whip-sawed from one initiative to another. A high degree of focus can be maintained on existing business, while teams enhanced with interim marketing talent chase new opportunities.
- The initiative’s requirements can be matched to an interim’s domain and process expertise; very few compromises necessary. The CEO can select the optimum weapon for the job.
As a CEO do you see yourself selecting weapons, moving chessmen, orchestrating a team, or creating a world-class stew? Whatever metaphor you select, consider that interim management for the marketing function stands ready to help drive business and revenue growth.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )