Time to Re-Boot Your Customer-Facing Strategy
Time and again, printing industry owners and senior executives lament the state of their business and account development process. Experienced account executives are difficult to find and even harder to recruit since they are likely valued and well-compensated where they are. Some try converting existing team members who are willing to “try sales” (really? Try sales??). While some still attempt to attract reps “with a following,” others have all but abandoned that approach and look to recruit sales executives from other industries.
Under any circumstance, the fundamental challenge remains. Those who do successfully attract sales talent bring them in to what can best be described as flawed and outdated systems, processes and methods.
Sales compensation schemes are a particular irritant to executives. The feeling is that some sales reps are paid inappropriately for accounts they have secured but fail to grow. Others struggle to decide how long they can afford to “carry” a new rep with a salary and/or a draw before cutting them loose. Frustration grows and attempts to correct these perceived inadequacies result in tweaking here and there. But this approach solves very little; tactical band-aids applied with alacrity. Leading companies are coming to realize there is a better way.
Enduringly successful leaders are creating innovative approaches to procuring and developing key accounts. This begins with the realization that establishing a comprehensive customer -acing strategy is the responsibility of the senior leadership team. Meeting off-site in strategic session, executives take a deep dive on their unique offerings and capabilities, a thorough account review, and identification of prospective new accounts with whom they could enjoy long-term mutual success. A high-level, team-based organizational plan is developed and rolled out through the entire enterprise. This approach involves major structural changes in roles, responsibilities, and how team members are rewarded for success.
For more information on ways in which your company can begin this transformation process, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.