What are you doing?

Assuming your annual cycle began last week then ideally your ship has left the harbour it was docked at for the Christmas break and has now set off on its new 2012 course.

Your company is in the new Deliver phase of your strategic planning cycle and you and your teams are implementing the tactics that were set to achieve the objectives and milestones which were created to achieve the goals which were established at the end of last year to drive the company to where it needs to be at the end of 2012.

Not only have you made sure that everything is connected from your purpose through your vision and mission, and your goals and objectives to your tactics, but you have aligned everything to make sure they have the best chance of being achieved and producing the best return possible.

For example, one of your objectives may be to convert a specific number of new prospects in a particular market sector. Your sales tactics will include visiting these new prospects to convert.

Sales will struggle to do this if the right prospects haven’t been identified and the right messages and solutions put together by marketing. So, marketing are working on the tasks to identify these prospects, understand their needs and match the best solution to meet them.

Marketing will also need to create the compelling marketing messages which will attract these prospects. That way there will be a higher probability that their sales colleagues will be able to make the visit, address any questions and objections and eventually convert the prospect to a buyer.

Peter Drucker once said something like, “The purpose of marketing is to make sales superfluous.” Marketing should at least aim to present sales with a warm, receptive customer and ideally one that craves what you are selling.

For sales to have the best possible chance to achieve their objective they may need training if the solution or benefits are new. This should be an objective of say HR and have been scheduled in advance to minimise disruption.

And we haven’t touched on engineering or support being aligned to provide and support this new solution.

Every new idea, every new goal, new objective will disrupt the status quo and so everything that needs to be done needs to be planned and the stages connected both hierarchically, between objectives and tactics, but also across the tactics themselves. If they aren’t then actions will be less effective or be lost, milestones missed and time and money wasted getting the business back on course.

Even if you run a business of one, the principles are the same.

We haven’t looked at the systems and processes that are involved and the impact on them in achieving this objective so I’ll cover this next time.

Have you connected the dots from your vision to your tactics so that everything is aligned to hit your milestones and achieve your targets?