Are you missing opportunities that you simply did not see before it was too late? The failure to link strategic intent with sales actions, leads to wasting efforts on the wrong opportunities or moving too late into new markets.
How do you get the best outcome from completing your AlignDiagnostic survey? Here are 3 steps to validate and improve your situation:
Start with your Overall Assessment. If Your Assessment shows that 80% or more of your team are in the Full Alignment category, then you have a favourable alignment. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How do you fill the gap and move this to 100% alignment?
- How do you ensure that this level of alignment is maintained over the next 12 months?
- How do you induct new members of your team to retain this level of alignment with your chosen direction?
Align Diagnostic: Sample Summary Report
Aligning Strategy and Sales by Frank Cespedes (Harvard Business School)
If Your Assessment shows that 50% or less of your team are in the No Alignment category, then you may have a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have a higher mix of new members in your team?
- Have you been too busy to invest adequate time in recent months in taking your team on a journey discovery on your growth plans?
- What implications and knock-on effects will there be on your business growth if this mis-alignment is left unresolved?
The Comparison to Similar Businesses enables you to assess how you stand versus other businesses that picked your same Industry code. Similarly, Comparison to All Businesses provides a benchmark against all other respondees to this survey.
Review the team responses to the 4 specific question areas to pin point which of these topics are most out of alignment with your vision for growth.
We suggest that you share the results with your team and then invite them to a discussion to understand the level of alignment and uncover any underlying issues. It is recommended that you email them the results ahead of time and ask them to come prepared for discussion at the next team meeting.
How long should this discussion be? The exact time duration that you will allocate will depend on the size and experience level of your team. For example, we suggest that you devote 60 minutes for a team of 4.
- Invite your team members to kick-start the discussion and share their ideas, before you (as the Initiator) put forward your views. For example, some team members may be chasing prospects that do not fit into your key target market, wasting time and valuable resources of your company. Take time to drill-down to find out what’s causing them to chase these prospects.
- Discuss the mix of revenue growth from existing customers versus new customers. What is the team’s understanding of this percentage mix, over the past 12 months? How will this change over the next 12 months?
Finally, ensure a common understanding of the most critical single action for success, over the next 12 months. Discuss the rationale why this is the top priority for your business – making a direct connection with your goals.
As a wrap up, conduct a private post-mortem of the results from the AlignDiagnostic survey and the specific points raised in the team discussion. You may invite a trusted external advisor to participate in this activity.
- Use the findings from this post-mortem as input to develop (or fine-tune) your Growth Plan.
- Place a greater emphasis on the first 90 day of actions – and use these actions to improve the level of collaboration within your team when executing this plan.
- If you do not have a Growth Plan, use the input from the AlignDiagnostic survey to kick-start your own plan – online or on paper.
Finally, it must be pointed out that however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. Cycle back with your team and review the alignment results during the year.