Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics.
Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:
- Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
- Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
- Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
Our information exchange this week highlights a book by Ram Charan, “Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty“.
This is Part Two of a Two Part Series.
What Leaders in Marketing and Sales Must Do to Help
the Company Survive and Thrive
The shift in the economic environment is often most painful for sales and marketing executives, because a global slowdown erodes their normally optimistic outlook and changes their entire game plan. Focus on the following:
#1 – Evaluate Your Organizational Structure
The goal is not to simply reduce costs, but more importantly to get salespeople focused on what they need to do for the customer and against the competition. Salespeople must become the company’s eyes and ears, providing timely ground-level information that forms the basis for fundamental decisions about the company’s strategy and tactics. Set up mechanisms to ensure what your salespeople learn in the field gets to senior executives.
#2 – Know What Your Customers Cost
To determine which customers to keep and which to drop, you must have a detailed understanding of how each one affects your business and different parts of the value chain. The information your salespeople gather about your customers can be put to good use in developing the best value propositions.
#3 – Do Not Sacrifice the Brand
Brand identity is extremely valuable to your company as a long-term differentiator. Be certain the customer’s experience with your product lives up to the promise of the brand.
Six Essential Leadership Traits for Difficult Times
Honesty and Credibility: Tell your employees how you see the world, acknowledge the limits of your understanding and ask them for their own views. Doing this may take courage, but together you can piece together better probabilities than any one person can.
The Ability to Inspire: Most people are anxious. Start with your own team — they will be the ones to inspire the rest of the organization. Help them develop an optimistic view of what can lie ahead. Inspire your team to focus on this optimistic view — make it realistic, make it one they can believe in and work toward. Inspiration will come from making decisions that produce incremental successes.
Real-Time Connection with Reality: Reality is a moving target. Continuously update and acknowledge reality as it changes. This will allow you to adjust with the changing times.
Realism Tempered with Optimism: Focus your people on a vision of what is possible and energize them to search for actions that will realize the vision.
Managing with Intensity: Hands-on participation at this time is essential. Dig into the right details with much higher frequency than ever before. Your people will be inspired not by ‘stirring words’ as much as by seeing firsthand that you have put reality on the table and have a plan for addressing it effectively, as a team.
Boldness in Building for the Future: Facing the necessity of conserving cash and surviving in the short run, you may feel pressured to shortchange the future. Resist this pressure.