Strategy vs. Execution

What’s the use of a solid strategy, if it is not realized tactically? A question many companies – management teams and boards – are asking themselves right now. The past two years have been turbulent, to say the least, and it hasn’t ended yet. However, businesses have had ample time to redesign their plans to suit the “new normal” and answer to new needs. New market, product development, pricing, and general business strategies have been defined. As the demand, customer journey and target groups in many cases changed. These developments led to restructurings and management shifts, but as we hear from our network these are slowly reaching stability. From redefining strategy, the execution of these plans has now clearly taken the overhand. Companies are adapting their focus on realizing the 1-, 3-, 5- or even 10-year plans they have created.

Logically, to do this they need the very best people. Sometimes these are found within the business, but with the immodest downsizing we had to endure many will have to be attracted from outside. As we all know, top talent is hard to come by these days and in these particular situations, there are a few reasons. First and foremost, immense competition. Companies are pushing all sorts of buttons to be the most attractive option for the people they want to gain or keep. This makes candidates picky, but also a little overwhelmed. So the entire recruitment process has become more sensitive and precarious from both sides.

Second, the positions we are talking about are extremely vital for the success of any organization. Yet, they are not always seen as such. People tend to link “impact” and “strategy” directly and solemnly to management positions. You don’t have a team, you are not important. Nothing is less true. It is time that we start to acknowledge the worth of any individual in the organization to be vital. In times like these, nobody is replaceable. Particularly positions that are right in between the business-wide strategy and local definition and implementation, require a great level of intelligence and experience. You need to comprehend, connect and translate two ends – that of your business and that of the market you serve.

The point we try to make here is to keep an open sight and be sure to explore all of your options, drivers and ambitions. Because now is the time to do so. There are many entrepreneurial, new and challenging opportunities out there that might surprise you and suit your current situation very well.

It’s clear that the pressure on executing business strategies have led to a tension in hiring top talent. We have found that this shift also requires a different focus and way of working from both sales and marketing professionals.

As sales is the department always in direct contact with the customers, clients, or channel, the execution of any new business strategy becomes very clear in this discipline. Especially looking at the customer journey and touchpoints things have changed the last two years. The customer’s digital-first buying journey requires a different approach from sales. Another important shift that has direct impact on sales professionals is the change in buying personas. Entering new markets and targeting new type of customers lead to new buying personas. Those lead in their place to a different approach by sales.

Whereas marketing departments two years ago often had to handle big cuts in their budgets, lately marketing has experienced much growth. The importance of a good working and well-integrated marketing machine is becoming more and more clear. As product innovations and market strategies have been defined, all that’s left to do is entering the market, increasing awareness and gaining market share. To realize these goals, the collaboration between marketing and sales is more important than ever. A valuable experience employees can bring to companies nowadays for that reason is lead generation. Knowing how to build lead generation campaigns and how to send as much qualitative leads to sales in order to boost turnover and performance, is priceless for an innovative and progressive organization in 2022.