Companies like Salesforce and American International Group have publicly committed to significant growth — sometimes up to 100% in the next three to five years. Sales teams feel the pressure more than ever to hit their revenue targets.
Such a steep order leaves little room for error or poor customer experience. But how can companies achieve rapid reputational and financial growth without any of the associated speed bumps or growing pains?
As I’ll explore in this article, measuring execution readiness is at the root of delivering the optimal customer experience that your sales force can point to as to why your offerings outperform everyone else’s. By reducing the risks in execution that alienate customers, your company can provide exemplary service, which will attract new customers and help you meet your rising sales goals.
There’s no room for unsatisfied customers.
To even come close to doubling sales, companies need to grow their footprint with existing customers or expand into new markets. Usually, they aim to do both. However, sales teams can’t achieve either objective if their current customers aren’t satisfied. Without increased sales and referrals, the goals of the magnitude many S&P 500 companies have set are simply unattainable.
Sales teams rely on outstanding experiences from their existing clients in the implementation of their offerings to maximize opportunities for growth. They’ll know whether they are delivering high-quality service by actively measuring customer experience and reputation gain using the net promoter score (NPS). Nothing short of a consistent nine out of 10 NPS will cut it when companies need to double sales through referrals and increased business with existing clients.
The risk of bad execution of a company’s offering can severely limit a sales team’s ability to close deals, so evaluating data like the NPS is key to staying ahead of any problems in the experience stream. Better yet, companies must now measure their ability to deliver long before they ever test solutions with a customer.
The root cause of great customer experiences can always be traced upstream to the execution level. Companies must successfully execute their services and initiatives if they have any hope of delighting customers and expanding their sales.
Ambitious companies can’t afford a failed execution.
To provide top-notch customer experiences, companies cannot continue to afford the poor outcomes that have become the corporate norm. For instance, according to the Harvard Business Review, only between 10% and 30% of mergers and acquisitions are not “abysmal failures.” In a separate article, HBR also pointed out that (though it’s often said that 70% of strategies fail) one in 10 strategies is a total bust.
It’s critical that companies strive to beat these odds and improve the success rate of their strategies. Measuring execution readiness, which is a company’s ability to implement solutions and achieve their desired outcomes, is key. For example, measuring a client’s execution readiness once a deal is reached can support a strong and high-value implementation of the solution purchased. In other words, if a customer can implement the solution your company has sold them, it vastly enhances the overall customer experience, leading to higher NPS outcomes and supporting the sales growth process.
The problem companies currently create for themselves — and the reason why I’ve found many strategies fail — is that leaders are pursuing initiatives while simultaneously lacking the intelligence of what is in the way to execute them. They’re asking, “What?” but never answering, “How?” There’s no shortage of exciting, innovative ideas in the business world. There is, however, a shortage of capability and follow-through.
If companies continue to defer the measurement of execution readiness and leave implementation to chance, they are actively limiting their opportunities to grow sales and revenue targets as committed to markets.
Learning how to measure your execution readiness is crucial.
The data companies need in order to measure execution readiness already exists inside their businesses. They simply need to harvest it. Once gathered, that data can be used to calculate their execution readiness score, which will indicate whether a company can successfully execute a strategy.
A relevant score draws on the 14 domains of measurement identified to create a comprehensive picture of a company’s execution capability: alignment, technical capabilities, management, technical environment, priorities, stakeholders, business process and rules maturity, business capabilities, governance, decision-making, subject-matter understanding, organizational adaptability, criticality and vision.
By examining these areas of your business, you can consider how a given initiative will affect or be affected by your capabilities. For example, you might realize your team has a high level of subject-matter understanding but lacks the needed technical capabilities to implement a solution.
With strengths and weaknesses identified across all 14 domains, you can accurately predict whether you can succeed before pouring time and resources into a new initiative. If you predict your business will fall short, you can make the necessary adjustments that will allow you to deliver an excellent experience for your customers.
Better execution is the secret to improved experiences and more sales.
Customers are tired of purchasing solutions only to discover that implementation is a nightmare, and companies that don’t deliver an excellent experience will not only fail to grow but also will likely lose business to more capable competitors.
Companies that have openly committed to or are expected to deliver high sales growth have no room for error. High sales goals demand even higher customer-experience standards, which means execution needs to be as close to flawless as possible.
Flawless execution doesn’t result from guessing, intuition or figuring it out as you go; it’s the end product of data-based decisions. It happens when leaders feel confident in the outcome before they even begin because they’ve examined the variables from every angle.
By measuring execution readiness, executives will be able to deliver on their promises, provide better service to their customers and earn more referrals and sales to hit their targets.