This year, SalesStar was acknowledged by Westpac Bank for the Auckland Business Awards, and honoured with “Excellence in Strategy & Planning” in the North & West Region in Auckland, New Zealand.
A win like this doesn’t appear out of thin air. In 2019 we set a global strategy to replicate the New Zealand business and grow a global brand. By 2020 the world was in lockdown but we did not let the pandemic derail the strategy.
When it comes to strategy and planning, the most difficult part is the discipline of saying NO to new ideas and opportunities that are not part of your original strategy.
For SME businesses there are always more ideas and opportunities than resources. We need to get laser focused on what we stand for and what we say no to.
For SalesStar, when there is a new idea, we put it through a strategic lens and decide whether or not it fits the strategy and adds value.
For instance, what we want to be the best in the world at is “empowering coaches to get transformational results for our clients”. The strategic anchors we ask ourselves for developing IP before introducing an addition to our original strategy are:
- Does it help support what we want to be the best in the world at? “empowering coaches to get transformational results for our clients”
- Is it transformational?
- Is it relevant to the market conditions?
- Is it scalable?
If this does not get 4 ticks, then it is a NO.
Here are a few more key points that spring to mind when it comes to how SalesStar implemented a winning system.
Have a Clear Vision – Think BIG
SalesStar came to life when I had a dream of growing a global brand from these two little rocks in the south pacific. During my time studying in university, I recall entering a newly introduced franchising class with a lecturer that inspired me and opened my mind to a new perspective on thinking big. He said, “Here is the problem with most business owners: we think too small. We all want the boat, the batch, the brand new sports car, but why don’t we think beyond that? Imagine if you were to grow a business globally, because the business is a big place”
That magic word “imagine” is what captivated me. From here I was determined to grow my own global business.
And now, 18 years on, thanks to that clear vision I set ahead of me, SalesStar has 8 practice partners across 6 countries and is scaling fast.
Start with the End in Mind
I think one of the toughest things for business owners is having clarity of what the business will look like in 10 years. But one of the most important productive hacks, is having a clear vision and starting with the end in mind.
Think forward on your vision. Where are you heading and where do you want to go? You won’t have all the answers, but you will figure out what works along the way, strengthening your strategy as you go. Consider what steps you need to implement to get you to that point itself, but allow yourself room to shuffle and adapt. For SalesStar, our aim was set on growing a global brand and over the last 18 years, we’ve gone through an ongoing process of iterations. We reflected back, understanding what was working and recognising what made a difference for our growing clients, growing the revenue in sales with an NPS score to reflect World Class service.
Define your Goals
Think about what your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) may be. This is often a 10 year goal that should be big enough to inspire all stake holders, but it doesn’t mean you have all the answers on how to get there.
A great process to workshop with your team is your 3 year Hairy Audacious Goal (3HAG) which will provide more clarity in the short term.
Get your leadership team together and identify the goal as a collective. If you can get people excited about where you’re going in three years and you can get them to become part of building the plan, because those who plan the fight, don’t fight the plan. The strategy should be thinking about what the company looks like in three years and who you hope to be serving. Think about the value proposition and size of your operation. Take the time to review where you’re winning, where you can improve, what your revenue is like and ensure you can articulate a clear picture of where you are and where you want to go.
You can also define your goal by backwards engineering. For example, if your goal is to grow by 5million in 3 years, then how do you plan to achieve that goal? It all comes down to simple maths. How many clients do you nee? What are your current sales ratios? How many presentations and discovery calls do you need to do? How many highly qualified leads does your sales team need from marketing in order to start closing in on targets? Are your sales people prepared to cold call and engage with new potential clients?
Putting yourself in the right mindset is the best thing to do to get you on track to conquering that goal you’ve got. I once had someone ask me “Who is the best in the world that does what you do and could it be you?” and of course at the time I was in a mindset that told me, “no. Of course not!” to which he responded, “Well, why not? Someone has to be the best in the world at it, so why not you? The only reason it can’t be you is in between your head. It’s what you think”, I was stunned and my attitude changed completely. You can be the best in the world at something, you just need to define what it is. Continue to swim in your own lane or even more so, find your blue ocean strategy , continuing to scale with that definition in mind. It takes the same amount of thinking to think big as it does to think small, sometimes your biggest competition can only be yourself.
Seek Expert Advice
As a business owner, you’re often trying to facilitate something that you never get to step back and enjoy. For many years, I was doing this on my own, which didn’t allow me to take pride in the ride, think creatively and also gave me a bias as to where I wanted to take the business. Not only was introducing an outside expert to facilitate our strategy able to give me more of a potential to achieve goals on a quicker base, it was also liberating because it really set in stone how highly I think about coaching. A third party impartial coach allows us to ensure everyone in the company feels they can participate and contribute in strategy planning. Furthermore an experienced coach will help you get there faster.
After all that has been said, remember that your strategy could be impacted by macro conditions like a recession or a pandemic. What is important is that you are able to modify and alter it, should it become necessary.
Make sure your strategy and planning is set somewhere visible, putting aside a day with your team to set up an annual strategy plan. Furthermore, every 90 days, review and plan the next quarter, on a monthly basis review how you are progressing on the strategic priorities and weekly, you should be tracking key numbers to measure success with your leadership team.
With a clear vision, defined goals, efficient planning, a healthy mindset and a good coach, I believe you can implement a strategy that will lead you to succeed.
We coach our clients through this HIGH PERFORMANCE SALES PATHWAY to help them get clear on their strategy, transform their sales team and achieve sales growth, without stress and uncertainty of going it alone.