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Getting It Done Versus Doing It Right

by David Brock on January 5th, 2011

I saw a comment by Alex Shootman of Eloqua at Focus this morning.  He spoke of their performance management system in which they looked at performance across a couple of dimensions, Getting It Done and Doing It Right.  I really liked his comment, but wanted to address it in a much broader sense.

Getting it done is pragmatic, it has a sense of urgency to it.  It keeps us moving forward and progressing.

However, too often, we focus on the expedient–just get it done!  Each of us is in a time pressured world.  We have too much to do with too little time  or resources to do it.  We take short cuts, we do things haphazardly.  It starts with little things–maybe it’s not sending a thank you note or email after a sales call.  Maybe it’s a poorly thought out email.  It may be that generic marketing brochure  we send our customer, rather than creating a response that focuses on their specific requirements. 

Over time, it progresses, we increasingly seek the expedient.  We don’t plan our sales calls, preferring to shoot from the lip, not realizing that this actually lengthens our sales cycle—we accomplish less and less in each call, because we forget what we needed to cover, we schedule more calls, we waste more of our customers time, customers are increasingly reluctant to see us, and it goes on.  We don’t use our sales process, reacting to the latest conversation with the customer, reacting to something a competitor has done, having no strategy.  Discounting is  one of the great expedients—offer a lower price, try to get a decision rather than presenting and defending our value.  Getting it done devolves into doing it over, correcting the mistakes and missteps we made before.

Some of us go even further–making commitments we shouldn’t make, shading the truth……

We do it all in pursuit of “Getting It Done.”

Doing it right is critical–not because it is nice, though it is.  Doing it right focuses on effectiveness.  Doing it right is maximizing our ability to win, reducing our sales cycle, creating compelling value by facilitating the customer buying process, maximizing deal profitability.   Doing it right is maximizing our impact with each action.   It means we do our homework.  It means we spend a little time developing our strategy and leveraging our sales process–because we know doing so maximizes our productivity.  It means we spend a few minutes preparing for our sales call, writing a call plan down–accomplishing more in each sales call, not wasting the customer time and reducing the sales cycle.

Doing it right is critical for managers–it’s knowing that coaching has a more enduring impact than commanding and telling.  It means that developing people to achieve their full potential creates greater and more sustainable results.  It means getting involved in moving deals forward rather than taking time asking for more reports–that don’t get read.

Doing it right, can be an excuse.  We may be driven to wait until everything is perfect, to not compete because we don’t have the right solution, to spend too much time planning–only to be late because we missed the opportunity.  Under the excuse of doing it right, we research and research and research.  We may not take risk, we may not take action.

Getting It Done, combined with Doing It Right is unbeatable!  It combines the sense of urgency, focus, prioritization with sharp and purposeful execution.  There are no wasted steps, motions, or energy.  It is focused on the customer, doing the right things, with the right people, at the right time.

Getting It Done and Doing It Right requires thinking, planning, sharp execution.  It is deceptive because it doesn’t look like a frenzy of activity, in fact it looks very different.  It’s calm, purposeful execution.

How will you achieve your 2011 goals?  Are you focused on Getting It Done, are you obsessed with Doing It Right, or are you Getting It Done and Doing It Right?

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3 Comments
  1. Great points David! Your analogy could apply to the way we lead our lives in general.

    Getting it right can be a personal ethic but, you raise an interesting question… Can “right” be measured in a CRM for sales people for instance?

    • Sorry for the slow reply Craig–somehow this got caught in my spam filter. You raise a verey interesting point, I actually believe you can identify the “indicators” of getting it right and can measure those in a CRM system. I think what creates a challenge is that we tend to focus more on getting things done and don’t really define getting things right or the measures/indocators.

      For example, following a well defined sales process, executing it well, can be a combination of doing things right and getting things done. We certainly have measures in our CRM systems that can help us see this.

      It’s really an interesting point. Would love to talk to you –perhaps we can publish something together or do a webinar or something. Could be very interesting! Thanks for the great comment. Sorry for the slow reply.

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