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Does The Right Hand Know What The Left Hand Is Doing?

by David Brock on March 23rd, 2021

In our organizational silos, we tend to build our plans in isolation from those in other silos within our organization. While we may be looking at, on a silo basis, building very aggressive goals, collectively, they may be well designed to have us completely miss our goals and under perform.

One of the biggest problem areas I see is in linking demand gen/prospecting with overall business results.

Let me give an example to illustrate.

Recently, I worked with an organization that realized the need to significantly expand their lead gen and prospecting. They set very aggressive goals–more than double what they had done historically. They identified a number of programs and investments to achieve those goals, and metrics to track progress.

The problem is, even if they achieved those goals, sales would come in at about 75% of the overall plan!

Let me repeat that, even doubling overall performance within their silo, would cause the organization to perform significantly below where they needed to be.

The problem was, they were developing goals without “interlocking” those with other parts of the organization to make sure the overall goal was achieved.

As we look at performance and goal achievement, we need to look at all the pieces/parts, how they interact, and whether, when taken collectively, they enable us to achieve our goals.

Looking at the example, what happened was:

  1. The team focused on doubling the volume of leads.
  2. To do this, they started focusing on different market segments.
  3. The average “deal value” for these new leads was less than 50% of the average deal value upon which sales had built their plan.
  4. They were going at new markets where the win rate would be significantly less than that upon which sales had built their plan.
  5. As we looked at the collective impact of these changes, while the lead volume was dramatically increased, the way they were achieving their goals adversely was based on assumptions that were completely the opposite of the assumptions underlying the planning being done by sales.
  6. While each thought they were “doing their jobs,” because they weren’t talking to each other–interlocking on assumptions, the overall organizational goal would not be met.

While the example I outline is pretty dramatic, we see this all the time. Different parts of the organization focus on maximizing their ability to hit their goals, but not coordinating with other parts of the organization to make sure everything comes together to achieve the overall organizational goals.

No function works in isolation from others in our organizations. We need to constantly be looking at the impact of changes and decisions we make on the other parts of the organization. We need to coordinate these to make sure, collectively we achieve our goals.

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