A Word to the “Whys”
You’re starting 2017 with a whole bunch of New Year’s resolutions for your business, gung-ho about your strategic plan. (Don’t have one yet? Download the one-page business plan.) A great plan has a clear vision and mission, a unique value proposition, measurable goals, and actions with accountabilities.
Internal communications can make or break your plan. A comprehensive all-hands kickoff meeting in January can help create alignment between sales and marketing, operations, and customer service.
Start this meeting with a single word. A one-word theme for the year can give employees something to rally behind and help them understand the importance of the actions you’re directing. In every marketing plan and sales and marketing assessment we work on, we identify a word that goes directly to the “why.”
For one client, it’s ACCOUNTABILITY. In delivering on their new brand promise, they’re agreeing to hold themselves accountable to the customer and to each other.
For another company, it’s UNITY. It calls for an elimination of finger-pointing, and an emphasis on cross-functional teams to solve problems and create repeatable processes.
For us, it’s BULLETPROOF. It’s a call to build a repeatable sales and marketing engine for our clients that will help them achieve sustainable growth.
Encourage Team Alignment
After you work through your plan with your full team, break it down into tangible payoff for them. Consider:
- Lunches, informal social gatherings, or small, regular bonuses when you hit your monthly numbers.
- Visible or audible announcement of wins. One client used to “ring the bell” for each deal they won.
- “Gold stars”—when a customer compliments an individual employee via a survey, etc., communicate it publicly.
In your internal communications, make sure you show how marketing impacts sales, and how sales impacts customer service and operations. Your marketing plan will be much more successful if everyone understands their role and measurable targets. Sharing your KPIs, key performance indicators for marketing, will help create alignment.
To maintain customer service, marketing and sales alignment:
- Subscribe employees to your external communications like the email newsletter
- Encourage your team to follow and participate in social media (LinkedIn is the most engaging for B2B)
- Highlight employees and their work as it ties to your value proposition in your blog
It’s going to be a great year, and kicking off with strong internal communications and maintaining a feedback rhythm will help meet your strategic goals.
Download our month-by-month Strategic Planning Calendar.