I am a fan of the Calgary Flames who are now in last place team in their division; as a result the press is speculating what players will be traded or if the general manager and/or head coach will be fired. It is the job of the GM to identify the individual players that will be the best fit for the team; it is the coach’s job to teach the players the system and get the best performance; and its the job of the players to have a good attitude and work hard; collectively this results in a winning formula. It is also the responsibility of the GM to have systems in place to measure the performance of the plan, coach and players to ensure they are able to compete for the Stanley Cup.
When I work with companies I ask the question as to whether the current results are a reflection of the players, management or sales plan and are there tools to measure these areas. An example is a start-up company that I work with that has a well defined business plan, target market and understanding of their sales process.
• Build targeted company lists using a data model that includes market segments like company revenue and employee count and verticals based on industry (tools used are POIM regional company lists, Insideview and Hoovers).
• Validate that accounts by scoring the accounts using a model that compares the target company’s characteristics against existing customers
• Populate account lists in the into salesforce.com and track activity to opportunity.
• High out-bound call activity.
• New account calls and follow-up calls to ensure connections with high value accounts.
• Solution selling skills that include establishing customer need, competition, budget and decision makers.
By using a well defined sales 2.0 process and implementing technology we are able to measure real time if the reps are making the calls (people) and how the target market is responding to the calls (plan). This has allowed the company to identify people issues that includes those not making the calls and not having the solution selling skills, plan issues that include targeting accounts that do not have the need for the product and process problems that identify what other marketing resources are required to support the reps. Being able to identify process and people problems early has created a high performance environment that maximizes people, resources and delivers results.
In the case of the Calgary flames they did not have the systems in place to identify people and process problems; as a result they are not performing. In my opinion putting these systems in place is the responsibility of the GM; consequently he needs to go and the Flames need to hire a person who has the skills to compete in a hockey 2.0 world.