BarnRaisers



7 stories how best way to predict the future is to create it 0

Posted on April 10, 2017 by Rob Petersen

best way to predict the future is to create it

The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Peter Drucker

By creating your future, you are an active player in the events as they unfold. By knowing what you want, and what you are willing to do to get there, you can help to shape what the future holds.

If it helps to hear from practitioners, here are 7 stories on how the best way to predict the future is to create it.

  1. ACTIVELY LOOK FOR NEW TRENDS: After operating a small chain of convenience stores in southern California, Joe Coulombe had an idea: that upwardly mobile college grads might want something better than 7-11. So he opened a tropical-themed market in Pasadena, stocked it with good wine and beer, hired good people, and paid them well. He added more locations near universities, then healthy foods, and Trader Joe’s got started. As Peter Drucker says, “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”
  2. UNLOCK POTENTIAL THROUGH EMPOWERMENT: Ross Smith was a leader at Microsoft trying to keep his team of 80+ employees motivated and focused. So, he let them become “free-agents.” They could choose one of four teams to work for. The leaders of each team could not offer more money to the “free-agents” but could offer new development opportunities and different types of work. When the process was complete, 95% of the staff preferred the new process. As Peter Drucker mentions “most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done”.
  3. LOVE WHAT YOU DO: Phil Robertson so loved duck hunting that he chose that over playing pro football for the NFL. He invented a duck call, started a company called Duck Commander, eventually put his son Willy in charge, and spawned a media and merchandising empire for a family of rednecks known as Duck Dynasty.
  4. EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT: According to Natalie Goldberg in her book, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing your Inner Writer, one of the key pillars of being a good writer is that you just get out there and write. Just write. Experiment. Write about what you had for lunch, write about your friend’s new silver plated bracelet, and write about how you think your parents met. This experimentation is crucial to the success of today’s managers and is particularly important in these times of change.
  5. FIND YOUR AUTHENTIC VOICE: Author Todd Henry in his book, Louder than Word, Harness the Power of your Authentic Voice, says: While it’s important to turn your thoughts inward and reflect on what’s important to you, that’s only the beginning of the process of developing your voice. It’s also essential to turn your attention outward to determine the type of impact you want your voice to have on those you serve. While you may never know exactly where your work will lead you, a guiding vision will help you make crucial decisions and invest yourself in ways that matter.
  6. DEAL WITH SETBACKS: Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, says: “When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go the extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure.”
  7. ACT. LEARN. BUILD. REPEAT: Based on the research of Saras D. Sarasvathy, of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. And similar work by others at Babson College, this approach is a time-tested process for dealing with the unknown. Put simply, in the face of an unknown future, act. Deal with uncertainty not by trying to analyze it, or planning for every contingency, or predicting what the outcomes will be. Instead, act, learn from what you find, and act again.

Do these stories help you to see how the best way to predict the future. Are you ready to take the first step in creating your future?

 

7 straightforward steps to measure and manage success 0

Posted on August 14, 2016 by Rob Petersen

measure and manage success

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t mange it.” – Peter Drucker

Management consultant, educator and author Peter Drucker, who is often associated with this quote, means you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.

Without clear metrics for success, you’ll never quantify progress and be able to adjust your process to reach your goal. You’ll always be guessing.

How do you get there?

Here are 7 straightforward steps to measure and manage success with plenty of examples.

1. DEFINE WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE: Success is the achievement of an action within a specified period of time by a specified parameter. Begin with the end in mind. Success looks different based on the type of business and vision of its leadership, but it can’t measured if it can’t be articulated. Here are some examples.

  • Find new customers and get a larger market share than competitors
  • Improve closing ratio from 30 percent to 45 percent
  • Convert 10% of prospect into customers within a year
  • Reduce employee turnover by 25%
  • Earn a substantial return on investment for shareholders who risked their capital in the venture
  • Do ordinary things extraordinary well – Jim Rohn
  • Doing it for yourself and motivating others to work with you in bringing it about – Richard Branson

2. DECIDE WHAT TO MEASURE: “What gets measured gets done” is attributed to Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Edwards Deming, Lord Kelvin and others. Somebody believes deciding what to measure achieve results. To decide, choose activities and services at the core of what you do and your biggest costs of doing business Think about how they will make your business successful or how they could be improved. Some examples of what to measure are:

  • Number of new leads, sign ups or subscriptions
  • Conversions of leads to sales
  • Sales from returning customers
  • Number of customer complaints
  • Number of returned items
  • Time it takes to fill an order
  • Percentage of incoming calls answered within 30 seconds

3. GET ON TOP OF FINANCIAL MEASURES: In order to achieve success, you need to know how it has to be understood financially. Cash flow is of fundamental importance and can be a particular concern for growing businesses. Most businesses target profits as the key financial metric. It’s important to know how to measure profitability. Key profitability measures to know are:

  • GROSS PROFIT MARGIN: How much money is made after direct costs of sales have been taken into account.
  • OPERATING MARGIN: How much does it cost for the business to run. Overheads are taken into account, but interest and tax payments are not. For this reason, it is also known as the EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin.
  • NET PROFIT MARGIN: When all costs are taken into account, not just direct ones. So all overheads, as well as interest and tax payments, are included in the profit calculation.

4. SELECT KPIs: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are business metrics tied to targets. They are used to evaluate factors that are critical to success. KPIs are the actionable scorecard that keeps business strategy on track. KPIs are applicable to your growth cycle and identity your target audience considering their point of view. They are the measurements that matter. Some examples are:

  • Number of new accounts over a specific time period compared to past performance
  • New revenue measured against the money investing in new marketing campaigns
  • Sell-off of investory in a given year
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Sales by region
  • Employee turnover rate

5. LISTEN TO CUSTOMERS: Measurements are based on your needs but, if your needs include your customers, you won’t achieve success unless you listen to their needs. Consider their individuals need, what they think of your brand, your competition and what their future needs are. Some examples of measurements that show you’re listening to customers are:

  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Churn Rate
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Number of customer complaint
  • Time to resolution
  • Customer engagement
  • Annual customer value
  • Lifetime customer value

6. ASSESS EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE: A company is only as good as the talent behind it. Consistently and accurately evaluating employee performance is essential not only to individual success, but to the overall success of an organization.

  • Employee turnover rate
  • Percentage of responses to open position
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Qualtity of work
  • Employee efficiency
  • Revenue from new ideas and innovation from employees

7. COMPARE AGAINST OTHER BUSINESSES: One of the best ways to keep your business operating successfully is by continually measuring and comparing its performance against competitor averages. Some basic but important measure of comparison include:

  • Sales
  • Market share
  • Channels of distribution
  • New products and/or product improvements
  • Website visits
  • Employee satisfaction

Are these steps straightforward enough for you? Is there anything else you would include? Does your business need help measuring and managing success.

11 signs when you don’t have a strategy 0

Posted on June 01, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

Peter Drucker

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”
Peter F. Drucker

A strategy is a plan of action to achieve a major aim and future result. It requires commitment because making change is difficult. To describe what’s involved, Peter Drucker said:

“Strategic planning is the continuous process of making present entrepreneurial (risk-taking) decisions systematically and with the greatest knowledge of their futurity; organizing systematically the efforts needed to carry out these decisions; and measuring the results of these decisions against the expectations through organized, systematic feedback.”

So it’s not hard to see how businesses get off course, often unaware, and the commitment of a continuous process becomes a collection of words periodically reinforced.

To know if this is happening to your business, here at 11 signs when you don’t have a strategy

  1. STRATEGY IS A COLLECTION OF TACTICS: Often, we use the terms strategy and tactics interchangeably. They are interdependent but different. You need both. Sun Tzu, the Chinese general, philosopher and author of the Art of War said: The difference between strategy and tactics: strategy is done above the shoulder, tactics are done below the shoulders.
  2. STRATEGY IS MERELY AN OBJECTIVE: Increase awareness. Acquire new customers. Grow average order size. Inspire advocacy. These are not strategies. While they may explain the what of a strategy, they don’t explain the how, when, where and why where the heavy lifting is required.
  3. NO CONSISTENT EXPRESSION OF SUCCESS: A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a major future result. If your company isn’t clear what success looks like, you’re lacking the key ingredient of the strategy.
  4. NO CONSISTENT MESSAGE: Your brochure, website and sales collateral have inconsistencies. The content is even unclear to people in the company. When people within a company can’t understand it, neither can anyone else.
  5. IDEAL CUSTOMER ISN’T DEFINED: A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. It’s not uncommon to mention them in a strategy. Every business should know who they are.
  6. EVERYTHING IS A PRIORITY: When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. A strategy focuses on a singular major future achievement.
  7. IGNORING COMPETITION: A strategy reinforces a competitive advantage. But the competition is not static and is not only direct competitors but innovations that could make your product or service obsolete. A good strategy takes the competition into account and maintains flexibility.
  8. NO  POLICY FOR OPPORTUNITIES: A reason to have a strategy is to guide new opportunities. When a business is not using its strategy for this purpose, your not taking advantage of one of its major benefits.
  9. DON’T DO MARKET RESEARCH OR SOLICIT CUSTOMER FEEDBACK: A strategy has to be grounded in reality and the achievable. A sound strategy has been researched with quantitative data about the market and qualitative data from customers and prospects.
  10. NO KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIs): KPIs are the metrics that matter most to the achievement of the business objective. They are generally in the range of 6 to 8 metrics carefully chosen to keep a strategy on track. They are the actionable scorecard to help guide the desired result of a strategy.
  11. NO RAVING FANS: No business can survive without enthusiasts. If a strategy isn’t created around them, then your strategy isn’t going to work.

Do these signs help you determine if your business has a strategy? Do you need help creating and putting a strategy in place at your company?

How would Peter Drucker develop a marketing plan? 12 ideas 6

Posted on March 18, 2013 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Peter Drucker

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work” – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker’s succinct truths are one reason he is regarded as the father of modern marketing and management. In The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, his requirements for every business are to know

  1. What is our mission?
  2. Who is our customer?
  3. What does our customer value?
  4. What are our results?
  5. What is our plan?

With so many new tools, tactics and data to provide customer insights and measure results, how would Peter develop a marketing plan today? Here are 12 ideas.

  1. Management by objective works if you first think through your objectives. Ninety percent of the time you haven’t: Peter was more concerned with acting on learning than being right. Today, he would likely be an advocate of agile marketing, a process that demonstrates the ability to adapt/change to market, customer, and competitive signals. Turning that learning into actionable insights.
  2. The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer: His foundational principle for every brand would be at the core of the marketing plan. Today, this means his marketing plan might include CRM, Social CRM and, to keep and retain customers, possibly a Loyalty Club, Gamification and a Mobile App
  3. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself: To gain insights into customer behavior, Peter might look into Big Data with the aim of helping make better business decisions.
  4. The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said: As 90% of all purchase decision begin online, Peter would likely turn to Google Trends to analyze and interpret customer needs. He would probably regularly check the Google Analytics of his business’s website to understand consumer behavior for his brand and look into some social media monitoring tools for listening purposes.
  5. If you can’t measure it, you can’t measure it: Peter would identify key metrics for growth and set up Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), an actionable scorecard to keep strategy on track. 
  6. What’s measured improves: Once KPI’s are established, Peter would identify the factors and time frame for Return on Investment (ROI).  He would make sure there is consensus around the KPI’s and ROI so stakeholders are accountable.
  7. If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old: It’s unlikely benchmarking, is going to be found in a marketing plan from Peter Drucker. That’s because, benchmarking, is process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests or best practices  from other industries. Said another way, it’s setting the standard for the new from the old way of doing things.
  8. The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear:   It’s likely a Blue Ocean Strategy is going to be found in a marketing plan founded on Drucker principles. That’s a strategy to challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, not by battling competitors, but rather by creating “blue oceans” of of uncontested market space ripe for growth.
  9. Whenever you see a successful business, some once made a courageous decision: A Drucker marketing plan would likely be looking to Find the Next “S” Curve. Nothing grows forever. The time to innovate—the innovation window—is when the first growth curve hits an inflection point. How do you know when you’re hitting the inflection point? You never know. So the best companies are forever paranoid and make innovation a continuous process.
  10. The best way to invent the future is to create it: Points 8 + 9 = 10.
  11. Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plan: The purpose of this post is to be of help and guide you. Hopefully, it does, but whether it does or doesn’t, you still need a plan.
  12. No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it. In teaching, we rely on the ‘naturals,’ the ones who somehow know how to teach: I teach the principles of Peter Drucker. Why? His wisdom means something to me and is a better way to bring a brand to market. It’s in plans for our clients at BarnRaisers and part of my MBA teaching at Rutgers CMD.

If you’re a fan of Peter Drucker (as I am), I hope you got something from these Drucker-ism. Did you?

 

 

 

 

21 experts define CRM in their own words and pictures 9

Posted on June 09, 2012 by Rob Petersen

Peter Drucker“The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.”

This succinct truth from Peter Drucker in The Practice of Management (1954) is a apt and insightful definition of CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

But a lot has changed. CRM now involves technology, software, inbound and outbound marketing, lead acquisition, databases, multiple touch points, multi-channel marketing, enterprise solutions and social media.

Here’s how 21 expert define CRM.

  1. A way to identify, acquire, and retain customers, a business’ greatest asset. – Siebel
  2. A widely implemented model for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. – Wikepedia
  3. An enterprisewide business strategy designed to optimize profitability, revenue and customer satisfaction by organizing the enterprise around customer segments, fostering customer-satisfying behaviors and linking processes from customers through suppliers – Gartner
  4. An application used to automate sales and marketing functions and to manage sales and service activities in an organization. – Microsoft
  5. A business strategy directed to understand, anticipate and respond to the needs of an enterprise’s current and potential customers in order to grow the relationship value. – CRM Forecast
  6. A strategy used to learn more about customers’ needs and behaviors in order to develop stronger relationships with them. – CIO
  7. An information industry term for methodologies, software, and usually Internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. – Marios Alexandrou
  8. A comprehensive business model for increasing revenues and profits by focusing on customers. – Martin Walsh
  9. The belief that customers should feel like a VIP every time they communicate with your company. –  Jennifer Carnie, Customer Systems
  10. A management philosophy according to which a company’s goals can be best achieved through identification and satisfaction of the customers’ stated and unstated needs and wants. – Business Dictionary (1 of 2) 
  11. A computerized system for identifying, targeting, acquiring, and retaining the best mix of customers. – Business Dictionary (2 of 2)
  12. A business process of understanding, collecting and managing all of the information in a business environment relating to a customer. The goal of CRM is to more effectively communicate with customers and improve customer relationships over time. – James Wong, Avidian Technologies
  13. The processes, software, and systems that help an enterprise manage its relationships with prospects, customers, distribution channels, call centers, and suppliers. – Complete CRM Solution
  14. A person you have dealings with on a professional basis. A relationship as how you interact with someone, your view of them, their view of you and how this affects the way you deal with each other. Being in control of your customer relationships, defining them, steering them in the direction you decide. – Bluesoft
  15. A combination of software and a customized software process to help companies gain a competitive advantage in either sales, marketing or customer service. – MondoCRM
  16. The aggregation of customer-centric strategies which drive new functional activity not only for sales, marketing and service, but often back office functions such as accounting, production, and shipping which demand reengineered work processes for everyone affected which require technology support to implement. – Unknown

CRM involves steps and stages that are sometimes better visualized. So, here are some ways the process of CRM is defined pictorially.

Sales Funnel

Zoho

Brain Carrol B2BLeadRoundtable

Brian Carroll - B2B Lead Roundtable

SprinxCRM

SprinxCRM

Amigolog CRM Overview

Amigolog

CRM Wheel

Gembrio

All of these definitions prove to me technology can advance the management of the customer; but the relationship that keeps them is the understanding of their needs and values, which has less to do with technology and a lot more to do with how you engage with your customers.

What do these definition prove to you?

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