Sales Still Matters More than Social Media

It’s become commonplace for observers to tout the transformative potential of digital technologies and bemoan the allegedly slow pace at which companies support these initiatives. Two recent blogs published by HBR.org are representative and, I believe, wrong. Walter Frick, an HBR editor, contrasts the enthusiasm of executives for spending money on digital initiatives versus their […]

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A Lesson in Execution: Why Your Strategy is Failing

Teamwork. Whether in meetings or retreats, there’s no doubt you’ve heard these words repeatedly preached by senior executives. However, few firms actually focus on alignment where it counts most: linking big-picture strategy with the nitty-gritty of customer acquisition and retention in sales efforts. Poor alignment of sales and strategy incurs both direct and opportunity costs, […]

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Breaking Through a Growth Stall

This post originally appeared on HBS Working Knowledge. Many companies get stuck on a plateau, unable to grow and burning through cash at a frightening rate. Frank V. Cespedes discusses how focusing on the right customers can generate growth again. Starting a successful business is often considered the hardest thing entrepreneurs do—but growing an existing […]

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How to Identify the Best Customers for Your Business

This post originally appeared on the MIT Sloan Management Review. Many companies pursue growth opportunities without adequately defining who their ideal customers are. That lack of clarity can hamper profitable growth. It’s difficult to start a venture that gains traction with paying customers. In the first decade of the 21st century, fewer than half of all […]

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Connecting Goals and Go-To-Market Initiatives

This post originally appeared on HBS Working Knowledge. In some respects, developing strategy is the easy part. Executing that strategy in alignment with strategic priorities is where real mastery of management takes place. Harvard Business School senior lecturer Frank V. Cespedes shows how it is done. Key concepts include: Strategy implementation is essential for marketplace success […]

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Yes, You Can Raise Prices in a Downturn

This post originally appeared on HBS Working Knowledge. If you and your customers understand the value represented in your pricing, you can—and should—charge more for delivering more. An interview on “performance pricing” with researchers Frank Cespedes, Benson P. Shapiro, and Elliot Ross. Key concepts include: Pricing builds or destroys value faster than almost any business action. […]

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