The goal of strategy is profitable growth, meaning economic value above the firm’s cost of capital. There are basically four ways to create that value: (1) invest in projects that earn more than their cost of capital; (2) increase profits from existing capital investments; (3) reduce the assets devoted to activities that earn less than their cost of capital; and (4) reduce the cost of capital itself.
In my experience, most CEOs, CFOs, and other C-suite executives involved in strategy formulation know these finance basics. (Or, they learn fast after a few investor meetings.) But far fewer understand and operationalize the core sales factors that materially affect each value creation lever.