Business owners, marketing professionals and sales professionals -- those that carry perhaps the greatest responsibility for driving company growth -- are collectively facing a potentially catastrophic time epidemic.
We are experiencing a perfect storm of more social media channels than ever before, an unprecedented level of marketing analytics at our disposal, more fragmented advertising outlets, and rising consumer expectations around segmentation and personalization. It can be overwhelming.
Those who are able to successfully maintain focus on key growth levers, amidst this sea of distraction, will outperform those that don't. In fact, distraction can be your most significant competitive threat as a growth ambassador for your company.
Wrangling focus and control of what matters most for the growth of your company begins by understanding and articulating your ultimate growth priority -- one that aligns with your company vision. This can prove more daunting than you might imagine. After all, by definition, you can only have one true priority.
Is it the priority of your marketing team to generate qualified leads or to maintain contact with prospects through the sales cycle, thereby improving close ratios? Is it the goal of your sales team to increase the volume of prospects in your sales funnel or to reduce that number by better qualifying leads and focusing on those most likely to close?
Once your sales and marketing teams have a clear growth priority, the trick is to vet all incremental activities against that priority. If your marketing team is considering launching a company Instagram account, for example, first determine if this activity supports the growth priority. If it does, then compare the potential results of the activity against the other strategies that comprise your marketing plan. If it is unlikely to perform as well as proven strategies, then you might be better off simply expending more effort on what's tried and true rather than losing focus.
The key to maintaining a strategic growth focus is to stop the piling-on effect that you've likely been engaged in for years. At some point, and you may already be there, you will face inevitable diminishing returns -- as you execute entirely too many strategies half way. Plus, you and your team simply lose clarity of thought when there's too much noise vying for mindshare.
Naturally, there's a balance that must be struck between innovation and distraction. High-performing companies continuously innovate, but they do so with discipline. They measure results compared to other strategies and identify losing strategies quickly -- moving on to higher performing approaches.
Maintaining a singular focus may sound like a fairytale given the realities of operating a business. Certainly there will be more to your day than your growth priority, but the process of articulating that priority and vetting new ideas against it, will provide clarity and make you think twice about piling on.
Lori Turner-Wilson can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.