Commercial Excellence is still seen by many people as point solutions you implement here and there, with the hope to drive the business forwards. At times, the focus is on fixing the size of the sales force or the call plan or the digital approach to take, while in fact this is a process with a beginning and an end and if you do not do your homework upstream it really does not matter what you do downstream because it will not impact results.
What is the point on having a great multi-channel approach if first you do not understand how is the market you are playing in, what is the competition doing, who are the key stakeholders, your customers’ journeys and CXs, your value proposition and so on? Doing the wrong things efficiently does not deliver results, it is just a bad investment and hard work.
Commercial Excellence is like a river coming from upstream marketing to downstream sales and at every stage of the process there is a water dam that goes up preventing water from flowing every time you do not get it right. (Eli Goldratt’s “The Goal” novel on the theory of constrains applies to perfection here)
When all your activity metrics are green but your sales and market share is not improving you are getting no water at the end of the process and you need to look upstream for answers. Is the quality of the interactions right, are you addressing the right customers and needs with the right promo mix and value proposition?
Commercial Excellence needs to be understood as an end-to-end process and not as a random collection of “things” you do Monday morning 8 am. It requires addressing each and every element in the right order, from understanding the market you want to address, down to tracking performance in a systematic and structured way. It is better to do a good job across all elements than excelling at tracking all the wrong activities.