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Brian Driggs

Sewing Up Change Management with Account-Based Orchestration

Brian Driggs / February 27, 2017 / 0 Comments

It’s hard enough aligning Sales & Marketing
Now you want to align EVERYONE?

Alignment has become an overused, borderline 4-letter word in sales and marketing. Everyone complains about it, but there’s a reason why everyone is still talking about it: it’s a problem. And a problem that only gets compounded if not addressed appropriately in the age of Account-Based Orchestration.

It’s often said to stop passing the Blame Baton and get aligned because it’s true. It’s not intentional, but the silos we’ve erected within the vertical organization over the years have resulted in the left hand not knowing what the right is doing at any given moment. We’ve started seeing a move toward more horizontal structures, but while that can drive efficiencies, we still end up with a bunch of people doing their own thing—which doesn’t really address the problem.

While it takes initial work to get the process right, the relational mindset that goes into adopting an ABE approach will help you sew up change management in the long run.

Weaving a thread through the entire organization

Whether vertical or horizontally organized, people tend to focus on what’s right in front of them. Specialization of labor is still a good thing! Where things get messy is the lack of alignment across departments. This stems from lack of awareness of our individual contributions to the company’s mission.

So what IS the company’s mission? Is it to produce marketing materials? Is it to build and read PowerPoint slides in meeting after meeting? Is it all talk? If it feels like that, it’s time to start getting everyone aligned around the ideal customer and the buying cycle. This is the thread we want to weave through the entire organization.

The problem with change is that it’s often not fully understood. Executives are focused on strategy. Management is focused on tactics. Practitioners are focused on finding an hour to get things done between meetings. And here’s the ironic part—everyone wants change! We just need to agree on why we’re changing.

Touring the facility & picking up slack

Resistance to change is simple human nature. Our brains are hardwired to figure things out, sort them, and move on to the next opportunity or threat. If Sales & Marketing only agreed on ONE thing, it’s that you always want to show the other person “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM, or “wiffum”). ABE gets everyone aligned around a shared WHY: the business of doing business–generating revenue.

Compare “You need to do it this way now” to “This is what we need from you to achieve our mission.” When that mission is focused on addressing the needs of the customer, the overall mindset is transformed from passing the buck to shepherding the target customer through the buying cycle.

An easier way to think of this might be to imagine your company offered a tour for prospective customers. Instead of someone interrupting you to ask for something they need, account-based means they’re introducing you to a prospective customer and asking you to show them what YOU do, before you walk them over to the next team and make the next introduction. By the time the CEO walks them to Sales, they’re confident the whole team can solve their problem.

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ABE makes change management easier

That’s a bold statement if ever there was one, but it’s true. The benefits of an account-based approach extend well beyond the sales and marketing hype out there. Truly aligning everyone in the organization around a single cause—serving the needs of the customer—gets everyone on the same page.

Which is a good way of saying if your organization is aligned around account-based methodologies, it means that, when others come to you, it’s because you’re the expert and your unique skillset is of immediate value to someone everyone in the company would like to impress, sign, and serve.

The benefits of Account-Based Orchestration go well beyond “just” closing longer lasting, more profitable deals. ABE is a way of sewing up change management by weaving one-to-one relationships through the entire organization.

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