If I were to ask you, “What are the catalysts for success?” at your organization, you would likely give me answers that differ in comparison to the next company I ask. However, I’d wager a bet that those catalysts for success all fall into similar themes.
I’ve worked for small businesses, as well as global, multi-billion dollar companies. I’ve been self-employed, and, of course, worked for an agency – LeadMD! Based on my 13+ years of experience working for various companies, in various industries, I’ve identified five major catalysts for success within an organization.
What drives the success at a company? Let’s break it down.
Let’s face it, a business is not a business without people running it. But, the key to success is having the right people, not just any people. Having the right brains, strengths, and skills on the job can mean the difference between a company profiting vs. tanking, growing vs. staying stagnant, or becoming an industry leader vs. just more noise in the industry.
And, I’m not just talking about leadership. I’m talking from top leadership down to the day-to-day tactical employee. Every single employee at an organization is crucial to that organization’s success. Depending on the size of your organization, even one rotten apple can spoil the entire bunch. Therefore, it’s important to invest in the right talent from the start.
For example, LeadMD spends a lot of time and energy recruiting and hiring the “best of the best” in the marketing and sales world so that the company can deliver big wins for its clients and be the go-to partner agency for many world-class companies. At LeadMD, investing in the right people who are willing and able to understand advanced methodologies, bring out-of-the-box strategies to the table, and deliver exceptional work is a big catalyst for success. I believe this is true for most organizations.
Remember the saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats”? That is what the right people can do for your organization.
Employee Training & Coaching
Now that you’ve got the right people at your organization, it’s time to keep them there! I’ve found that the most successful companies not only invest in finding the right people (talent acquisition), but also in retaining, developing and rewarding people (talent management). In addition, one concept I’ve seen successful companies do is look deeply at their employee’s talents and figure out how to best capitalize on those talents for high performance and growth (talent activation). It’s about taking those people you’ve invested in recruiting and turning their potential into performance.
Training and coaching can come in many forms, such as on-boarding training and orientations, on-going training, certification classes, personal development classes, skills training, coaching from managers and coaches, mentorship programs, workshops and much more. How it’s structured isn’t really the important piece. The most important piece is that there are opportunities for continual training and coaching to progress and develop employees on all levels so that the employee can perform at their highest level, which will ultimately contribute to the growth of the company.
Employees are more likely to stay longer at companies that invest in developing them professionally and personally. Engaged employees with less turnover will always equal more success in the short and long-term.
One thing that I love about working for LeadMD is their commitment to training and coaching. In fact, if you aren’t open to learning (every day) and receiving coaching, this likely isn’t the place for you. But, from my experience, the amount I learn every day and the coaching I receive from my manager, peers, and leadership team makes me not only a better employee, but also a better person, for which I’m grateful for. This type of commitment to learning and growth shows that they not only care about my performance and contribution to LeadMD, but also my overall marketing career and personal growth. That, is a winning combination.
“Should we invest in technology?” is no longer the question anymore, but the norm. “Which technology should we invest in?” is really the question that needs to be answered. There are so many types of technologies on the market today that can help streamline or automate business processes and reporting that it’s sometimes an overwhelming task to pinpoint just which technology is going to benefit the organization the most.
The key in investing in technology is to make sure the technology is scalable. Meaning, is this going to help solve a problem today and grow with the organization and be relevant years from now? The cost of implementing new software can be high (in dollars, time investment, and learning curve), so choosing the right technology that will support your business for the foreseeable future is another catalyst for success in an organization. And remember, if you did a good job with the people investment and training piece, you should have the right people on board to pilot, launch, and lead new technology initiatives.
In addition, technology should be looked at from the organization as a whole, rather than siloed in departments. For example, if marketing is choosing to implement Marketo (a marketing automation platform), how can that be leveraged by sales (hint: it can be, through Marketo Sales Insight and by mapping out the sales cycle in Revenue Cycle Modeler and having a lead lifecycle program!). If business ops is looking to get a BI reporting tool such as DOMO or Tableau, how can sales and marketing leverage that too?
Going hand in hand with technology is having key, strategic partnerships. Successful companies are constantly on the watch for companies that would make sense to partner with, companies that will complement their products/services, as well as help them increase sales and grow as an organization. But It’s a two-way street. The best partnerships benefit both sides of the equation. Business referrals should be flowing both ways.
LeadMD has partnered with many organizations who complement our services and ultimately help bring a wider net of services available to our clients, which is a great benefit to them. For example, some of our partners include Bizible – a marketing attribution and revenue planning software, SnapApp – an interactive content management platform, and Uberflip – a content experience platform. These partnerships allow us to better serve our clients and come up with a more strategic plan of action for accomplishing the company’s goals.
The last, but not least, major catalyst for success that I’ve seen is thought leadership. Whether you’re trying to follow best practices, or follow the beat of your own drum, you’ve probably searched Google or referenced industry best practices from time to time to figure out the best way you should go about doing something. You’re looking for things like: Has this already been done before? How has this been done before? What is the standard or best practice for doing this? What are top companies doing? Whether you want a great base to start from, or to start from scratch, thought leadership is out there to guide you along your decision making process and strategy planning.
Companies that are a step above the rest are generally putting out thought leadership content in a number of different ways – white papers, webinars, blog posts, social media posts, guides, ebooks, videos, podcasts, case studies, you name it! This type of content benefits the company by showcasing their expertise in a topic (or group of topics), highlighting how their products and services can fit into the mix, and become industry leaders and a go-to company.
Some of my favorite thought leadership pieces that LeadMD puts out each year is the Monsters of Funnel account-based marketing e-book, and the Marketing Maturity Benchmark Report. Both are published annually and are created based on massive research and collaboration.
In summary, the key catalysts for success include the hiring and investing in the right people, who are getting trained and coached daily, using scalable technologies, working with strategic partners, and are providing industry thought leadership.
Remember these five core areas, and you’ll be on your way to a profitable, long-term success!