Turn around a struggling business


broken-windows(A hypothetical introduction of a new CEO in a turnaround.  This author brainstormed it as if he was this person.  I hope you find it illuminating.  Jeff)

Hi everyone,

I’m glad to be here today and I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.  As you know, our old CEO is gone and the Board has brought me in to turn things around.  But I certainly cannot do that by myself.  I need the help of each and every one of you.  I assure you I will not make promises I cannot keep — we have to make choices — some of which will be painful.  But we will do whatever it takes to get this company on solid footing.

Here’s what we are going to do:

  1. Sit down with R&D, Marketing and Sales to re-craft our value proposition.  We need to clearly articulate the value customers get from working with us.  It’s not about us —  it’s about them.
  2. Go out and visit customers.  As one of the executives I greatly respect, Charlene Begley of GE was told by Jack Welch — customers don’t lie to you.  They’ll tell it like it is.  The closer we get to our revenue sources — our customers — to really understanding them — the better.
  3. Using what we learned from our customers, we’ll going to re-target our marketplace.
    We’ll clearly identify to whom we sell and who they are.  We’re going to map their needs and identify their personas — their personalities, their drivers and their sources of information.  And we’re going to develop sales tools that really work — that empower our salespeople to say the right things to the right executives at the right time.  No more product oriented, feature dump “Quickies” as used by my predecessor.
  4. Marketing — we’re going to focus on what really works to build mutual trust.  We’ll start having real conversations with these prospects that we know better than ever.  We’ll build educational content — webinars, white papers, e-books, pod and video casts, and participating in social networks.  We’ll also focus on inbound marketing — search marketing, landing pages and social networks.  (We’ll look to partner with companies like HubSpot.) We want to become the go-to source of best practices.  We’ll also take advantage of trigger events — using the news and changes to engage at the right time.  We’ll also get creative — soliciting input from customer and employees to find creative ways to get attention — such as a humorous and entertaining YouTube video.
  5. We’ll invest carefully and judiciously.  For info on companies and trigger events, we’ll use ZoomInfo or InsideView.  To map our selling process, we’ll use Salesforce.com or Landslide.  And to automate our marketing activities, we’ll use Eloqua or Vtrenz.
  6. We’ll also going to rebuild our teams.  We’ll sit down with each one of you and discuss your personal goals and assess your contributions.  Some of you will get new roles.  Some will be promoted.  A few will undoubtedlyl be asked to resign.

The journey will be slow and painful — I expect it will take 9-12 months, but if you are willing and motivated to join me on that journey, then by the end of 2009, this will be a healthy and prosperous company once again.

I hope you take take this journey with us.

For companies looking for best practices in b2b lead generation who wish to improve the way they acquire new customers, Find New Customers is the place to go.  CSO Insights says companies need to improve the way they generate leads and implement processes for business to business lead generation.

Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is a demand generation expert and sales leader, as well as the President of Find New Customers, a lead generation company, who helps businesses create lead generation campaigns and continually publishes the best lead generation ideas, so his readers can determine the best lead generation strategy to find new customers.  He can be reached at (516) 284-4930 or mailto:jogden@findnewcustomers.net.

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7 thoughts on “Turn around a struggling business

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