||Increase sales and create a corporate plan
||Software Development, Sales and Training (35 employees)
||Recover sales performance
BACKGROUND: This company
was started in 1989 by a university computer science graduate, who sold
and later developed specialty software products. The owner described himself as
having been both a creative designer and a dynamic
salesman. Yet his sales volume dropped despite improved, innovative
products. The owner requested strategic planning to regain sales volume.
SITUATION: Employees included a computer science
professor and students as trainers and developers. Although the owner reported good internal
communication, the technical staff were not interested in selling the products that they developed. The
owner's wife had taken charge of marketing, with a shared
assistant (the owner's first employee) as a part-time sales manager.
SYSTEMIC DIAGNOSIS: The owner described a "linear"
management structure, with little delegation of power. As the structure included
the owner and his wife, the structure had some qualities of a
family. The wife sometimes treated the technical staff as children. The
downturn in sales had coincided with his wife becoming "marketing manager"
while the owner assumed an executive role. The drop in sales coincided with
the owner delegating sales and marketing.
The owner could consider little except "increasing sales". Systemic
planning exposed a
real and immediate need for the owner to reactivate and use his dormant qualities of
creative-developer and dynamic-salesman. Strategic planning would be simple
once the owner could easily access and use these qualities.
SOLUTION: Systemic coaching
helped the owner regain access to two "missing" qualities. Strategic planning then
lead to a vision of the company as a stable, profitable
organization that could be sold or franchised. The first step required that
the owner initiate "difficult" discussions with his wife and with their assistant
to clarify the situation and find acceptable solutions.
Systemic coaching prepared the owner for these discussions.
The second step was to change the management relationships
and the third step to optimize the marketing processes in alignment with the
new structure. The changed management would make space for quality
sales people. Methods for recruiting quality salespeople
and some innovative marketing strategies were identified. The owner plans to
obtain regular Systemic Coaching.
NOTES: Following systemic diagnosis, solutions may appear obvious.
The owner had felt torn between a 3-part conflict - being a manager, a creator and a dynamic
seller. Such conflict
often produces high confusion, in an executive and in an organization
(especially in an organization structured as an
Organizational performance is one result of clear relationships.
Systemic Solutions accelerates
both relationship clarity and productivity.
Case History 1: Mentorship
in Upper Management
Case History 2:
Manage Families in Organizations
Case History 4: Entrepreneurial Management in a Bank
Systemic Coach Training
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