Practically do we need a Strategist alone? *

The best question in the current entrepreneurial world is, “Do we need a Strategist?” 

We can conclude with an answer only if we analyze this situation in-depth. Let us break this into two major divisions of an IT Company. The Sales team and the Development team.

Let us take the Sales Team into our analysis first. If we bring a Strategist into the team, then they will say the following:

  1. I want independence
  2. I will form the strategy
  3. If that strategy gets implemented correctly, we can generate revenue.

Now on the Development team:

  1. I want independence
  2. I want to implement what I have learned in my previous companies
  3. If that strategy gets implemented correctly, we can develop projects seamlessly

The above sentences will always give very high confidence in our growth. But the situation will change if the following happens:

Sales side:

  1. I will train someone to implement my strategy
  2. So that person is responsible for the result and revenue and not me.
  3. If that person fails, then we need to change that person and bring in a new one.
  4. And this change happens on every failure.

Development side:

  1. I will train someone to implement my strategy
  2. He should handle the projects
  3. He is responsible for the utilization and realization
  4. I am not here to handle escalations and failures. 

It is better not to have such a Strategist incurring the amount of expenditure and time. What is the use of their strategy if they do not know to implement it or do not want to implement it?

In a Small and Medium Company, a strategist who doesn’t know to implement or doesn’t want to implement the strategy is a burden. On the other side, if the company is funded or loaned, then they don’t need to account for this expenditure loss because it is not their money going to get wasted. If a company runs on its revenue, this loss due to the expenditure is the loss of profit.

If a Strategist is not aware of implementing the strategy or not considering it as their responsibility, then it is always better to hire executives/developers to run the team.

This situation makes much sense during the current situation in the industry. The ultimate goal is to generate revenue with or without a Strategist.

The company was formed and running successfully with an already existing strategy. If we bring in a New Strategist to implement a new strategy, then that change must bring in new revenue. Else that change is a waste of time and money.

Unless the current strategy is not generating any revenue, the new change should not overturn the existing strategy

*My opinion

How should sales guys handle the pandemic situation?

The first and the foremost thing a salesperson should do it, “keeping selling.” It is not that there is “no need” situation in the market. There is only a “no want” situation in the market. So a salesperson should not stop the selling. 

A new norm is there everywhere. So it should be there in the sales presentation and pitch too. Rewrite your sales pitch. Redesign your presentation. Revisit what you are selling. 

The conventional “cold email” and “cold call” is going to be tactless in this situation. The same old way of “one-stop-shop” is not going to fetch any more water. Adjust your team to the new reality. 

As per a survey, it requires six times more effort to convince a client for a deal than earlier. So the best part is to hold your clients very close to your heart. Often speak to your customers. Communicate proactively with them.

Reassure your client that you can understand their pain because they are also crossing the same situation.

Whatever may be the situation, the closure should keep on happening. Revisit your old leads. Engage with your earlier prospects. Analyze why they didn’t give you the business last time.

Finally, speak to your delivery organization to bring them on board with you on keeping the “Customer First” attitude.

Personal tip to sales guys: Don’t shift job now. Sell what you are well versed in all these days rather than going to new selling. It is not just you are going to sell. It’s the brand name of the company which is going to help you to sell. 

The synchronization of what you have with your company and your selling skill is your real motivation. You cannot sell yourself and also the brand now. It is a risky task.

No same rule applies! (Sales hire)

We will google for any information. Being it personal or official, we will get answers. Will we get an answer that is suitable for us? The answer would be mostly NO.

We will tend to fit ourselves into that answer and get satisfied.

With keeping the same situation, let us analyze the business. There are zillion business houses in the World. But very few create footprints in their arena. The entire remaining business houses blindly follow those footprints as if they are also equal to those others.

We can see a lot of these in my business line, the Small and Medium Business area. There are not many similarities among the business houses of the SME segment. But we all feel that we can follow others to become one like them.

The best example is in hiring salespeople. During the initial days of the company, the sales guys play a vital role in the growth of the company by formalizing the sales strategies.

But, when the company stabilizes the business, sales guys will not get the opportunity to play many roles in new strategy formulation. They sometimes will get to fine-tune those already formalized strategies only. The company brand or current client references will take the role of spearheading the part of the sales.

It is not the capability problem of the sales guy. Here he didn’t get the specific opportunity to play those strategists’ roles. He will be a good sales guy to run the already formalized sales strategy.

What happened in the market now is, a new company will check the profile of these sales guy and feels that they have won many large deals and so if they hire those sales guys, they are going to bring such deals to their company too.

It may or may not happen. Predominantly it will not happen. This is where the CEOs or the Management of the new company fails. Mostly, only those who have played a vital role in formalizing the business strategy can plan the same role in the new company too. If you hire a hardcore sales guy who was successful in bringing new clients and deals with the collaterals and portfolios of the company may fail big time to play the role of a strategist.

It may not be a failure of the sales guy alone and it will be the failure of the new company too.

You can crosscheck this with the frequent job change of sales guys in the market or with the frequent firing of sales guys by the companies.

Next: No same rule applies! (Business Travel)

Pandemic and Business Operations!

After the Second World War, workforce behavior across the globe was mostly on a single structure. The change to this structure has happened only after the evolution of the Software Development / IT industry.

From early 1990 to 2019, across the globe, there was a uniform workforce behavior. But the pandemic has changed the workforce world.

What was a positive sign earlier has now mostly become a negative sign. For example, the much-awaited WFH has become a pain now. Today people are not happy to have a WFH forever as they want to go to the office at least once a week to experience the work environment and meet their colleagues.

On the other side, people have become more self-organized and productive. They know how to handle both personal and official things in a given day. In my example, the productivity of the teams has not decreased if not increased.

The maturity and handling capacity of the Managers has increased a lot. We can see more of an entrepreneur behavior in most of the middle-level managers.

Same way, the pain of taking time to commute to work earlier is now seen as individual personal time.

IT world is always a world of stress. Socializing was a norm for the IT workforce to alleviate the stress. Now that there is no scope to socialize, people are becoming more stressed and heading to depression and even anxiety.

On the employer side, we find certain aspects are very challenging. When we have the team in one place, there was more coordination and understanding between teams. Now even small gaps are leading to intervention from others to make it normal.

Companies can save operation costs to some extent but the additional infrastructure cost to make things happen in WFH is increasing on the other side.

On the HR side, remote Onboarding is easily possible than off-boarding as it takes more work to collect all the official assets from them. Leave Management has become a more painful process for them.

Airlines still feel the Business Travel can become normal only in late 2022.

On taking all the above, the business and workforce management is not going to have a standard norm anytime sooner. The pandemic may see some light at the end of the tunnel but not the workforce management and business operations.

The success of an Entrepreneur

How do you quantify your #success as an #Entrepreneur?

Starting or running a company is not a huge task. But running a successful company is the matter here.

But again what is a success?

In today’s hyper entrepreneurial world, success means “boatload of money” and for some getting “funded or acquired”.

But

Did we ever think that there is another Entrepreneurial world still exists where their Success is not quantitative and only qualitative?

The company where I started my career was shut down in just 5 years. We all were asked to search for the job and we did. 20 years after, we are now in a WhatsApp group with the #CEO , #CTO , #CMO , and #CFO of that company. The then employees started a private chat and that is when we realized that everyone is having the same feeling. Yes, we are in this successful top management position is because of the foundation we got in the first company.

Does this not the great success of that company and the management? Of course, with the stereotype entrepreneurial current world, that company is an utter failure.

I am not an entrepreneur. But I am a successful professional person. I have handled more than 2000 team members in my 22 years of career and I am very proud and happy that I am able to show the right path to my team members all these 22 years and they are doing super duper well. I am not claiming their success is because of me. But, I am convinced that I am also a minuscule reason for their success.

Maybe the world can say the other way.

But, Do I need to worry about that. If my mind is happy to think of that then what more do I require to caliber my career as a success? Someone else’s valuation? Then I won’t be a successful professional personal throughout my life.

If a company is a shutdown due to financial problem or by any other failure, at first, it will be very painful and take us into inferiority complex. But that is going to be only at the starting stage. If your self-consciousness tells you that you have done your best that didn’t affect anyone, then you learned a lesson with that venture. That’s all.

We are listened to watched to heard to, only stories of successful persons in terms of money and not in terms of good deeds. That is the problem of society and not us.

Millions of #startups are getting started every year. If you keep on counting only the successes, then you are fooling yourself with the real success of your career or profession.