There is an old business saying that “successful companies are managed by the numbers.” There is another old business saying that “successful companies are a result of highly focused teams.” So which numbers matter and what is the focus?

This is a success story from one of our clients that we have seen happen multiple times across companies. Shoppers’ Applications (not the real company name but same

industry) designs mobile applications for retailers. They had very aggressive sales quotas for both outside and inside sales teams. These sales quotas were reviewed weekly and competition between sales staff was constantly encouraged, which led to a very aggressive culture. Teamwork was not valued, so very little teamwork was evident and employee turnover was high. The numbers were all that mattered!

After two years, three sales VPs and constant sales staff turnover, the investors decided that a new CEO was the answer.  The new CEO came from the most successful company in another software segment and where profit margins were considerably higher than industry average. The new CEO was determined to change the company culture from “survivors” to “collaborators” which was nearly a 180 degree turn in thinking.

The new CEO had the team focus on “how do we have the best product in the industry?” He believed that this would create demand as their apps would be the most successful in driving new sales for retailers using Shoppers’ apps. He structured teams of sales and development staff to research what consumers want in a shopping application and educate the retailers on how to use digital marketing.

The following six months was when sales really began to pick up and the company was able to raise their prices at the same time. They provided a new value to the client and the customer relationship become stronger. There was much more joint development of user features coming from collaboration with the internal team and the customer. The app on consumer phones was now a key communication channel and could be used as a marketing tool rather than just announcing the latest “special.”

Shoppers’ continued to grow, and employee turnover declined rapidly as they were now seen as the company you wanted to work for. The cultural focus remained on collaboration and being the best in their trade. Pride became part of their being, and the CEO reminded them daily that their #1 purpose to service the retailer better each day.

The numbers became very positive and sales goals were growing better than under the previous culture. People were more important, and they produced better numbers. Why? Because their focus was on better products and customer service. They focused on what the client needed and not just their sales quotas. Success comes through people and better numbers come through focused people!

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