The Ancient Greeks, 15th-century Venetian navigators, and modern-day sailors have all relied on the constellation of stars known as the Southern Cross (CRUX) to navigate to safety. Beyond navigation, the Southern Cross, has become a metaphor for not only identifying where you are, but also as a guiding light to successfully navigate where you want to go.
Recently, we were discussing the true ‘Southern Cross’ for a client’s profitable sales growth. Although this client had a strong tactical sales execution plan and a robust long-term strategy, the executives admitted that they were missing a seamless connection between strategy and desired results/objectives.
How to create your ‘Southern Cross’
First, engage all crewmates in a mapping exercise. Incorporate a clear list of targeted outcomes. Establish a crewmate mentality, and make sure that everyone from the captain (executives) to the sailors (sales and operations) understands the strategy, objectives and timeline for success. Publish to all:
- A navigational map that includes the collective starting point, timeline and outcomes.
- How you would avoid the ‘False Cross’ (a similar stellar configuration to the CRUX that has doomed many a sailor).
- Your clear and measurable definition of success.
Second, chart your course. Define roles and line-of-sight outcomes that would be achieved by following a collective ‘Southern Cross.’ If your outcomes are revenue based, these can include:
Sailors (Direct and Indirect Sales)
- Increase visibility: lead to cash
- Reduce or eliminate non-productive administrative time
- Improve top-of-funnel lead quality
Navigators (Sales Ops)
- Increase efficiency: drive volume & velocity of deals
- Decrease proposal rework
- Drive next-generation campaigns based on current defined success
Captain (Sales Execs)
- Generate profitable revenue growth
- Accelerate cross-sell and upsell
- Improve customer NPS (net promoter score)
Third, analyze your course. Like any journey, you will have to monitor and update your route. Like a shifting tide, you will have several key pivots. Stay the course by remaining committed to your published ‘Southern Cross’ objectives. Measure what matters and hold every crew member accountable for their role.
Let the journey begin!