A friend of mine manages a small Jamaican company that in over a decade has never made a profit, relying on its parent company for subsistence.
The owner appointed a new Board led by his young son. New Board requested a business plan to determine future direction. Management complied. New Board accepted.
Two critical success factors are appointing a qualified sales manager and strengthening the sales team. The latter is crucial because the brand already has national recognition and deep loyalty in its target market. Advertising, sponsorships and direct selling are of little value to this company. But there is urgent need for a sharp consultative sales force that will micro differentiate the brand, offer unique solutions to special needs, persuade more people, and increase market share.
Although New Board has accepted the business plan they have not fully committed. Six months after business plan was accepted my friend is still not hitting his numbers. Why? For starters his sales team is still incapable of negotiating with extrinsic value customers who dominate their target market.
Frustration is setting in. My friend can’t hire or train without approval, and New Board wants their numbers.
If it were your friend, how would you advise him?