Marketing consultancy can be decisive in boosting business, but it has its own challenges. Obviously not excluding other factors, it is largely the way the company is able internally to face and accept change, which depends on the success of its implementation.
We leave in this article some precautions that we found to be necessary the Marketing consultancy work to be successful:
Professionalism and autonomy
As a company manager or sales director, hire an external professional specialized in Marketing. These are delicate jobs, somehow implying changes in processes in which members of the sales team or managers from other key sectors of the company participate. An external and professional solution gives the process a character of exemption and foresight. It is not at all advisable to carry internal frictions and hierarchical relationships (and sometimes others) to a process of change, always impactful.
Beware of loss aversion
The sales director or even the company manager, realizing the power that the sales director has in a change process, can understandably “play defense”. An internal marketing technician in your company will not have the authority to promote and direct some actions that may be necessary, Even if you have a Marketing Director in your company structure, unless this is the “right hand” of the Administration, the risks of internal friction are increased as soon as the impact of the necessary change begins to be perceived: there is always someone in your structure who is averse to change for fear of loss, it is human nature. On the other hand, choosing an external consultant specialized in Marketing Management may be the best solution. But it cannot be that type of consultant who, if he is not comfortable or untrusted by his client, for fear of losing him, legitimately tends not to intervene as he should, leaving the process compromised. Don’t be afraid to “lose”, stay focused on the purpose that led you to ask for help from the Marketing consultant. Don’t let the specter of eventual individual loss compromise what the company as an organization can gain as a whole. Make sure that the external consultant is treated as if it were your most important customer or supplier. Only through joint work and mutual trust can successful change processes result.
Take the lead
Companies have different human resources, cultures and forms of organization. Do not doubt your leadership skills, if you called the consultant it is because you have power or someone has delegated that power to you, then you have to lead the process. Work with the consultant to develop the structure of an internal team capable of materializing the process. You are the leader. He is always present and confident, but do not forget, in almost all companies there is always that person who is the real man of the land and that everyone recognizes this preponderance in the company, listens to him and that can be counterproductive. Clearly identify this employee of yours, if any, and call him to you, involve him in the change process. You will see that the implementation of the change will be smoother and more effective, if it is feeling very useful, important and actively participating in the process. That person is decisive for you, for your business, and if you want her to continue working with you and simultaneously put the results of the consultancy on wheels, there is only one way: work closely with the consultant and with him, give him the responsibility as coordinator and / or implementer. However, you remain the Leader! Do not weaken the consultant in the presence of the internal coordinator / implementer or vice versa.
Be demanding with deadlines and measure results
Having done all this, it seems that everything is on track, the consultant is identifying paths, the internal team is cohesive, ready to work and validate these processes and tasks with you. But suddenly everything stops, we have a fair to organize, we have to postpone the process for a month or two, then an important complaint and move on to the next week, then that week brings the team together with the Consultant, but the problems with the collection and the pages so many have passed two more months and nothing has progressed … As a Leader, be demanding with yourself, with the others and nothing better than demonstrating it by complying, as much as possible, with the agreed schedule and actions. The only way to demonstrate the importance of the process is through your presence of your Leader. Demonstration of your involvement and commitment. Rare is the process of change in an organization that does not have an initial negative impact. Get ready. Compare it to R&D and the launch of a new product, or to an investment in new equipment: there is a curve until you can achieve a return. Plan the curve of change with the consultant, and set goals and indicators so that you can know, at any given moment, where you are on that curve. Only then can you understand what is going wrong and adjust. And by the way, very importantly, rest your team: they should know that the initial difficulties will occur, they may even go through an initial phase of loss of sales, but that at the end of the process they are selling more, better and with less effort and more satisfaction.