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Don't Second Guess Your Long Term Strategic Plans

I’ve been there, I know how difficult it can be to stick to a long term strategic plan, especially in a difficult business climate or when it appears that in the short term things are not moving in the right direction.

Over the past ten years AG Salesworks has helped over 300 companies grow their top line revenue through identifying and delivering high value sales opportunities.  One thing I have noticed is that companies both large and small that had, and stuck to a long term strategic goal always fared far better than those who did not.  All too often we have seen companies start with a great plan only to pull the plug prematurely limiting their level of success substantially.  I understand fully the pressures of showing immediate ROI on everything from PR, to Marketing, to Sales and new product development.  I’ve been there.  It’s tough to continue to invest in areas that are not likely to show immediate ROI when this quarters numbers are not where they should be.  So much easier to “pause” investment in key areas in order to improve the short term bottom line.

Observing others as well as in my own experience, I have seen those who think, plan and execute a long term strategic plan succeed more often and at higher level than those who do not.  

For a long time I thought long term strategic planning was a luxury afforded to those who had unlimited resources.  Not true, working within ones resources and budget regardless of how small, can and should result in a long term approach to growing a business.  

One glaring example in our business is the client who wants to develop a demand generation program with 2x the resources they have budget for, instead choosing not to invest in a list, and hoping for a quick sale or two to self fund the project.  “lets just get on the phone and get some leads, this (low quality) list is fine” is something we hear all too often.  We always suggest to “do it the right way” paying attention to all of the necessary steps in the process rather than succumbing to the urge to go for the volume play.  Doing it right for the long term versus cutting corners provides better results every time.  

Microsoft invested and lost money in their Xbox gaming systems for over 4 years before it became on of their most profitable divisions.  Yes, I know they are Microsoft and have unlimited resources.  Regardless, it’s the philosophy that ensured their success.  They did not spend more than they could afford for a year of two and pull the plug, they budgeted what they deemed appropriate and stayed the course.

We have a long standing customer who is below 10 million in revenue who put in plan and business development processes over two years ago.  Since then he has reduced his sales team by half and increased his sales by 3x. It works.

I know you believe it in your heart, empower yourself and your team to succeed by embracing the long term strategic approach, and enjoy the benefits.


All so true. You hit the nail squarely on its head! Unfortunately, it sometimes seems to me that the business "cluelessness" is on the same epidemic scale as diabetes in this country. Great post.
Posted @ Friday, October 21, 2023 6:22 AM by Gary Ares
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