Numbers Plus – Using Strategy Maps to Drive Business Performance

9 January, 2013

As business owners we create business plans. Business plans are often provided for investor relations and financial stake holders. The business plan outlines the business strategy, that is where the company is going, how it defines it market and it’s financial goals The how it will be achieved section of the business plan is regarded as management detail and the financial stake holders are not necessarily concerned about these day to day management activities.
In order to meet the goals established in the business plan there is a level of detailed planning required. Senior Managers can utilize strategy maps to help them visually break down the business goals into well defined maps that clearly show what is to be achieved and how it will be achieved inside the organization.
Strategy maps are created in an organized box style layout covering the following areas
What are we going to accomplish? How are we going to accomplish it utilizing human resources, internal processes, customer relations and financial results?
To best illustrate this idea we will create a strategy map to drive our objective for increased revenue growth. We have made a youtube video to help explain the process
Our goal, or what we want to accomplish, is to increase revenue from the existing client base by 20% in this fiscal year. We start at the bottom of the page and create a box for the business area that we will be concentrating on. Since we are going to be working with the sales staff, we can classify this as a people or human resources area. The sales staff falls under our sales leadership, which involves all the different levels of sales support and management. The leadership team is responsible to identify and create any required sales training. The training is classified as an internal process. For the sake of our example we will assume that from internal meetings that reviewed the requirements of the sales people they concluded that sales training was required covering two specific areas. In your business you could have the review of sales training as a step in the overall strategy.
One sales training will cover the topic of up selling based on existing products the customer already has purchased. Another sales training will cover how to migrate a customer to the latest equipment or service offering. In addition the training will review how to talk to a customer to explore the possible sales of other products into their business. Next we will train sales reps on how to review the existing customer database to create leads for product upgrade and up sell opportunities. We have drawn on our map that these trainings will interface to the existing customers who are our target market for this strategy. Finally the strategy map is completed with the stated measurable financial goal of a 20% revenue increase from the exiting client base.
The use of the strategy map is an effective visual method to layout the shortest path to the desired results. All stakeholders can see how the individual steps are interrelated and combine to create the desired strategy. Plus the mapping method allows you to review the strategy and make adjustments accordingly if the desired result has not been achieved. This gives people clarity as well as a agreeable defined goal.

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