Have you ever felt like the team is in a round canoe, where everyone is rowing really hard, but the boat mostly spins in circles and goes nowhere? If you have, this is a telltale sign of a misaligned team. Some tension and pulling is natural and healthy, but the round canoe feeling means it’s time to adjust.
The unsaid thoughts and water cooler conversations go something like this:
"The sales team can’t sell what we have. And when they do sell, the discounts and special deals are killing profitability."
"Marketing doesn’t know what they are talking about. They just don’t understand our customers."
"Our products are supposed to be plug-and-play. It is plug-and-play: customers plug it in and play with it until it works."
Test alignment by asking key players on the commercial team these questions:
1. What game are you playing? Look for answers that describe your target market segment and how the company delivers value.
2. What does winning look like? Look for answers that describe the goals and targets that need to be reached to be successful.
3. What customer problems do you solve? Look for 2 – 4 concise statements that describe how your company uniquely helps customers get their job done.
Aligned teams will have answers that sound the same and a coxswain that is focused on going full speed ahead.
If you don’t like the answers or to get a no-obligation evaluation of the team's alignment...