Sales are not the Problem; Execution is

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Most promoters and entrepreneurs complain that they do not have enough sales. On the surface of it, seems a very valid complaint. The economy has been sluggish; the industrial growth is at its lowest; sales in certain sectors have been negative, etc., etc. This reasoning is bought by the promoter and his staff, and they get into the spiral of low sales and make it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. One fundamental question to ask at this stage is:


  1. Does my company own nearly 80% of the market share and there is no scope to increase the business? Most likely the answer is no.
  2. Is the delivery of my product and services is on time or before the time in a highly competitive shrinking market? The answer is likely no.
  3. If the market has contracted by 20%, by what percentage my business has contracted? Most will cite a much higher number.


Unfortunately, in India, authentic data is not available in the small and midsized business segments. In the US, such information is available widely and especially on site. Try analysing the top Inc 5000 companies during the years of recession. And remember that recession is the US was very severe, in fact the US economy had contracted. In India, the economic growth pace was probably down by 3 to 4 degrees. But still hovering just about 5%. An analysis of the companies operating in a recessionary economy and far fiercer competitive market like the US, these 5000 companies grew between 34% to 42,148% during the period from 2009 to 2013. And the companies which feature in this list range from a sales turnover of USD 2 million (12 crores) to USD 10 billion (Rs.60, 000 crores).


What is the secret? If it can happen in highly competitive and the market in a recession like the US, why it can’t happen to Indian companies. Yes! Many companies in India also grew as fast. But the data is not reported. A close analysis of high growth companies reveals some of the following factors:


  1. They were determined to grow. This belief created a field of possibilities.
  2. Innovative business models in the same old industry and not new inventions or path breaking product or services.
  3. Accountable execution. Most of these companies are highly process driven, excel at execution, one of the key differentiators from the competition
  4. Primarily self-funded; in jargon bootstrapped. They managed their resources far better.
  5. People alignment through coaching and training
  6. Team performance. Promoter or entrepreneur is not a hero. Business performance collective responsibility.
  7. Detailed planning. Most companies made a plan, ran quick simulations and adapted quickly
  8. Sticking to the knitting and being conservative
  9. They think their way through their challenges
  10. And above all, keeping a promise to the customer through proper execution.


It’s quite evident from the ten points listed above that people, teams, processes resulted in innovation in products or services and innovations in execution. When the backend fundamentals of business were taken care, sales fell into position automatically


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