Decision Making is Moving Higher In Organizations
Even though economic technical factors indicate the U.S. economy is no longer in a recession, decision making by buying organizations have continued to be different than during less tough economic times. Major purchases for goods and services continue to receive senior management review, and in many cases executive group approval.
This situation reminds me of a consulting organization I was working with recently. The Vice President of Sales (Jim), the head of the committee that was evaluating service organizations like mine called me.
"Dan, I want you to know that the committee is unanimous in wanting to work with you and The Vision Group to help us implement programs focused on improving sales, marketing, and profitability."
I was excited and said, "Thank you very much. I'm looking forward to working with you and your sales and marketing organization."
Jim quickly added, "However, there is good news and there is bad news." My enthusiasm was quickly deflated. "Ok, Jim, tell me more.
"Well", Jim said, "I took your plan and our plan to the president yesterday to brief him on our decision, the implementation plan, and the time frames. After my presentation he told me that due to the current economic situation he wanted to get the board involved prior to his making his final decision. I know that I had briefed you during our evaluation process that we had the final decision, but, times have changed. So the good news is we want to work with you. The bad news is that I need to prepare a complete package and presentation for the board."
Jim asked me to assist in helping with the preparation of his final packaging. Included in that was more detailed help in the cost justification work that I presented to his group based on my 'discovery' processes with members of the committee. As we were talking I'm thinking to myself, "Geez, I'm so glad they were willing to take the time to document the value they could gain from implementing sales processes." But, I also thought, "Dan, you screwed up! You knew the current economic climate was ripe for senior management overview. But, you didn't prepare Jim or the committee for it! Doahhhh!"
Needless to say I dropped everything to help Jim prepare for that meeting! In light of that sales situation I was reminded of two articles that I wrote in the past year.
If you have ten minutes please review these two articles about decision making and the changes that have occurred and are still relevant in today's economic situation.