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Make Your Organization More Customer- and Market-Driven

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify the levers for driving more customer and market-driven behavior.
  • Describe the role of senior management in relation to these levers.
  • Identify good places for an admin to start.

Levers for Customer- and Market-Driven Behavior

There are three basic levers that executive teams typically utilize to improve customer- and market-driven behavior within their organization (see Figure 4). As an admin, these levers are worth reviewing because you can add tremendous value by crafting your system and activities to support these activities.

Levers for developing the customer- and market-driven organization

Figure 4. Levers for developing the customer and market-driven organization.

Lever 1: Customer- and Market-Driven Leadership

In general, if top management believes delivering solutions that help customers achieve their goals will lead to strong business performance (for example, profitability), then most everyone in the organization will likely adopt this philosophy too.

As an admin, you contribute by providing reports and dashboards that give the organization visibility into customer- and market-driven performance which serves to reinforce behaviors. You also help provide top management with ability to quickly and easily communicate their support.

Lever 2: Organizational Alignment

In customer- and market-driven organizations, individuals and departments are aligned so that everyone works together to help customers. This is the opposite of a highly dysfunctional organization where there’s infighting, politics, lack of trust, and people out for themselves.

As an admin, you contribute to alignment by encouraging different groups to collaborate and share information. For example, a good place to start is often getting Sales and Service on the same page about account information, and using group chat functionality to improve communications between people and teams who are helping each other.

Lever 3: Recognition and Rewards

It is important to reinforce desired behaviors by recognizing and rewarding people on an individual and team level. It’s best if senior management can engage in the recognition and reward efforts. However, there are many ways individual departments or peers can accomplish this on their own.

For example, as an admin you can set up a Salesforce Community, and use Chatter or Work.com to enable peer recognition and badges—and to tie these to tangible rewards. Often a simple thank-you is all that’s needed. For example, we can thank Sue Henderson in customer service for going above and beyond to support field sales rep. Janine Erwin with account information when her mobile phone broke, resulting in a successful account renewal.

Resources

  • Schein, E. H. (2010). Leadership and Organizational Culture (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Kohli, A. K., & Jaworski, B. J. (1990). Market orientation: the construct, research propositions, and managerial implications. The Journal of Marketing , 1-18.
  • Kathuria, R., Joshi, M. P., & Porth, S. J. (2007). Organizational alignment and performance: past, present and future. Management Decision , 45 (3), 503-517.
  • Powell, T. C. (1992). Organizational alignment as competitive advantage. Strategic Management Journal , 13 (2), 119-134.
  • Drucker, P. F. (2008). The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials).
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