Business Performance

23 Proven Ways to Rapidly Improve Business Performance

Kurt GraverBusiness Development

In today’s competitive landscape, maximizing business performance is essential for companies wanting to gain an edge, increase market share, boost profitability and ensure long-term viability.

While some factors driving performance, like competitive forces and economic trends, remain outside a company’s control, many proven avenues exist for bolstering results through strategic investments and better execution.

Below, we explore 23 ways, big and small, that leadership teams can improve their business’s overall performance across critical areas, including operations, financial management, talent development, customer service and growth.

Streamline Operations

Conduct an Efficiency Audit – Take a top-down review of all key processes, searching for redundant steps that fail to enhance customer value directly. Streamline or eliminate wasteful activities.

Standardize & Systemize – Define standardized company-wide procedures for core processes to prevent fragmented and inconsistent methods across business units. This also enhances scalability.

Implement Automation – Identify manual processes where automated tools can optimize speed, accuracy and costs – especially within customer onboarding, order processing and reporting.

Improve Knowledge Sharing– Ensure best practices and intelligence around optimizing workflows circulate openly. Capture institutional knowledge via wikis, training and mentoring.

Assign Process Owners – Designate individual executives accountable for continually enhancing process performance through reviews and dashboards tracking cycle times, quality and expenditures.

Utilize Advanced Analytics – Collect and analyze operations data to guide optimizations around predicting demand, inventory planning, risk insights and other scenarios benefiting from machine learning.

Boost Financial Health

Lower Tax Liability – Consult tax experts to identify all eligible deductions and accounting methods legally minimizing total tax obligations. Maintain impeccable records supporting filings.

Renegotiate Rates & Terms – Review all major cost expenditures like equipment leases, vendor contracts and financing deals, searching for opportunities to improve payment terms or lower effective interest rates based on company financials and relationships.

Reassess Resource Allocations – Reevaluate budgets across each business area or initiative based on the latest forecasts and performance data. Shift funds from poor-performing segments to high-potential areas.

Reduce Excess Inventory – Trim average inventory levels through improved demand planning and stock monitoring to cut carrying costs and risk of write-downs. Utilize just-in-time principles to align closer with consumption.

Extend Payables – Renegotiate payment terms with suppliers to push out due dates, improving short-term cash flows available for growth activities or buffering for contingencies.

Tighten Approval Authority – Update purchasing authorization policies with tighter approval chains and limits, preventing unnecessary expenditures from slipping through at scale.

Develop Talent

Skills Gap Analysis – Identify current and projected competency needs, then assess talent pools against these to spotlight capability and resource gaps guiding recruitment and training priorities.

Leadership Development Plans – High potential managers and executives receive personalized development plans sharpening skills vital for business growth, including strategy, financial analysis, decision making, communication and team building.

Cross Training – Employees learn complementary roles via job rotations, shadowing and mentoring to boost flexibility in allocating talent as business needs evolve. Cross-training also aids succession planning.

Continuing Education – Offer tuition reimbursement, credential sponsorship, and time off to support continuous skills development through external coursework, keeping staff capabilities competitive.

Performance Management – Objective performance management practices ensure high calibre talent receives properly differentiated compensation, promotion opportunities and career development investments relative to contributions made.

Employee Referrals – Encourage employees to refer candidates from networks by offering bonuses for successful applicants who onboard. This provides strong cultural fits.

Energize Sales Growth

Optimize Sales Territories – Realign sales regions, account assignments and quotas against the latest performance trajectories and market potential to amplify results from top performers and hot zones while buoying struggling areas.

Enhance Sales Enablement – Arm sales teams with packaged collateral, competitive intelligence, wonderful access, conversation guides and capabilities sharpening seller productivity. Content improves pitch differentiation and effectiveness.

Analyze Lost Deals – Review common reasons proposals lose or stall to identify sales objections and competitive weaknesses addressable through product changes, market positioning and improved selling approaches.

Refine Sales Commission Plans – Tweak commission structures and SKU bonuses emphasizing high-margin products to show momentum to align seller efforts with strategic growth priorities. Test models predicting higher total contract values.

Expand Strategic Partnerships – Pursue channel partnerships with resellers, influencers, and technology partners, extending marketing and selling reach to wider audiences under joint forces.

Launch Business Development Teams – Dedicate new outbound sales units commissioned purely on new logo acquisition through persistent cold calling, event participation and inbound referrals.

Boost Customer Loyalty

Net Promoter Surveys – Measure customer satisfaction and loyalty benchmarking Net Promoter Scores (NPS), revealing improving or declining happiness levels over time after interactions. Gain insights on drivers.

Customer Advisory Boards – Gather influential users to provide input on improving products, services, policies and experiences based on real needs and feedback from broader user bases.

Loyalty Programs – Offer selected customers special perks like discounts, expedited services, concierge treatment and sneak peeks at new offerings, increasing perceived value and preference relative to alternatives.

Customer Intelligence Analytics – Mine CRM and transactional records to best identify at-risk customers showing precursors to churn based on demographic data, purchase volume changes, and loyalty metric trajectories, then enact save campaigns.

Customer Experience Testing – Continuously experiment with service, support and engagement tweaks measuring impacts on satisfaction and usage levels through beta groups. Iterate enhancements are raising happiness and engagement.

Omni-Channel Integration – Provide consistent experiences with visibility into customer histories across web, mobile, call centres, stores and field channels, preventing fragmentation and keeping users delighted.

The combination of streamlined and scalable operations, financial discipline, talented and motivated workforces, sales and marketing proficiency, and customer loyalty pays dividends across interlinked performance areas. Small targeted improvements compound expanding enterprise capability and accelerating results.

While stagnation during prosperous periods may not immediately manifest in slower growth, competitive forces wait anxiously to seize on weaknesses. Resist complacency by continually striving for better – it directly bolsters your future.

Recommended Next Step

SGI Consultants offers an integrated suite of advisory services that help organizations empirically assess current business performance across all critical functions, identify capability gaps inhibiting excellence and secure tangible improvements through execution roadmaps and change leadership support.

Learn more about turbocharging your business performance through SGI’s quantitative analytics and transformation expertise. The competition keeps advancing – don’t let them pass you by.