Whether you are planning a commercial operating model re-design or wider commercial transformation programme, there are several factors in the mix:

Data availability is essential

Data underpins all other improvement opportunities. While it doesn’t have to be – and will never be – perfect, even small improvements in accuracy can make a major difference. Cost data, for example, can be problematic, as it is held at higher levels of aggregation. Many companies often see this then as a multi-year initiative and so delay it, but improvements can often be made in weeks, using the right methodologies.

Take into account internal emotional and political perspectives

Improving the commercial capabilities of your business is about more than just hard-headed business logic. There are often complex and sensitive internal issues involved. Taking into account internal emotional and/or political questions will help ensure the success of any initiative you undertake. It’s vital to work closely with the key stakeholders across all relevant functions to ensure they’re fully on board and that their views and interests have been heard.

Delivering business value fast

Your programme should be structured around generating early business benefit. Generating cash and an early return on investment is important in normal times, but vital in the current environment and it also generates significant positive feedback around the programme boosting stakeholder engagement.

Preparing for the recovery

In the current crisis, many businesses are currently – rightly – operating primarily in survival mode, focusing their energies on withstanding the present challenges rather than planning into the future.

And yet, no matter how intense the difficulties, businesses still have agency as to what they do next. They may not be able to manage the downturn, but they can certainly plan for the recovery and determine how resilient their business will be when it arrives.

Those companies which use this period of slowdown to future-proof their business – to improve their commercial capabilities in the ways outlined above – will be far better placed to thrive when ‘normal’ returns, as return it eventually will.

Read the previous section : COVID-19: The value of improving commercial capabilities