A cold night in February, during my regular call with the tribe community and we had an interesting discussion about goals. I can still vividly recall how one of the tribe members mentioned something about doing sports. This made me think about my own priorities in life and how I wanted to become leaner for some time now and I always made it a second priority.

It’s not that I consider myself as overweight, but it saw benefits in getting leaner. And this triggered me to make it my goal.

Sport is rarely the only answer and so is more sales

The first thought of anyone who would like to lose weight is “I need to do more exercises”. The issue with that is that once we start to work out more, we usually need to eat more. This very logical consequences often leads to gain of fat. It might not be so visible the first week, but definitely week number 2, and later this process becomes very clear. The other issue is to become leaner you actually need to change your eating habits.

The same pattern can be observed in a business where the tendency to make more money leads to pressure for more sales. One example was the fascinating success of Zoom, a video conference platform. Due to the big demand and the raise of usage, they needed to invest fast in more infrastructure and server space which caused their revenue per subscriber to decrease in the short term.

In an interview on March 4 Kelly Steckelberg, CFO shared about Zoom, that their earnings are reduced, because of adding more and more capacity, but their long-term strategy is to attract and keep new members and to increase their earnings.

Here more sales lead to more cost (fat) to handle new accounts and if we are not ready for it and have a strategy to handle them, this could lead to stay with the fat and losing the customers, due to them being not satisfied with our service.

It’s better to have a long-term strategy and execute it correctly, even if it slows your growth by a little. The next tip is how to use measuring to your advantage.

What gets measured gets managed

Going leaner is not for faint of hearts. It requires a lot of dedication and commitment. One question to ask is how to know you achieved your goal?

How to know you achieved your goal?

Aleks Vladimirov

You could use different methods. The mirror test is when you make a picture of your body daily and track progress, a more scientific approach is to have a special scale that measures various parameters and provides you a nice statistic and trend analysis.

The key is not only to know what to monitor but also how regularly. Deciding to monitor your state daily, but on a different time, would lead to unpleasant surprises. Your weight change throughout the day, when you wake up in the morning you are lighter compare to after lunch when you had your meal.

The same applies to the business. Do you have a KPI to measure your sales? If not, you would never know if you are on track or off and you will be for a surprise when you go out of funds one month earlier, compare to the next expected payment by your customers.

The other question to ask yourself is what measurements you need to set in place in a term of comparison. Remember about the weight and measure it in the right intervals. If you compare sales from the first three months of the year to the last 3. In winter, the sales might sky rocket because of people who tend to buy more at that time, which is not the case in the beginning of the year. If you compare the first month of 2018 to the first months to 2019, then this could give you a better understanding of what is the trend to your sales.

The next tip is will teach you how to overcome the pitfalls of going lean or selling.

Things don’t work perfectly from the very beginning

On my path to become leaner, I hit many walls. I needed to change my eating habits and monitor my progress. There are a lot of tips and tricks to learn before you see the progress and make it steady. And one of the biggest lesson is to be kind to yourself. Allowing cheat meals is a nice way to keep your motivation strong.

The same is true with business and sales. At the beginning of a new campaign it might take some time to fine tune your strategy. This could often lead to frustration and disappointment. If you keep your spirit up, allow yourself some cheat days where doing nothing or a little is okay, then over time you will see a progress and improvements. The thing is to follow my previous suggestion and have the right KPIs in place.

Summary

It might be a surprise at first. Weight lose and business and the fact that they might have something in common.

However, the strategies that were mentioned in this article apply for both scenarios. They work in a holistic approach.

By using them you ensure that your next weight lose challenge or your next business sale campaign will be a huge success!

Aleks Vladimriov is a Senior Software Developer, recognized Project Manager and Soft-skilled trainer and a coach.

Aleks Vladimirov

Solution Engineering Manager at Thales | Senior IT Professional | Startup Mentor and Product Manager

Aleks is experienced Product Manager with an engineer background and over 10 years of experience as a software developer. He works with different governments and is responsible for negotiation features and requirements, understanding the customers’ needs and supporting the senior management with regular reports and analysis. He held various positions starting as a software developer, moving to a team leader and software architect.

He strives in waterfall and agile environment alike. He is certified Scrum Master and Prince2 Practitioner and he knows how to design business processes and help teams optimize their work.
During his tenure, he had to wear many hats, prioritizing business requirements, delegating work and mentoring team members, creating mockups with Balsamiq, providing MS Project plan to the senior management.

He had worked in many international teams, located in the same city or distributed in different countries and continents. He had been a team leader of cross functional international team of 8 people.

In his current position, he is very much client focused. He has excellent presentation skills.
He delivers training sessions on presentation skills and leadership and he had helped hundred of people to improve their presentation skills.

He is also interested in creating more positive changes in the workplace by using entrepreneurship skills.
He had won startup competition where his team had validated and develop a business idea from scratch.

In his free time, he writes in his blog about effective product development.

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