Growth, Marketing & Sales

We ignite sales growth and marketing effectiveness, maximising EBITDA with expert advice and tailored solutions. Our services encompass crafting business logic frameworks, omni channel sales processes, sales strategies, and SaaS solutions to increase conversion rates and maximise ARR.

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Our Solutions & Services

In today's fiercely competitive marketplace, where every organisation vies for a consumer's attention, more than merely survival is needed. To truly stand out amidst the cacophony of competitors, businesses must relentlessly pursue excellence and innovation in their sales strategies. At Masters in Minds, we understand the high-stakes nature of this dynamic environment, and we specialise in empowering organisations like yours to survive and thrive in the face of challenges and opportunities. 


Our motto is to look after the client first, l ... Read More

Some Examples of Our 'How'

 Inside Sales

Inside Sales

We offer comprehensive inside sales training to enhance digital engagement, lead management, and ...
 SaaS Sales

SaaS Sales

Our methodology develops strategies to achieve Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) while maximising ...
 Omni Channel Sales

Omni Channel Sales

Our approach involves operationalising these omni-channel strategies through our tailored business ...
 Sales strategy

Sales Strategy

Developing a robust sales strategy begins with a thorough understanding of the market landscape. ...
 Sales Logic

Sales Logic

Our Sales Logic encompasses the systematic approach and reasoning behind sales strategies and ...
 Business logic

Business Logic

Empower your organisation with an end-to-end holistic, customer-centric lean design, streamlining ...

Experience

Our approach is borne from our 100+ years of experience as a team. We understand the myriad challenges organisations face in their pursuit of sales greatness. We recognise that each business is unique, with its own set of objectives, constraints, and growth opportunities. Therefore, we shun off-the-shelf solutions in favour of a highly personalised consulting approach tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

At the core of our methodology lies a commitment to collaborative partnership and mutual empowerment. We don't simply arrive with preconceived notions and generic strategies; instead, we invest the time to listen, learn, and engage with your team to gain a comprehensive understanding of your sales dynamics and aspirations. By fostering open dialogue and transparent communication, we cultivate a shared sense of ownership and commitment to the journey ahead.

Innovative Sales Solutions

Drawing upon a rich tapestry of industry experience and domain expertise, our team of seasoned consultants brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. With backgrounds spanning diverse sectors and disciplines, we offer a unique blend of insights and perspectives that enrich our consulting engagements and drive innovative sales solutions. Whether you're grappling with challenges in lead generation, sales process optimisation, customer relationship management, or sales team development, rest assured that our experts have the breadth and depth of expertise to guide you toward transformative outcomes.

 

Tireless Commitment to Excellence

But sales excellence is not a static destination—it's an ongoing journey of continuous improvement, training and building experience. As such, our consulting engagements are characterised by a relentless focus on results and a tireless commitment to excellence. We don't just deliver recommendations and walk away; we roll up our sleeves and work alongside your sales team to implement actionable solutions and drive tangible outcomes. From strategic planning sessions to frontline sales training, we embed ourselves in your organisation, serving as catalysts for change and champions of progress.

In essence, partnering with Masters in Minds for sales excellence is more than just a transaction—a strategic alliance forged in the crucible of shared ambition and mutual trust. Together, we embark on a transformative journey that unlocks the full potential of your sales organisation.

So why settle for mediocrity when you can strive for greatness? 

How We Do It

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Specialist Areas

Strategic Execution & Implementation

Strategic Execution and Implementation involve turning plans into action and ensuring organisational strategies are effectively implemented to achieve goals, improve performance, and drive business success.

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Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) refers to customers' overall perception and interaction with a company or brand throughout their entire journey. It encompasses all touchpoints and interactions, from initial awareness to post-purchase support.

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Growth, Marketing and Sales

Growth, marketing, and sales are interconnected aspects of business that work together to drive revenue, acquire customers, and expand market presence. Here's an overview of each area and how they contribute to the overall success of a business.

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People Performance

Our People Performance focuses on understanding human behaviour, optimising team dynamics, and enhancing organisational effectiveness through psychological principles and performance management strategies. 

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Organisational Performance

Organisational Performance measures how effectively an organisation meets its goals enhances productivity, and achieves growth through efficient processes, strong leadership, and employee engagement.

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Feature Insights

Business Saviness

May 10, 2024

Beyond Performance

We ignite sales growth and marketing effectiveness, maximising EBITDA with expert advice and tailored solutions. Our services encompass crafting business logic frameworks, omni channel sales processes, sales strategies, and SaaS solutions to increase conversion rates and maximise ARR.

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Mindset, Attitudes and Behaviuors

April 29, 2024

Happiness & Wellbeing

Are happiness, well being, & engagement worthy of a place in your strategy?

 

“You don’t build a business, you build people and then people build the business”
– Vince Lombardi

 

Do we really need to be happy in the workplace? Isn’t it asking for a bit too much? Shouldn’t we just get on with the job? And wouldn’t we just be less efficient if we were all having a good time? Then again, what if my happiness gets in the way of someone else’s? And is my happiness at work my responsibility or my employer’s?

Unhappy employees outnumber happy ones by two to one, according to a Gallup report. At what cost? The fact is, happier people are more productive. A very modest 1% increase in productivity would benefit a company of say 200 employees by £80,000. Happier people are healthier people. A decrease in sickness absence by just 1 day per employee would benefit the same company £33,333.





Happier employees don’t leave as often. Just a 10% reduction in staff turnover would benefit the same company £51,200. People like to belong to something, we look for meaning in our lives. We can create environments where people thrive versus survive – where there is the opportunity to be a whole person rather than leave half yourself at home.

More than ever people feel a need to align with others, with ideas and companies that make them feel they are part of something bigger than themselves. A sense of purpose, a reason for being, and the answer to the question “Why is this a good place to be?” Today, in particular, for our Gen Z'ers, their idea of good is shaped by an increased awareness of their own needs, beliefs, interests, and aspirations – a heightened concern for the planet and empathy for its people.

People are now, more than ever, seeking out employers that clearly state – and live out – their meaningful ambition for the greater good. They want to feel their jobs are creating good for themselves, the company, and for the world. That’s what makes many of us happy = engaged = productive = doing good.

 

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”
– Albert Einstein.

 

What are the levels of meaningfulness in your organisation? How does it correlate with your engagement levels – people and customers/clients?

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Culture

April 26, 2024

Does Organisational Culture Influence Strategy?

Both how organisational culture influences the implementation of strategy and the bidirectional relationship between the two are well documented. However, this submission seeks to shed some light on how the strategy formulation stage is moulded by culture.

There are many different definitions of organisational culture, with Ravasi & Schultz putting forward that it consists of ‘a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organisations by defining appropriate behaviour for various situations,’ (2006, p.437). Strategy, for the purposes of this submission, has been defined as ‘the match an organisation makes between its internal resources and skills…and the opportunities and risks created by its external environment,’ (Hofer and Schendel, 1978, p.12). This submission will be proposing that whilst the relationship between strategy and culture can be bidirectional, the influence of culture is greater and this influence affects each and every stage of the strategy formulation process.

Firstly, the influence of culture regarding which of the strategic processes an organisation embodies will be examined. Then, a breakdown of each stage of strategy formulation process, alongside practical examples, will reinforce the power of culture. Finally, the influence of societal culture will be briefly evaluated, concluding that while it is influential, it ultimately forms an aspect of organizational culture.

Strategic Processes

There are three broad schools of thought regarding strategic processes: deliberate, emergent, and process. Essentially, organisational culture influences which of these processes an organisation can successfully embody.

Emergent

The emergent perspective views strategy as evolving to adapt to organisations ever-changing circumstances and corporate culture arguably has the greatest impact on this process. The formulation is based upon a series of informal processes/interactions, often emerging from day-to-day routines (Jonson, Scholes, and Whittington, 2010). In this process, strategy is constantly being reconfigured and redefined requiring organisational-wide collaboration (Kruger, Mazza, and Lawrence, 2007) based upon the notion that ‘strategies grow initially like weeds in a garden; they are not cultivated like tomatoes in a hothouse,’ (Mintzberg, 2018). The influence of culture is undeniable as employees are required to, not only adapt to constantly changing strategies, but also proactively seek out new opportunities and strategies. The responsibility of employees is highlighted by Clayton Christensen who stated, ‘what you have to ensure is that all of the employees are looking for new opportunities to grow’ (Stobierski, 2020). Clearly, for strategy to be formulated in this way, an organisation’s culture must align.

By referring to Johnson, Scholes, and Whittington’s (2005) cultural web, certain elements of culture can be selected to demonstrate its impact. The power structure, for example, must allow for all employees to feel comfortable approaching senior management with problems/ideas. Moreover, rigid routines should be avoided, otherwise, the organisation risks acceptance of status-quo rather than seeking new opportunities. However, culture is just one contextual factor as companies also interacts with external environmental stimuli (Parsons, 1961) meaning that industry, for example, could be influencing strategy as well. For example, many large technology companies embody the dynamic capabilities strategy (Helfat, 2013) suggesting that some environments are better suited to certain processes, henceforth influencing strategy. This, however, does not undermine culture’s influence, it merely extends the elements culture must be aligned to for successful strategy formulation to ensue. Clegg et al (2020) supports this stating that emergent strategies rely upon all three elements of culture: artefacts, expressed values, and basic underlying assumptions.

The control (hierarchy) element of Quinn and Rohrbaugh’s (1983) competing values framework illustrates a type of culture that is ill-suited to an emergent process. This culture, often stereotyped as bureaucracy, is unaligned as its key characteristics include stability, control, and standardization meaning it is slow to perceive the need for change. Evidently, organisational culture can prevent companies from employing this strategic process.

Deliberate

Another strategic process is the deliberate one, where strategy is viewed as rational, analytical being created by top management’s conscious decision-making and then cascaded through the organisation (Clegg et al., 2020). This process would be far better suited to the ‘control (hierarchy) culture previously discussed. Effectively, deliberate strategic process has been built on the premise that ‘unless structure follows strategy, inefficiency rules,’ (Chandler, 1962, p.314). However, the applicability of this process has been questioned, with Mintzberg arguing only 10-30% of intended strategy is realised in this way (Grant, 2021). Additionally, due to the inherent nature of the deliberate process, often culture only impacts strategy during the implementation stage, which is out with the realms of this submission. However, the move away from this process towards the emergent has arguably increased the influence of organisational culture during the strategy formulation stage.

Process

Finally, Andrew Pettigrew developed the process strategy which embodies elements of deliberate and emergent. Process views strategy as a way of simplifying a complex world and organizing change to follow the desired direction (Clegg et al., 2020). Central leadership controls strategy, but the content is determined by the wider organisation. The primary influence within this process is the organisation’s learning which should behave as a whole strategically (Senge, 1990) replacing predictability with preparedness. As culture is an important determinant of an organisation’s ability to learn and adapt to new circumstances (Schwartz and Rist, 2017), culture's influence is also apparent in this way of formulating strategy.

Evidently culture influences which of the strategic processes an organisation can embody, especially regarding process and emergent.

Strategy Formulation: Stage by Stage

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‘By influencing strategic decision processes, organisational culture also indirectly influences the content of strategy,’ (Shrivastava, 1985, p.106). As strategic decision-making often tackles novel problems requiring thorough environmental analysis and interpretation, it is difficult to base decisions purely on rationality. In smaller organizations especially, strategy can be heavily influenced by the personality, characteristics, subjective attitudes, and motivations of those decision-makers (Wang, Walker and Redmond, 2007). Johnson, Scholes, and Whittington’s (2005) cultural web, among other elements of culture, will be used to illustrate corporate culture’s impact during every stage of strategy formulation. Admittedly, not every organisation consciously follows these four distinct steps, however, each stage will be considered to some extent. By whom and in what way is decided by the previously discussed strategic processes.

 

  1. Formulation of the Problem

Firstly, problem formulation can be affected by stories. During problem identification, managers generally start by informally and indirectly scanning for more information on issues their intuition registers as a problem (Lyles and Mitroff, 1980). Both their intuition and the information they receive are influenced by the culture as often ‘myths provide a convenient and abundant source of information in ill-structured situations’ (Shrivastava, 2007, p.106). The following example contextualises this. A company developed a computerised management information system due to a dominant myth that their computer systems were a panacea for all their problems. This led to the wrongful formulation of the problem and the subsequent preclusion of other solution alternatives (Shrivastava, 2007). Therefore, the preconceptions of those formulating problems, the information they gather through social interactions, and the underlying, unquestioned organisational myths all influence the problem formulation stage, reiterating the influence of culture on strategy.

Additionally, power and organisational structure cement culture's influence further. If employees do not feel comfortable sharing problems they have identified due to the power structure within the organisation, this will limit the formulation stage. Knowledge sharing is an essential attribute within the problem formulation stage and prospers with structures that support ease of information flows. (Syed-Ikhsan and Rowland, 2004). Although one could argue that this is organisational structure influencing strategy, structure is often considered an aspect of culture (Johnson, Scholes, and Whittington’s (2005), henceforth solidifying culture's sway. A practical example that illustrates this is Facit Inc, where the refusal of managers to recognise the potential of electronic calculator technology led the organisation to incur huge losses. This oversight stemmed from an organisational myth regarding the invulnerability of their product. However, this was intensified by their hiring from within the structure which reinforced this myth. Evidently the organisational culture is a dominant influence during the problem-identification stage of strategy formulation.

  1. Generating Solution Alternatives

The language systems and metaphors often used by the organisation shape decision alternatives. The commonly utilized business as war metaphor is a good example, as by continually boxing strategy into this metaphor, it guides the creation and selection of strategic alternatives (Boulding, 1976). It is unlikely an employee viewing business as war would ever suggest a non-competitive strategic alternative, however, Alex Smith's ‘you win when you refuse to compete’ is a valid and potentially successful strategic option (Smith, 2019). Moreover, looking at the bigger picture, the organisation should utilise this stage to exploit the available opportunities that will improve the alignment between strategy and culture (Pearce and Robinson, 1991). Regardless of whether it is culture influencing strategy or vice versa, alignment between the two is imperative, as culture can either be the greatest contribution or obstacle to a successful strategy.

  1. Strategic Response

Rituals and routines can influence the strategic response as standard operating procedures typically generate automatic responses that promote inflexibility, solidified by years of unquestioning acceptance (Starbuck, 1983). For example, within large multinational banks, it was found that their well-established procedures for strategic development had trapped them in a loop of formulating and circulating strategy, which, then became obsolete prior to implementation (Bresser and Bishop, 1983). Routines help to cement the mindset ‘we’ve always done it this way’ (Thomas, 2017) which has been described as the most damaging phrase in business. This underpins a form of harmful corporate culture, which is intensified by routines, as static companies rarely sustain success (Zimmerman, 2019). Undoubtedly, this type of culture is going to adversely affect the organisation’s strategy, regardless of how genius the strategy is.

Additionally, the basic underlying assumptions held by an organisation can also influence its strategic response. The News of the World, for example, held the belief that journalism was about generating scoops on sensationalised news. This belief was so deeply entrenched that to achieve this many journalists partook in illegal activities, although within the organisation they were widely accepted as normal (Waterson, 2021). To solidify the fact this was culture influencing them rather than an external force, The Times, another newspaper, owned by the same parent company, operating in the same industry and country, did not partake in such crimes (Clegg et al., 2020). This example perfectly demonstrates how differences in organisational culture alone, can sway which strategic options are considered available by an organisation.

  1. Strategy Selection

Finally, the strategic selection stage is influenced by the organisation’s value systems, among other elements of culture. It is generally believed that the adoption of a firm’s strategy is highly dependent upon which type of culture it has (Wong et al., 2013). Whether the ultimate decision is being made by a single top manager, a strategic team, or more broadly within the organisation, strategy is inherently subjective meaning people rely upon their judgment, intuition, and experience to varying extents. Despite a vast range of tools to aid managers' decision-making existing, ‘it is far too easy to fall prey to our biases and focus on a limited set of self-serving analogies that support our preconceived notions,’ (Courtney, Lovallo and Clarke, 2013). Clearly, when adopting strategy there is an underlying rationale that different firms interpret pressures based on their unique set of organisational characteristics (Deshpande, Farley & Webster, 1993).

Ultimately, organisational culture influences the problems the strategy is aiming to solve, the solutions generated, the strategic response, and the strategy selection. This, among other reasons, is why it is commonly believed that organisational culture positively links to both performance and competitive advantage (Klimas, 2016).

 

Strategic Options Available

Generally, which strategic options are unsuitable due to the organisation’s culture is something that should be considered in the formulation process. However, due to oversights, sometimes misaligned cultures and strategies are only noticed during implementation. This does not, however, change the fact that cultural alignment is a crucial consideration within strategy formulation. Where these two parallels are mismatched, alignment can result from changes to strategy or culture (Montanari, Morgan & Bracker, 1990). The adverse effect of misalignment is demonstrated by Texas Instruments where their ‘culture was not sufficiently Tough Guy/Macho. Indeed, with a history of obtaining the lion’s share of its business from relatively safe-bet defense contracts, TI’s culture had evolved into basically the Process type’ (Deshpande and Parasuraman, 1986, p34). Clearly even a successful organisation opting for a strategy without first assessing the compatibility of its culture can lead to failure.

Whilst organisations do have the option to change the culture to suit strategy, culture ‘is hard, if not impossible, to engineer,’ (Clegg et al., 2020). Having said this, this example illustrates a success story (Chatterjee, 2016): Johnston & Johnston adopted a diversification strategy moving from basic consumer products into high-tech products. A quote from their Chairman, James E Burke, shows him reshaping their organisational culture stating ‘one of the things we insist on here is that everybody understands part of their job is to fail. You don’t move forward unless you make mistakes,’ (Deshpande and Parasuraman, 1986, p34). Clearly the relationship between culture and strategy is bidirectional with strategy also having the power to influence culture. Overall though, the fact culture required adaption for the strategy to be successful illustrates the power of culture's influence.

 

Organisational Culture or Societal Culture?

However, it is important to remember that organisational culture is not the only influential force impacting strategy formulation. Societal culture also has a great impact, with Jaeger and Balgia (1985) increasing the awareness surrounding societal culture's relationship with strategic planning and decisions. More specifically, Faucheux (1977) gives an example arguing that the development of companies within the Latin culture is based upon metaphors from the Catholic church and hence a very centralised, top-down policy-making structure. Whereas Anglo-Saxon organisations follow a more operational approach based on the existence of consensus and decentralised responsibility. Effectively, this is demonstrating how societal culture can impact the processes and structures within organisations, which subsequently influence strategy. Having said this, corporate culture tends to incorporate the societal culture of the continent/country or cities the company is based within naturally. Henceforth this may not be a reason organisational culture is less influential, but merely explains where elements of the corporate culture stem from.

 

Conclusion

Overall, the influence culture has on strategy formulation is undeniable. An organisation’s culture influences which of the strategic processes can be adopted, each and every stage of strategic formulation process, and even which strategic alternatives are feasible for an organisation. Admittedly, the relationship is bidirectional, and on occasion, culture requires adaptation to suit strategy, however, this submission argues that this only reinforces organisational culture’s power.

For these reasons, this submission adopts the view of Peter Drucker, that even during the strategy formulation stage: ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast,’ (Guley and Reznik, 2019).

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Operational Excellence

April 26, 2024

Order to Cash Process Improvement

Order to cash is one of the organisation’s most crucial and potentially complex processes that touches every function in an organisation. Yet often, it is discounted by executives. Essentially, this is a set of business processes that involve receiving and fulfilling customer requests, whether for goods or services.

There are many ways this system can become overcomplicated, costly, and inefficient. As it is common for organisations to have different systems, the misalignment between the two systems can cause problems when a merger or acquisition occurs. Similarly, when organisations expand into other countries, their cash systems may require adaptation to local procedures, regulations, and practices. This causes people pain resulting in low morale, disengagement, sickness, and people choosing to leave the business.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

mim_o2c_infographic

 

An effective order-to-cash system is fundamental to operational excellence customer experience and can even increase revenue by reducing additional expenses caused by inefficiency. There are three measurable differences once an effective order-to-cash system is introduced;

  1. Reduction in the cost to serve.
  2. Increased staff morale and engagement.
  3. Increase in customer satisfaction.

Luckily, Masters in Minds have years of experience simplifying and streamlining organisations orders to a cash system, specialising in creating uniformity across global and expanding organisations. Does your organisation have outdated systems/processes that waste time, resources, and money? Or have you grown your organisation so fast that the methods that were once appropriate are now failing? If so, get in touch today to see how we can help.

Business Benefits to an optimised order to cash process

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