4 Data-Backed Advantages You'll Get When You Start with Strategy

Posted by Steve Rao On March 05, 2018


Data-backed reasons to start with strategy


“Start with the end in mind.”

This is common wisdom. You shouldn’t start a journey if you don’t know where you’re going, how to get there and what you need to be successful. This applies to just about every aspect of life – and agribusinesses can learn a lot from it.

But it’s more than just common wisdom. Starting with strategy is something that backed up by data.

(Note: This article is part of the "Agricultural Business" series. Click here  to read the free guide.)

When you’re spending money and time on marketing and sales initiatives, you want to maximize every dollar spent. That means that you need to know where every dollar is going and why it’s going there.

And you want to make sure that your marketing and sales teams are aligned with your business’s objectives. Otherwise, your team will be rowing – and spending – in different directions, getting you no closer to your overall goal.

Here are four data-backed advantages that your agribusiness will receive when you develop and execute a well thought-out strategy.


If you start with strategy, you'll be ahead of other executives.

A lot of businesses talk about strategy being a primary objective of those in leadership. But the reality is, few executives are devoting the necessary time to building and communicating their strategy.

Consider the following stats:

  • 70 percent of leaders spend less than a day a month on reviewing strategy.
  • 86 percent of executive teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy
  • 85 percent of leadership teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy.
  • 20 percent of organizations review strategy execution monthly.

The majority of leaders in companies are spending little-to-no time reviewing and discussing their strategy. So it’s not surprising that only 20 percent of organizations are executing that strategy.

If you want to put your agribusiness ahead of your competition, become a strategic leader. You’ll be stepping out beyond what’s commonplace in your industry. Actively and frequently discuss and review your strategy, and then empower your marketing and sales teams to execute on it.


If your business executes that strategy, you'll be ahead of your competition.

Developing a strategy is only the first step. If you want to be successful, then you have to empower your team to execute on that strategy. Here are some metrics around successful businesses and their relationship to strategy:

  • 70 percent of organizations that used a formal process to manage strategy out-performed their peers.
  • 75 percent of successful companies have a formal and pre-established system to inform on and manage their strategy.
  • 88 percent of businesses say that successfully executing initiatives/projects in order to deliver strategic results is very important or essential for competiveness.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of successful businesses, don’t just develop a strategy. And don’t just talk about it. Drive your team to execute on it.


If you fail to execute on your strategy, you'll become less competitive.

Not only do successful businesses execute their strategies, but the inverse is also true. Not only do most businesses fail to develop strategy; those that do are poor at executing on it once it’s developed.

That’s probably because 98 percent of leaders think that strategy implementation takes more time than strategy formulation.

90 percent of organizations fail to executive their strategies successfully. 11 percent of companies employ a “fully-fledged” strategic control system. 10 percent of organizations achieve at least two-thirds of their strategy objectives, with 36 percent achieving between 50-67 percent and 54 achieving less than 50 percent.

Here are some other stats to keep in mind:

  • 2 percent of leaders are confident that they’ll achieve 80-100 percent of their strategy’s objectives.
  • 92 percent of organizations don’t track the key performance indicators that tell them how well they’re doing in competition.
  • 65 percent of companies are “somewhat ineffective” or worse at introducing change caused by strategic initiatives.
  • 29 percent of organizations react so slowly that they can’t seize fleeting opportunities or mitigate emerging threats.
  • 24 percent of organizations react to opportunities quickly but lost sight of company strategy.

If you want to outperform the other businesses in your industry, step beyond just building a strategy and put in a plan to implement it. Here is a plan we’ve developed for integrating your strategy, marketing and sales efforts.


If you bring your team together on strategy, you'll all start to row in the same direction.

The ultimate strength of a strategy is that it gets the team rowing in the same direction. This is not typical among most companies:

  • 95 percent of employees do not understand their organization’s strategy.
  • 60 percent of organizations don’t link their strategic priorities to their budget.
  • Only 42 percent of managers and 27 percent of employees have access to the strategic plan.
  • Only 46 percent say their company is good or excellent at successfully executing initiatives/projects in order to deliver strategic results.

If you get your team on the same page on strategy – and not just a set of directives, but understanding the rationale behind the strategy itself and why the organization is moving in a particular direction – then you’re likely going to have more buy-in and, thus, people will be more motivated to work toward your company’s objectives.

Developing a strategy means that you have a clear roadmap for where you’re going, and everyone’s role in the journey from Point A to Point B. And, hopefully, that roadmap will lead to your business’s success.


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