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Sector Insights commercial leaders, brevet

by Chris Williams


Next Moves For Commercial Leaders Post Brexit

The EU referendum result has left companies and organisations around the country wondering what to do next. Do we wait until a new Prime Minister triggers Article 50, or do we keep calm and carry on?

Uncertainty is never good for business; Q4 and Q1 have been difficult months for many organisations in the run up to the EU referendum with decisions and programmes put on hold for after the vote. Now we have uncertainty caused by the Brexit result, combined with parliamentary disruption, and still no clear plan.

However, in my recent discussions with CEOs, Chief Commercial Officers, Procurement Officers, Business Development professionals, and Sales and Marketing Directors, I am sensing that the initial surprise of a Brexit vote is now being replaced by a desire for action. Yet with no clear timetable or plan of action from our political leaders, what can commercial leaders do to ensure they are moving forwards?

3 Post-Brexit Moves

  1. Assess Exposure

Commercial leaders now need to allocate resources to look at the unique ramifications of Brexit for their firm, in relation to commercial strategy and the development of the organisation. If you have not already posed this question, it is time to ask, ‘what will the impact (positive or negative) of Brexit be on sales and revenue, growth, supply chain etc., both in the long (i.e. once the UK has left the EU) and the short term?’

  1. Develop Post Brexit Business Objectives

Having assessed the impact Brexit is having (or will have) on the organisation’s commercial strategy and growth, a fresh focus may be needed to find new ways to generate rents, increase profitability, and remain competitive in this new landscape. How will these changes affect the competitive rivalry faced by your organisation; will you need to move to counteract potential competitors or substitutes? How will this change your relationships with your buyers and suppliers, is there a change in the power dynamic of these interactions? Will there be scope for market or product development as a result of this change?

  1. Re-Align Internal Processes And Commercial Strategy

As a result of Brexit, internal processes and commercial strategy must be reviewed and aligned with this new environment. As a further consequence of Brexit, many organisations will also have an updated competitive strategy and a brand new set of business goals; therefore processes and strategies must also be designed to enable the organisation to navigate these changes and capitalise on new opportunities.

Interim commercial leaders are uniquely positioned to support organisations during change; and Brexit is certainly already forcing businesses to rethink their commercial strategies across many sectors. Interim commercial professionals have expertise that comes from exposure to a wide range of challenges faced by organisations, and an ability to draw on this experience to find solutions in the best interest of those companies they work with. The key factor here is that Interim’s can help elicit the required internal changes to take advantage of this new external environment.

I have created a checklist of actions Commercial teams should take today. These are the actions Commercial interims recommend to manage post-Brexit threats and seize the opportunities that this vote presents. Click on the link below for your copy.

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About the Author

As a Consultant, Christopher deals with a large variety of clients throughout the private sector including sectors such Telco and Technology, Manufacturing and Facilities Management. He also has significant experience of placing procurement, supply chain and sales positions, both interim and permanent.

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