Growth Insights for CEOs

An Rx for Sluggish Sales

Posted by Janet Brey


If corporate distress was handled like a medical condition, the approach would be to get help from a medical professional as soon as possible. You’d look for a specialist who could make a diagnosis and provide triage for the most urgent symptoms, while working to create a plan for sustainable health.

Sometimes a company exhibits signs of a “Business Malaise.” The symptoms are not always clear, but there is a sense that something is amiss. Here are a few common symptoms:    

1. Slowing or flat sales

2. Unclear how to achieve or sustain future growth

3. Little or no marketing expertise on the executive team  

4. A Marketing Plan does not exist or it does not align with business objectives

5. Sales cycle is getting longer

6. Uncertainty about ROI on marketing efforts 

6. Disjointed effort managing online, inbound and/or mobile marketing.

If any of these situations sound familiar, it may be time to look for some help. As with any ailment, the sooner you address it, the less damage will occur, and the sooner you will be on the road to recovery. CEOs running at full tilt often fail to see that it could be as simple as looking to a seasoned marketing professional – like a prepared physician with a pad filled with relevant remedies – to set a course to recharge your marketing and get your business on the road to sustainable growth.

Help can come in many forms. Knowing all the options can help you select the right treatment. You could:

  • Hire a strategic marketer
  • Leverage an advertising or graphics agency staff
  • Engage a marketing consulting firm
  • Utilize a fractional Chief Marketing Officer (aka Marketing Executive-as-a-Service)

For every option, there are pros and cons. If you have budget and timing constraints, hiring a full time marketer may not be an option. The chart below offers a high level comparison of the options noted. 


The Executive-as-a-Service approach can be of particular benefit when the company itself doesn’t have a clear picture of the go-to-market resources it needs. That’s what prompted Mike Mansbach, CEO of consumer engagement firm PunchTab, to seek out Chief Outsiders. Though comfortable with the value proposition of its product and with a keen sense of its technical function, marketing support – including the strategies, tactics and human resources related to the function – remained elusive.

In the following video, Mansbach explains how the “Executive-as-a-Service” concept addressed these concerns.

Why PunchTab Tapped Chief Outsiders

For more insights on the benefits of using an executive-as-a-service to address your growth challenges, read the second of this 3 part series “Nine +1 Reasons To Hire an “Executive-as-a-Service.”


cmo-Janet-Bray-smJanet, a New York-based CMO with Chief Outsiders, helps CEOs and their leadership teams improve performance and accelerate growth through strategically planned and executed marketing programs. Her background includes experience in the technology, financial services and healthcare sectors. Follow Janet @JWindek_Brey or contact her at 862-812-2777 or  


Topics: CEO Choices, Marketing Consultants, Marketing As A Service