What defines you as a business? Is it your vision, mission, values? Is it that you have a team, building a website?
Or is it simply that you offer a product or service and someone buys it from you?
I would argue the latter. When all is boiled down, a business sells something. It exists because it sells. The better it it is structured, focused and managed, the better it can sell. Without sales, there is no business. You can run a business without a vision, without a business plan, without systems, structures and even with a disengaged team but you need sales. (N.B. I am not for a single second suggesting you run a business like that ;-)
Why does all of this matter anyway and how can lessons be taken from it to apply in your business? For this article let’s start with your organisational chart. If you are like most businesses, you have the standard triangle/pyramid structure. When I ask people why they have this structure, the answers range from, “ To show lines of communication” through to, “ to give structure and show command”, etc.
Stand back and look at your organisational chart and ask yourself this question: “Where is the customer in my organisational chart?”
The danger with traditional org charts is that they set people up to wait for instructions. They can kill ownership. They can put the focus internally rather than externally. How about trying something different….
Rub out your traditional chart and start with a blank board. Draw a circle in the middle and in it write “SALES -made to customers.” This puts the prime reason for the organisations existence and the customer right in the centre.
Now ask, “What do we need to do to help sales sell?”. As you think of what is needed, create a spider diagram with everything connected to sales. You need people - HR exists to serve sales; need money to buy product, pay people, cover expenses - Accounts exists to serve sales; need processing plant - Processing/production exists to serve sales; need to move the product - Logistics exists to serve sales. We could go on -Admin; IT; PR; Marketing.
What this does is it creates a culture where everyone is totally focused on serving the internal customers so well that the external customers are delighted. They buy from you. They spend more per transaction, they come back and refer you to their network.
Sometimes, when companies feel their ‘Sales funnel is broken’, a close inspection shows that internal tension is affecting the external service levels.
Quick acid test: Does your marketing and sales department work closely together? Do sales and production understand and appreciate the pressures involved in the other department? Does your team have an internal customer service approach? How well do people to talk each other and about each other? Is everyone concerned about the level of sales every day?
Link to Wistia here
To succeed and excel today it is vitally important to add value - internally and externally. Your people can be your biggest POD when they are focused on the customer. Set yourself up to succeed - and if we can help do message us and/or give us a call.