What happens if all the business prospects you are engaging decide to do business with you at the same time? How well can your business handle a capacity scenario?
Are you thinking business chaos?
That’s why the quality of your business throughput matters: to you, to your colleagues, employees and customers. Even if you are a company of one. Even if you are a sales person in charge of growing your territory base.
High-quality business throughput demands well-documented processes and best practices. Yet that’s not enough. Your processes and practices must be embraced and followed by everyone in your organization.
It’s not just a matter of purchasing a tool like a CRM system, for example, and figuring the system will fill in the gaps and clean up everything on its own. It’s not simply a matter of uploading your drawings onto your customer’s FTP site, figuring “someone” on their end will take it from there. It’s not just a matter of downloading job descriptions, sales processes and white papers and filing them away, thinking you now have business processes to follow.
Put your own business in order first. Don’t assume that your customers’ businesses are in better shape than your own.
You may be in for a big surprise.
That’s why business throughput isn’t static. It requires your constant attention and action.
When you discuss business throughput with your team members, workflow becomes a horizontal dialogue instead of a vertical, siloed lecture. When everyone seated around your business table communicates “what you are doing” the conversation becomes cross-functional.
When your teams realize that each of their professional input and output creates business throughput for everyone else, the lightbulbs start to go on.
Business throughput is fueled by collaboration.
Business throughput involves thoughtful and realistic dialogue within your organization. It involves listening and negotiating. The processes and practices you adopt reflect everyone’s perspective, capabilities and capacity.
Business throughput isn’t a one-and-done activity. Processes and practices must be robust yet flexible. The nature of today’s globally competitive business environment demands nothing less.
Business throughput is constantly revisited: is it working or not? Does it need refinement or not? Does it realistically fulfill the needs and capabilities of colleagues, employees, customers?
Start thinking about business throughput as the fulcrum leveraging your business. It’s where real business collaboration begins.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a management consultant and business coach. Babette develops business, technical and engineering professionals of worth. She remodels startups and small-to-medium manufacturing and service companies experiencing difficulty with unpredictable revenue streams.
A recognized Top 50 Marketing & Sales Influencer, Babette’s blog won the 2014 Bronze Medal, Top Sales & Marketing Awards, Top Sales World. Her book on communication and collaboration strategies and tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.