You can reinvent sales wheels or continue to spin your sales wheels. You can choose to do nothing. However, you know as well as I do, choosing to do nothing is the same choice as continuing to keep those wheels spinning in business mud.
Your business is good and stuck in the proverbial status quo of legacy habits, internal processes and company focus. Those factors are not entirely awful. After all, they got your company to where it is today.
That is, however, the issue: your issue. Some status quo factors weigh your company down, so much so that your sales wheels remain mired in business mud.
Which factors, or combinations of factors, exert the greatest impediment to your sales process and overall business productivity and profitability?
Let’s explore together.
Legacy habits. There’s a reason 100-year old companies last that long. They have a specific set of core values, yet remain open to innovation. Their sales cultures are equally committed to reinventing themselves, instead of spinning sales wheels in yesterday’s mindset, processes and focus. These century-plus companies have committed leadership and corporate cultures that continuously target making small (yes, and sometimes large) changes that keep them competitively nimble as well as lean and agile. They are not afraid to look themselves in the corporate eye and determine whether their perspective is internally-focused or customer-driven. Regardless of the size of your company, your goal is to grow, expand and sustain your business. Take a page out of the Century Club playbook and read Vicki Tenhaken’s excellent book: Lessons from the Century Club: Managing for Long-Term Success.
Internal Processes. When internal processes have boundaries in corporate silos and departmental fiefdoms, cross-functional collaboration is thwarted. Which internal processes exert the greatest impact on how your business creates and measures customer experience, customer success and customer retention? Taking the time to identify which data, and internal experts, are critical-to-customer-success uncovers where they are hoarded in impenetrable data kingdoms. Sales wheels get stuck in the mud when critical information required to acquire or retain clients takes too long to access and analyze. Sales wheels are reinvented when enlightened leadership pokes holes in siloed-mindset and flattens organizational structure. Keith Sawyer’s seminal book, Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration details the steps major organizations undertook to alter the workplace and the way in which employees work together in order to achieve breakthrough growth, expansion and sustainability.
Company focus. Depending on where we all sit around the business table, we see things differently. Consider how your company measures and deploys metrics regarding customer engagement, experience, service and success. Ultimately, does the focus of survey instruments serve as a means of self-gratification or as a catalyst for customer retention? Sales wheels continue to spin when metrics and analyses are not shared across the entire organization. Sales wheels continue to spin when metrics are confined to quantitative methodology. When companies reinvent their internal focus and, instead, turn their gaze outward towards their customers, sales wheels are liberated. Continuously acquiring and remaining in touch with your end users’ journeys provides forward-thinking organizations with the sometimes brutal honesty necessary for reinvention. Ultimately, everyone in your organization is responsible for creating, driving and sustaining revenue on behalf of your customers. Your first step starts with reinventing how to drive sales wheels out of business mud via technical / non-technical collaboration. Then drive your now cross-functional sales team into your customers’ organizations.
What strategies has your own company undertaken to liberate your sales wheels from business mud? What are your next steps?
Babette Ten Haken is a management consultant, strategist, speaker and coach focused on customer success for customer retention. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing collaborative technical and non-technical employees. As a sales newbie, Babette walked into her first manufacturing plant – a slaughterhouse in Oklahoma – over 25 years ago. She fell in love with manufacturing. She serves manufacturing- and engineering- intensive companies, focusing teams on creating enduring business outcomes. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
Image author: koszivu. Image source: Fotolia.