Each time we state an aphorism, we run the risk of generating unwanted argument. Such is the case with statement contained in the inserted graphic, from which the poster which hangs in my office was made. In my view, it speaks volumes.
Granted, there are businesses for whom outside sales are less important. However, I am not aware of any legitimate businesses for whom some type of sales process is unnecessary. In fact, sales is to one extent or another crucial to the success of every business.
The moment we diminish the importance of sales is the moment we begin our final decent to a very rough landing. That is why, for the poster which hangs in my office, the following words are added:
So, if you aren’t selling, you should be supporting someone who is!
I picked up that second section along the way, but don’t recall the source at the moment.
Boiled down, these two things stand out: 1) sales matter; and 2) support matters. Sales is number one, simply because it starts the process; but, 90% of our customer interaction occurs after the sale. So, support matters (a lot) also!
Why is it so important for us to keep these things in mind? I am sure there are more reasons than what I have listed below. These three, however, should be enough, at least for now:
- CUSTOMERS MATTER: Professional sales people cater to our customers’ needs and wants. They are the bridge between potential customers and the items we sell. Without this vital connection occurring, nothing happens in business, period. So, as those of us in support roles follow the lead of our professional sales staff, we need to understand exactly what is happening. No matter what form our engagement takes, when we engage with customers, it is as though they are standing directly in front of us saying, “I want this one. Finished like this. I would like to have it now, or as close to now as possible. Or, I want it to be delivered and/or installed just like this as soon as possible.” Every role, is a customer-facing role, including support roles. Understanding this is what it takes for something to happen in business.
- PROFIT MATTERS: Professional sales people play a key role when it comes to profitability for owners and investors in our businesses. Support staff of every stripe and flavor are important, as well. Once our products are sold to the consumer or advanced in the supply chain closer to the consumer, support staff must perform well. Otherwise, the customer is not well-served. The key contact with happy customers is our sales professional, but they need the whole organization 100% behind them. Happy customers make additional purchases and make multiple referrals of their friends, neighbors, and family members. These two factors are huge contributors to our profitability.
- JOB SECURITY MATTERS: If these two functions are performing well. If customers’ needs are being understood and met by sales professionals in the beginning of the process. If customers’ expectations are being fulfilled as the process unfolds. Then, our businesses are one step closer to experiencing exponential growth, with the likelihood of profitability being greatly enhanced. If and when these conditions are achieved and maintained, then job security for all personnel is greatly improved.
We should all remember that nothing happens in business until someone sells something. And, if we are not involved in selling, we need to be supporting someone who is.
(c) Bill Williams
July 29, 2019