Dreaming of the perfect business

Dreaming of the perfect business

I was dreaming of the perfect business. In doing so, I accepted that saying “it should be profitable” is a no-brainer, a bit like saying that you need oxygen to breath. In the end, I came up with two aspects that, if one got right, would, for me, create the perfect business. Profit would take care of itself. Unashamedly, the areas are BRAND and SALES. But, in my dream, these are not the preserve of the Sales and Marketing departments. Brand and Sales belongs to the organisation. It motivates, drives, excites, delights, inspires both staff and customers.
But it’s not just a dream.
Or, rather, it’s an achievable dream.
It’s a climb – but it’s achievable.

1. BRAND-CENTRIC

A business that constructs itself around their brand, where the brand values are consistently experienced internally and externally. A place which clearly understands what REALLY turns their clients on and constructs the business around that. A place where the EXPERIENCE of doing business with a company outlasts the functionality of the product purchased. And dealing with a company, “gives you something:” Like, I’m not a great athlete but I feel confident when I wear Nike. What you don’t want is for competitors to DEFINE you, you want to define yourself. Crystal-clear.

The realisation that you don’t need a mega-budget to develop a brand but that you only need excited, motivated and dynamic PEOPLE, with the DESIRE for your business to stand out, should inspire one to get your staff together and say:

LET’S CREATE SOMETHING THAT STANDS FOR SOMETHING. LET’S BUILD SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY CONNECTS WITH THE PEOPLE THAT WE WANT TO DO BUSINESS WITH.

2. SALES is everything. And everything is SALES.

I would like to see EVERYBODY in the company in SALES. A place where EVERYBODY knows clearly what their role is in SALES (and BRAND for that matter). I don’t believe that it’s good enough to say that we all SUPPORT Sales, we all need to BE… SALES!!

It is the only true way to align the various business components. No more Marketing, Finance, HR or Production departments. Close them down. Production & Distribution becomes SALES FULFILMENT whereas the Sales Department becomes SALES ORIGINATION. Marketing? Maybe SALES DEVELOPMENT.

What might Finance be?
Finance is essentially the scorer, they report on what it costs to attract sales and what the result is. But, you might say that they do other stuff. Yes, we all do, but we have also said that SALES is everything and everything is SALES. So what other stuff do they do? Given a love of numbers and analytics, maybe Finance should also analyse and report on Sales stats – indeed, all stats within the business. Finance could therefore be called SALES IMPACT.

HR?
What about SALES ENVIRONMENT, given that it would be their job to ensure that the right people are in the right places to deliver the desired sales environment.

This means that the MD or CEO would be the SALES LEAD, directing the show and making sure that everybody understands their role in… SALES.

WE CAN TALK ABOUT ALIGNMENT AND INTEGRATED MODELS UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME, BUT THE REALITY IS THAT SOONER OR LATER, IT’S BACK TO SILOS. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, DARE TO BE CRAZY – IN A TIME WHEN CHANGE IS FASTER THEN EVER BEFORE, IT’S FAR CRAZIER JUST TO CONTINUE FOLLOWING THE SAME OLD COW PATH.

Gary Hendrickse
CEO Sherpa
January 2009

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