Some informal research I completed recently amongst businesses in my “patch” turned up a surprising result.
One the questions I asked was “what is the most important job in your business?
The surprise was that so few respondents nominated “sales” at all, let alone in the top three.
When you think about it, without sales to pay for the apparently more important functions like, HR, Marketing, OH&S management, engineering, NPD&C, and all the rest that got a mention, all those more fashionable functions will not be around.
Has “Sales” become its own metaphor?
Sales is often an entry level role personified by the keen young bloke (or gal) with the brief-case, glib tongue, and “crash or crash through” attitude to human relations, and as a result is being left behind in the corporate furr-ball. Do well in sales, and you might be promoted to marketing.
Perhaps we should rename sales “Revenue Generation”. Call it what it is, focus more on those carring the direct responsability to conduct conversations with those who write the orders, and perhaps that might focus the mind a bit better?
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Yes, but how many do not realise it, or perhaps do not act in a manner that puts the customer at centre stage.
Most employees of large corporations become “functionally blind” not seeing past their immediate surroundings. Even worse because there is no profit imperative, our institutions are usually hopeless, whilst often mouthing platitudes about “clients” and having meaningless cliches as a mission/vision statement, conjured up by some spiffy consultant. (perhaps I am just jealous that I rarely get these easy gigs, too bloody honest)
No sales. No revenue. No business. Everything else is support for sales.