I read an article recently saying that “CEOs who put sales management at the heart of their agenda have captured astonishing growth — outstripping their peers by 50 to 80 percent in terms of revenue and profitability”. I was a little astonished at this. To me it is like saying, the person that puts organic food at the heart of their diet are healthier. Probably very true, but the belief that this alone can make a healthy person, is ridiculous.
Not five minutes later I came across an article about HR being more effective when it has a seat at the Board and is part of driving the strategic direction of the business. Also a good point but my answer is the same as the previous statement.
Sales is only effective if the strategy is right, the marketing is effective and the organization has a clear path to its market. This requires engaged people (HR) and good systems (sales) excellent communications (management)….and I could go on. There was a time when you could have a sales driven business where Sales Department was the core of the business and everything else was tolerated because sales was King. Those days are gone.
Technology, media and social networking has changed the game. More than this, the public are aware of sales techniques and can see the difference between a sales person and an expert or specialist (or as Apple call their retail staff – Genius).
People do not want to be sold to, but people do want to buy.
These days organizations want to build followers of their brand and not sales driven organizations. I am not saying that there aren’t some industries that may be able to have a pure sales driven business, but they are not main stream and certainly not the way any business starting out should be encouraged to build a successful business. I interview successful business leaders every year and not one of them talks about being a sales led business, but all of them talk about responding to customers needs, creating value in society and building brand loyalty.
To achieve this, no single part of the business should be at “the heart” in a way that denotes one being more important than another.
Making sure that ALL areas of the business contribute to the heart of the organization in a meaningful, consistent and co-ordinated manner, requires good leadership and management.
So, I am off to read Accountancy Today and see if they believe they should be at the heart of the organization as well!!!!!