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!!!!!
When you register with Pawtions, your dog will get a parcel (addressed to your dog) every four weeks containing a complete, healthy, nutritious meal portions individually tailored to your dogs needs.
In every box there is a free pack of Poop bags, you can also arrange for them to send flea treatment and worming tablets every 6 months, and every once and a while a free gift for your dog 🙂
Here is a video one customer posted yesterday of the box receiving the box in the morning post:
Great idea Steve….
Without doubt, less is more in so many aspects of our lives. Less food can actually improve your energy levels, less meetings can be more productive and the iPad has less buttons and more useability.
We know that Apple under Steve Jobs went for simplicity in design that put it well above the rest and resulted in others playing catch-up ever since.
I came across this site that really shows how Marketing is changing and makes this point very well. Take a look at the photos below and be honest, which do you prefer?
I am willing to bet that most people preferred the third of fourth. Maybe the baby-boomers liked the second!!! The fact is, simplicity and minimization is the trend. Too many websites, brochures, display stands, adverts, covers, packaging and workbooks are too ‘busy’. They don’t appeal and draw the customer in.
Thanks to A2591 Blog for some great work on this. Outstanding and well done
I understand that my previous blog about Adria Airways was on the front page of the newspapers and has been doing the rounds in the country. I have received a range of comments….some attacking me for speaking about this and others sympathizing with me.
I want to thank all the people that commented on my blog about Adria Airlines, whatever you comment was. Please let me be very clear……
Adria Airways DID NOT let ME down. They let the people of Slovenia down in the way they treat passengers whether the passengers are foreigners or Slovenians. Nobody can blame the staff of the airline if they are not getting the training and if the staff are not developed to understand the importance of their role in creating the right image for their country.
Slovenia is a wonderful Central European country with a rich culture, fascinating history and the people I met were wonderful and genuine people. I wrote on my Facebook and Twitter BEFORE I wrote the blog, that everyone should visit Slovenia once in their life because I was so impressed with the country.
I had a great time while I was in Ljabljana, met some wonderful people and had a fantastic tour of the city center with an amazing guide.
The people that run the airline need to understand that there role is more than just flying planes in and out of the country. They are part of an industry that is one of the biggest in the world….the tourism/conference and meetings and destination industry. This industry brings revenue to the country and what they do can affect not only their own revenue, but the revenue of the industry.
I loved my experience while I was on the ground in Slovenia and enjoyed staying at the wonderful Hotel Slon.
PLEASE Adria Airways, become an airline that the people of Slovenia can be proud of.
As is often the case with the smaller national airlines, the staff are disaffected and do their job according to the rules and take great pleasure in being able to use the rules to show they have power. Such has been my experience with Adria Airlines in eastern Europe.
On my first flight with them out of Munich, there had been a mix up with my seating. Although they had given me a boarding card with a seat number, when I boarded the aircraft the seating plan they had on board had me assigned to a different seat. The Stewardess took delight in telling me I had the wrong seat and when I produced my boarding card marched off annoyed, only to return moments later to show me her manifesto and insist I move. Of course I did without issue.
On the flight I went to the toilet and spoke to her. It was obvious by her reply that she saw her job to conform to the airlines rules. It was certainly not her job to make my flight a positive experience and the thought that she represents her country to me, was beyond her thinking.
Today I have to once again to fly Adria to Frankfurt. I arrive at check-in and explain that I am trying to catch the earlier flight out of Frankfurt and so would like to sit as near to the front as I can and can my two small bags be hand luggage so that I can make the flight. What happened next was something out of the Soviet Union in the 1960’s. As first the check in lady and then another man at another desk did everything they could to be difficult with me. I got quoted the rules and told that I am asking them to break airline rules…..and so it went on.
Keeping calm I explained I didn’t want to break any rules, I wanted his help to find a way of getting me and my luggage to Frankfurt in a manner that enabled me a chance of connecting my earlier flight. Both in physical appearance and his manner, I felt I was dealing with an Kremlin Guard who was determined to use his little bit of power without thought for my experience.
I find it outstanding that at a time when airlines are desperate for customers and countries are desperate for tourists and airlines and countries spend huge amounts of money on advertising and marketing, that they shoot themselves in the foot by their front line staff not having the necessary training to deliver a service that makes customers want to buy from them!
Unfortunately I will not fly Adria Airlines again, even though they are part of the Star Alliance Group which is my favoured group to fly with. The man behind the counter may have the power and hide behind rules (even though both him and I know he has the authority to make alternative arrangements) but I have the ultimate sanction because I can deprive his airline of my money in future….the same money that pays his wages.
I will say what I have said many times in the past:
The experience I have with your staff tells me what sort of leader you are. What experience am I having today?
Come on Adria, you are the first experience people will have of your country….and in many cases the last as well. Get your customer orientation right, you can’t get the best from your people if they see their job as enforcing rules and not understanding they are there to manage my perceptions of your airline and the country you represent in a safe and effective way.
I have not rushed to make comment today about the passing of Steve Jobs because I wanted to take time and reflect. Great men and woman leave a hole in the world when they pass on. Today the world has a hole in it.
Tomorrow the world will move on and in the coming months the comments will start about Steve Jobs that no one dare say while he was alive. It has been the same with the passing of many great people. The one comment that people have muttered for a few years is about Steve Jobs being a hard and demanding manner with an autocratic leadership style. Already, today I overheard a comment about his style with the question about whether this is what makes a man great and successful?
Let me try to answer that, but first a question: Is it because people are so desperate to find a flaw in the man or are they trying to justify their desire to be autocratic with their people?
Steve Jobs was passionate, committed, focused, and wanted things done right. He had an attention to detail that frightened many people and he had a sense for what was good and what was not right yet. Were these qualities bad? I say, No. He earned the right to be who he was. He failed many times, he got it wrong many times, but he picked himself up and kept going. He put it all on the line on more than one occasion and he demanded the best from people. He had a passion and he demanded the same from people. I don’t believe he asked anything of anyone that he was not prepared to do or be himself.
I was impressed and delighted that Bill Gates made such a glowing statement about Steve Jobs today. That says so much about who Steve really was.
So before the media and people start criticizing him, take the time to consider what he achieved and let us be grateful for what he accomplished rather than what he did wrong.
A great mind walked among us and relentlessly changed the world to make it better for every one of us. Children will learn better, old people will keep in contact better, business will work better, families will communicate better……as a result of his mind and his relentless pursuit of using technology to improve the lives of everyday people.
Steve Jobs….your leadership was the example you gave us of passion, commitment, self belief, focus, attention to detail, relentless determination and much more. Many years ago a poem was written about you that would describe who you would become. True to that poem, you walked with kings but never lost your common touch and you treated triumph and disaster in the same way. Above all you listened to the truth you had spoke be twisted by Knaves to make a trap for fools, and watched the things you gave your life for, break….and you stooped and built them up again.
You filled the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds of distance run……Steve Jobs, yours is the Earth and all that is in it, and what is more, you were a Man, Father, Husband, friend, companion, mentor…..
I am humbled to have lived at the same time as you and seen what you have achieved.
It gets more and more interesting to see how companies look to expand and develop and grow their business.
In the past, acquisition and organic growth was seen as the best way to grow and improve profits. Yet now we see companies looking at alternative approaches for their future. For example, Rolls Royce sees joint ventures as a major contributor to their future growth and profits, and now Coca Cola announces they are looking to rival iTunes with Coca Cola Music.
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British Airways launched its advertising slogan, “To Fly, To Serve” which I read to imply that they were going to start to think about the service they offer (or haven’t been doing for a long while). However, the clever move that teaches us all a good lesson about taking care with slogans, is that Easy Jet plans to do a slogan “To Fly, To Save” with text that states “When we launched 15 years ago, those four words summed up what we believed in. And they still do. We don’t need to paint them on our tailfins, like some advertising slogan. That would just be a waste of your money.”
Wow……cheeky? confrontational? Maybe both, but very smart.
Be careful what slogan you use because it can be an opportunity for the competition to nail you in one sentence. I think it is poor for British Airways to have used ‘Service’ as a USP when it is so, dare I say, yesterday? It is like the mission statement that says ‘we will be the best’ (For that matter it is like having a mission statement these days), it is just so old hat and says nothing really.
So British Airways says “To Fly, To Serve”
Easy Jet says “To Fly, To Save”
Will Sir Stelios, who announced his new airline ‘Fast Jet’ today be putting a slogan out “To Fly, To Catch Me”?
Steve Jobs made a very interesting comment which not only gives an insight to what has made Apple successful, but also what the future organization will be like. Steve said….
“Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that makes our hearts sing.
Nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices…that need to be even easier to use than a PC, that need to be even more intuitive than a PC; and where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.
We think we are on the right track with this. We think we have the right architecture not just in silicon but in the organization to build these kinds of products.”
Apple is not a product led organization, it is not a sales led organization….it is a marketing led organization. Of course the product has to be right and be innovative and the process for selling has to be excellent…..but that ‘underpins’ the organization. The organization is successful because it can get all that right and be outstanding at marketing EVERYTHING it does in a way that people connect with it.