Today's business leaders are measured by their ability to relay brand consistency, authenticity, and company transparency. In addition, they’re judged on their corporate values, strategic vision, management practices, and community contribution.
In short, there’s a lot more to management than just bookkeeping, sales, and renewals.
Managers Have a Responsibility to their Customers, Staff, and Community
Whether or not managers want to accept it, they take on a greater responsibility when stepping into a leadership role. They become responsible for three areas:
Customer Success - Increasing brand affiliation, renewals, and lifetime value.
Employee Management - Motivating and leading team members to a prosperous future with opportunities to advance and achievement.
Community Participation - Recognizing challenges that the community faces and developing programs to support sections where governments and non-profits struggle to provide.
Once a manager recognizes these greater duties, they transcend into a world-class business leader. The only thing stopping them from success is time management and their ability to execute.
Sailing Your Ship Through a Storm
How on Earth am I supposed to manage all that while driving profits for my business? This is where your business environment can quickly feel like a storm.
Long-Term Solutions for Operational Inefficiencies
It’s incredibly important to identify operational inefficiencies now and in the future of your business. It doesn’t mean managers need to spend dozens of hours constructing the perfect solution, rather they should do a quick self-assessment and ask “will this solution still be used three-months down the road?”
In this approach managers will save a lot of time, energy, and brainpower implementing solutions. Instead of getting everyone on-board for a random activity or process, staff and management follow a routinized process that’s not time intensive or requires daily maintenance. This is why a lot of businesses tend to stick with spreadsheets, checklists, status boards, and quarterly reviews of operations.
Pricebooks vs Haggling
Taking the time to produce formalized documents can save you time and headaches.
There are a lot of moving parts in Sales Operations and sometimes the wrong information can slip. For example, if you don’t have a set-in-stone price, sales reps might sell products for a variety of prices.
This is where problems happen.
When sales teams are inconsistent with their communication or often discount the products they sell, consumers begin to develop opinions of the brand and management. Think of it like body language.
Sales operations that run this way can make some salespeople look like rockstars while others struggle to keep up on their sales quota. It also increases the odds of risk for customers to find out what others are paying and to measure the consistency in price.
All of this can be avoided with pricebooks.
Pricebooks are formal documents that are reviewed periodically for readjustment. They feature a list of the company’s products and services along with the price of each unit.
The price is the price. Where flexibility is warranted to salespeople is through discounts.
By layering in discounts, the salespeople can relay consistency across pricing while giving some people discounts for special circumstances (outlined in the pricebook).
If salespeople feel the discount amount needs to change, or that other discounts should be available, they can bring that item forward to their manager for the quarterly review of operations. Furthermore, if salespeople feel the price itself needs adjusting, they can share those feelings as well (instead of freely changing it).
Adding Real Value to Your Community
Taking an approach of “I’ll do it myself” won’t get you far. Instead, try working with others to address real needs in the community needs. For example, management could perform an audit of what a community currently offers, who the main employers are, the impact those employers have on the community and environment (both positive and negative), and consider challenges that exist.
Once having a holistic view of the community, managers can do an internal audit to determine what their strengths are and how they align with the community’s needs.
By piecing this puzzle together, managers can craft unique programs to support the community. This shows the business’s kind-heartedness to give back and help others while building positive brand affiliation for residents, staff, customers, and investors.
This practice also helps companies relay their brand values, mission, and culture.
The Deeper Connection to Information Security
Information security compliance is an element of operations that effective business leaders will take seriously.
For many owners, the only reason to earn compliance is when their six-figure client requires it. Proactive business owner will see beyond this.
Information security compliance demonstrates that the management team is thorough in their leadership and actively manages their business (in all regards).
These types of decisions relay confidence to staff that their managers are serious about growth and that they are mindful of what’s required to build a successful business.
With that being said, information security can also bite managers.
Managers who care too much about the marketing-spin that information security gives their brand (rather than the underlying benefit it provides) are at risk of bad word-of-mouth.
In a world where company transparency can make or break a business, I wouldn’t risk it. Being a business leader requires attention to detail (of customers, staff, investors, and the community.)
There are basic managerial best practices that assure you keep projects on track, customers happy, and staff motivated - use them. A world-class leader is thorough in the actions and decisions they make while being considerate of how they will influence other people who are involved.