Sales managers should be focusing only on sales growth, whereas business owners need to focus on much more. Are you a business owner who is only focused on sales? If you are, it might be time to reorganize your priorities. Below, we will explore the role of the business owner.

If you are the owner of the business, you should be focusing on:

  • Articulating the vision and developing the right culture
  • Creating a strategy and leading the execution
  • Connecting with customers / prospects and creating a great service offering
  • Hiring great people and developing them into leaders
  • Implementing processes and systems that will maximize productivity for the finance, operations, sales, and marketing groups
  • P&L

On the other hand, a sales manager should be focusing on:

  • Connecting with customers and prospects
  • Hiring, training, and retaining the very best sales talent (even if they work in the operations or finance group)
  • Developing a great sales process and messaging for the sales team
  • Sales numbers

A focus on only sales can slow growth

As strange as it sounds, focusing solely on sales can limit the growth of your company. New sales tend to hurt companies if they haven’t adequately developed their operations, finance, and marketing groups.

As part of our package here at Hubtek, we help companies accelerate their growth. We work with companies that are at a crossroads where the founder is struggling to get the company to the next level. These companies typically have been around for 10 years and have revenues of $10-15 million.

Often, the owner and his team have an almost obsessive desire to grow their sales, yet they find themselves stuck enough that they hire an outside firm to help.

Building a foundation for growth

To help your company, it is important to first assess your current state. Many, if not most, companies have very weak organizational structures because they are so biased toward sales growth.

Typically, the owner behaves more like a sales manager than as a business owner. Since most startups fail due to lack of sales, the sales bias is justified when the company is new.

Lack of sales kills start-ups, but lack of organization and structure prevents sales growth for small- and medium-sized businesses. To get to the next level, the owner and executive team must change their focus.

Build it and they will come

Many companies are initially impatient to get growing. They want to discuss sales strategies and nothing else. They are like the top heavy weight lifter at the gym who only works on his upper body – he can’t see that his huge upper body looks silly attached to stick legs.

To get a structure in place, we divide the company into groups. These groups are typically sales and marketing, operations, and finance. Next, we determine what each group will be accountable for. Focus on creating just 5 specific responsibilities for each group.

Next, decide who should head up each group. This step is always interesting. Pick the person who should have this job going forward, not necessarily the person who currently has the job. Companies and leadership teams evolve and sometimes the guy who sits in the chair is not a good fit anymore – maybe that person never was. This step empowers the leadership team to get everybody in the right seats and play to their individual strengths.

So, does it work?

Developing a solid organizational structure with specific responsibilities sounds boring, but it works every time. Once you develop your structure, you might find yourself saying the following things:

  • Our company feels focused
  • The new structure improves cooperation, communication, and accountability
  • Now that I only wear one hat, I feel energized
  • We are much more productive
  • This is the foundation we needed to grow

So, always remember, while sales is important, it is essential to develop the rest of the organizational structure of the rest of your company as well.

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