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20 years ago, I used to work with a guy called Phil. We worked together on the same sales team and regularly attended sales meetings together. And when the performance numbers used to come up, the league tables, the graphs and all the charts, we had a bit of a standing joke because Phil didn’t like lumpy growth.
We used to call him steady away Phil.
Now, you could depend on Phil. He was a team player. He was positive, resilient, his customers loved him and everybody in the business loved him.
He didn’t do politics. In fact, he just got stuff done.
One day, my boss asked Phil what made him feel invincible? And I’ve never forgotten his answer.
He said he felt invincible when everyone in the business kept the promises that he had made to his customers because they had his customer’s best interests at heart. Phil knew how to treat people. He put time and effort in to make sure that he had people on his side.
Other than just being a great guy, he made sure that everybody inside the business understood what it meant for his customers if it did or didn’t happen. He helped overcome the obstacles.
He would smooth the cracks. He would speak to managers of other departments to make sure that the right things happened, but he always did it in a way that they understood what the implications were for the customer and for the businesses growth.
Whilst Phil was in a customer facing role, his ability to do his job and to help the business grow couldn’t have happened without the support of everybody else within the team.
How much harder would his job have been and the rest of the sales team had they permanently met obstacles and difficulties in all the departments that were there to serve the sales efforts?
What this highlights is that business growth isn’t just about growing the sales line.
It’s not just about salespeople going out and winning more business and landing more deals. It’s actually about everybody in the business pulling together to make sure that you can deliver on time and in full each and every time.
Therefore, it goes without saying that it’s a manager’s responsibility to make sure that their people understand why it’s important.
In other words, driving business growth is actually a team sport. And it’s something which has to be done in a way that everybody understands the importance of doing the right thing for the customer.
Do all your people view business growth as a team sport? And how do you know they care?