According to Wikipedia, the goal of a business is for sales to be more than expenditures resulting in a profit.
Now that we've got that out of the way, I have a theory I'd like to share with you.
I have surmised that businesses have three main problems that prevent them from achieving profitability:
- They don't communicate well with each other.
- They don't communicate well with their potential audience (or qualified prospects).
- They don't have enough of the right audience (or qualified prospects) to communicate with.
Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, this is not a menu of options. One leads to another, and then another. In other words, you cannot solve your lead generation problem until you know how to communicate with the leads you’ll get. And you can’t possibly communicate effectively with your market if you can’t communicate well with each other.
Handy’s hierarchy of leads, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom.
So how do we solve the internal communication problem?
Most teams live buried under an ever-growing pile of email and do not have any other way to collaborate asynchronously. When I speak to executives about their internal communications, I can usually figure out if they have their sh*t together in about three minutes. I can usually pinpoint the solution framework for them in about five minutes. It’s actually not that hard to self-diagnose.
Ask yourself this question: "Where do you go to check on the status of an important project?"
If you answered, "I email the project manager to ask for a status report.”, then guess what? Your organization is a mess and you have failed this test, just like you have failed your team. You aren’t giving your team the tools they need to be successful. You are also creating a culture of obliged and on-demand status updates that waste valuable time and add to a high-stress work environment. In fact, this group of high-school kids is way better at project management than you are.
You may be saying, “OK, smartypants. What’s the alternative?"
Open asynchronous collaboration and communication tools. “Huh?"
What I am talking about is working in online environments that create “one version of the truth”. That document should have ONE version, that lives online and can be accessed and commented on by anyone with access. This eliminates the inter-office email that we all know and love: “Can you send me the latest version of the "Penske file”?
Our employees should be able to access the latest and most up to date Penske file along with all the comments and history at the touch of a button.
This may sound like a pipe dream to you, but it is not. With all the tools we have at our fingertips these days there is no excuse to let your employees toil away anymore.
At our agency, we use many cloud collaboration platforms like Podio, Google Drive, HubSpot CRM, Slack and Evernote. But the tools are not the magic bullet. You have to build a culture of openness and collaboration and have the conviction to give up 90% of the internal email you are currently sending.
We’ll tackle the external communication in further reading. So take a look at how you are communicating with your team. Do you need a refresh? What challenges are you facing with moving your team communications to the cloud?
This piece was originally published in my subscriber only weekly newsletter called Delivery. It's excliusive to listeners of our podcast network, ToGo.FM and you could join now by filling out the form on this page.