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Sales vs. Ops – And the Winner Is?

Sales vs. Ops – And the Winner Is???

Here is my deep thought for the day…why does it seem like everyone always says sales vs. operations? Sales vs. ops sounds like a battle. Just like the Sunday Night Football game with Colts vs. Patriots. (Which is always a definite battle! HA!) There is a winner and a loser. But should it be the same in business? No! If it is always said like this– sales vs. operations – there will NEVER be a winner. Just two losers. We should instead say sales and operations and think of them as a team, not adversaries.

I am an “ops” person who works with a GREAT team of “sales” people. Yes, we think differently. Yes, we do things differently. Yes, we learn and process information differently. Yes, we don’t always see things the same way. But does that mean we don’t have the same common goal? NO!! Everyone has the same goal. What our roles may be to achieve those goals are varied, but if we don’t work together then the goals will not be achieved. Plain and simple.

I know, without a doubt, that I need my sales team. No question about it. They are selling. I’m not! They are bringing in revenue based on their sales quota and plans. I, on the other hand, am working on processes, reporting, standard operating procedures that make them better sales people, more efficient and effective team members, keeping them aware of ways to improve net operating income, ROI and gross margins. Without both of us, the sales team could bring in revenue all day but if not spent appropriately, we might have a negative cash flow. Conversely, I could spend all day creating reports and ways to increase margin and operating income, but without revenue being generated I’d have nothing to monitor.

Bottom line, you are a team. And you need each and every member of your team. No matter how different your job and purpose are. A coach can’t run an effective offense in football if he/she has a roster full of wide receivers and tight ends and the corners and safety are all over them with a couple of interceptions. You need to maximize a running game FAST and imagine you have no running backs in your lineup. You have a big problem! The coaches and players may have a TON of talent, but most definitely have areas of vulnerability and weakness that the opposing defense will see and capitalize on. Sunday night’s game was a perfect example of maximizing when you see a weakness. Colts couldn’t stop the running game of the Patriots and Brady capitalized on it.

Same with your team. Every member of your team has a talent, a job, a purpose. Learn them, respect them, work with them and use them. If you do, you will be an unstoppable team who can take on most anything. Except maybe Jonas Gray and the Patriots rush offense…

Until next week…


Written by Jenn Cox, COO at Bild & Company.

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