My career turned onto the back-office operations, such as managing the teams which are driving the processes behind the scene to make sure that the company can sell, deliver the results, build the machines, sell the loans or finance customers. It’s very important – without the back-office, of course, you will not be able to track all of the activities and you will not be able to assess, even if you’re really doing a good job on the front office. So it’s the crucial part. However, what I observe is that we’re missing a lot of connection between the front-end, back-office and the final customers.
In one of my articles you can find a small note about “Feel the field”. Feel the field for me is the back-office understanding what is going-on on the field. It’s crucial for the back-office people to be integrated in the whole process of sales, to understand what the customers’ behaviors, and to know what really drives the customer side. There’s nothing worse than building such a very efficient back-office process which the sale force cannot use. And this is from the very simple reason: because we don’t understand each other. So to become a salesman you need to step up a little among other people in the back-office, spend a week with your sales colleagues, front office, co-agency and understand how your business operates. What are the key elements for your customers and clients to drive their productivity? How to build this external relation? I can guarantee you return on your investment, first you will be happy to understand what pays your salary; second you will add value to the processes.
Example from one of the businesses which I worked at is that we designed a process for the field engineers that we will not give them a bag for laptops – because they are able to carry some other bags. But this process was designed without looking into how they are going to fix the machines in the field. When I spent one day with one of the field engineers going through the machines and seeing how they operate, I realized that not giving them the bags caused a lot of problems for them, because they had no place to put their laptops. We made a beautiful process, we optimized costs, however, from the end-user perspective, it was a real disaster and the satisfaction went down. One decision and we moved the bags in, of course – it’s associated with really deep understating of business and core processes which will impact your end customer.
So, don’t forget it – be a salesman.