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Taking the Busyness Out of Business

By Chuck Delaney

December 4, 2017

width=300A good friend and longtime business colleague of mine likes to use the phrase, “Activities are important, but results are necessary.” He and those inspired around him pursue results in all facets of our business. I have thought about his words and believe, with the pace of business constantly accelerating, that the expectations of even faster results are imperative to every business owner. The value to measure how you can keep pace with accelerating expectations is ROT (return on time). Measuring ROT should be mission critical in all areas of the company, but especially in sales.

Sales need to come in line with current business realities of cycle time reduction. For years, we have heard and believed that opening a targeted account takes months (nine or more), and a major share of the account usually takes 1½ to two-plus years to develop. I once toed the line and always made mention of this as a business owner and sales leader. However, I am not buying it anymore. With the advent of automation of the front end of the sales cycle and onboarding process, clients are more open to awarding business much more quickly than we are conditioned to expect. I am now expecting the opening of accounts and account growth to a significant share to happen in quarters, as opposed to years. As you read this, I know you might be saying, “Bull,” but I have seen it happen firsthand, and it is one of the most exhilarating sales experiences I have ever been a part of.

The critical issue you need to solve for this to happen is to determine and define your unique proven differentiators in the supply chain process that you have developed. Your proven differentiators should not be able to be duplicated by any of your major competitors. To see your business take off, you need the value proposition that separates you from every other corrugated organization you compete with locally or nationally. You will not be able to use your current business processes to see these extraordinary results. You’ll need to take a proactive approach to every sales facet that has been used by your organization and automate it. Every step must be examined—ranging from the initial account or industry identified to the design and ideation process and the final prototype of these practices.

Fortunately for you, most leaders in our industry will not dare to try to do this. Thus, you have a chance to impact your company results for years to come, if you embark on a journey driven by results. Your customers will be happier, and your company won’t be bogged down by unnecessary activities. It is up to you and your leadership team to either expect “impossible” results or just stay busy.

width=150Chuck Delaney is managing director of GROW Retail Technologies. He can be reached at 708-491-5090 or