Blog Post – New Age Odd Couple: Sales & IT
Sales staffs share a lot of similarities with the IT departments.
Both sales and IT are put into hidden areas of the team’s building. They can go anywhere and half of the executives neither understand, nor want to know what exactly goes into either department.
Both sales and IT aren’t sexy. But what they do has teeth.
Without IT, database marketing is dead. Online transactions would be on life support if at all. General office communications would be 10 percent of its capacity.
Sales is in the same boat. Those are team’s outreach toward the customer. They deal with a lot of the issues over seats, suites, etc. They build revenue.
And yet, both IT and sales are viewed as places of overhead. Both areas are slashed first when there are budget cuts. Few executives understand either area enough, even both components are where sales spring from.
In business, the standard is to trim budgets when revenues drop. But the places where those expenditures should not be limited are IT and sales.
Granted, the two areas may have some staff who are not effective, nor converting enough prospects into sales, etc. But that shouldn’t be indicative of the entire departments being terminated or reduced while executive overhead remains.
After all, who is going to make sure that the phone system still works if you eliminate IT down from five staff members to one? There are so many issues, hours in the day for that one staff member to assist on ensuring that the team’s computers remain up to day. Let alone if a virus runs rampant or the team’s network drops.
Think of how quickly production through the entire team drops when the Internet isn’t working for 10 minutes. Now imagine what happens when that “issue” lasts 2-3 hours, or even 1-2 days. How much revenue was dropped simply by the inaccessibility of a team’s customers accessing your system?
Sales staffs are no different.
Who takes the call if a team’s reduced its seasoned sales staff from 15 to 5? What if call volume jumps up from 30 calls per hour to 90? Are teams going to allow some intern to answer those calls? An intern is typically trained to take orders, but what if the customer could have been brought up the sales escalator a lot quick had it been a seasoned sales staff member taking the call, rather than an intern? Possibly.
But because of “budget cuts,” the team cost itself the opportunity to find out and lost revenue.