Who is responsible for a companies growth has been a popular topic on this blog and in the SalesBlogCast group I belong to on LinkedIn. There have been lots of opinions and comments on this topic; almost 100 in the LinkedIn group. We also tackled this question on Tuesday’s Sales Smack call.
The conclusion; sales is NOT responsible for a companies growth, everyone is.
Growth comes from a plan and a clear understanding of how you’re going to grow. The leadership team is responsible for this. The leadership team needs to set the direction and build the growth plan, then everyone is responsible for execution, including sales.
Everyone has a role in a companies growth. Sales is responsible for revenue. Marketing is responsible for awareness and lead generation. Product is responsible for creating compelling, industry leading products. Finance is responsible for managing the growth, the debt, cashflow etc. Everyone has a role in the overall plan. Targeting one group for growth will fail.
All too often companies look to only one functional group for growth. Many times that’s the sales team. Sometimes it’s product, other times it’s marketing. Pulling only one functional lever won’t grow a company. You need them all.
For a company to grow, leadership needs to develop a growth plan. They need to outline where growth is coming from, what products will drive the growth, what investments will be made and where and why (the assumptions) they believe the growth can be had. With the plan in hand, sales, marketing, finance, product, customer service, HR, comes together and executes.
You can YANK on the sales lever. It will get more revenue, but it’s only temporary. It won’t grow the company.
Company growth isn’t the actions of a few, but the effort of many. Company growth starts with leadership and ends with sales and everyone else.
How is growth achieved in your company? Do you have a growth plan?