Here’s my take on these three important engines of commerce.
Sales is responsible for making money hit the bank account. When sales are good everyone in C-suite is happy. Sales people like patterns; if something works they will use it. Sales people like air cover so that prospects know who they are and what they do, even before they arrive. Sales people like leads, but they have to be great leads. And they like good support in the areas of communications, delivery and aftercare.
Operations is responsible for logistics. When products and services are procured, delivered and serviced in a frictionless environment, the C-suite is happy. Operations is not just loading dock stuff, it’s about interdepartmental efficiency. When operations are fluid and systematized, problems are dealt with quickly, minimizing hiccups and reducing negative impact on profits.
Strategy done well, is the traffic cop that makes sales and operation more fruitful. Strategy is not mission, however. Every major league baseball team has a mission. Win games. Score more runs than the other team. Every company has a mission. Make more money than you spend. Make more money than the competition. In Army parlance, the mission might be “take Hamburger Hill.” The strategy on the other hand is how to take that hill.
All strategy and no sales makes Jack a poor boy. All three areas need to perform together in order to create sustainable success. Now you don’t have to go out and buy Jack Welch’s books. Go forth, Peace!