Turning A Vicious Circle Into A Winning Cycle AKA Putting The Jam In The Doughnut

21 Feb 2013

Poor internal communications can have a catastrophic effect on your organisation. Your various departments are all interdependent and only work when everyone pulls together. On a more granular level we can see how this means the machine relies on each member of staff fulfilling their role to keep the wheels in motion. Any failings in this can result in a vicious circle whereby the underperformance of one department has a knock-on effect throughout the business and these internal frustrations can only result in a loss of confidence in front of the customer.

For an external marketing strategy to be effective, a well-oiled internal marketing strategy needs to be put in place. This means increasing the inter-departmental transparency to let each other see what is going on.

In my last blog post I used an example of a bakery so let’s carry on running with this idea and a mouth-watering example. If the sales team are actively pushing sales of a particular item, the production department needs to be aware of this and to alter their manufacture scheduling accordingly – it’s no good going all out and producing a surplus of doughnuts when the sales team are out there pushing your cream buns to the customers! Similarly, the purchasing departments will need to ensure they are buying in the right raw materials, and your shipping fleet will also have to make available suitable transport – in our example they would need regular trucks rather than refrigerated ones to get the doughnuts into the shops.

OK, if that takes care of the “how” the internal machine works, we can also address the “why”. Letting the internal departments know why it is they are doing what they are doing is a good way of empowering staff. It keeps them in the loop and increases the sense of being part of a team, as opposed to having jobs thrown at them with no sense or purpose. If the final target is of selling 100,000 doughnuts in a month, people across all departments are able to see how the role they play in the machine has enabled this target to be met – giving a sense of responsibility and accountability. There are many great stories to illustrate the power of internal marketing – a quick look at the website of Greggs Bakers paints an image of a team of internal customers , a “warm family” that comes together to create great tasting food.

Adopting a CRM solution gives your organisation some effective tools to help promote this departmental transparency. With leads, companies and contacts at the heart of the system, you are able to view, report on, consider and quickly action any activities on the system – whether it is an increased volume of orders and tentative enquiries, a growing number of unpaid invoices, or a dramatic fall in stock or raw materials. These actions are all reflected in the CRM solution and this transparency allows you to easily visualise and act to rectify any instances where the departments are not all pulling in the same direction.

Working on enhancing the internal marketing machine helps put everyone on the same page. As well as reducing internal frustrations this has the potential to increase job satisfaction, in turn boosting productivity – turning what might once have been a vicious circle into a winning cycle!