Managers often need reminding that the bottom line may be the end-all of business activity, but that the top line literally comes first.
Unless somebody, somewhere makes the vital decision to purchase from you, there is no profit – only expense. Yet sales has long been ranked behind a younger business skill – that wonderful stuff called marketing. The marketeers, you see, are managers, who make decisions and give orders. The sales people are operatives who do what they are told.
The distinction is both wrong-headed and dangerous. It’s true that some people are natural born sellers, who are unhappy with ‘soft’ issues like strategy, planning and branding. But the strategists, planners and brand managers are a long way, sometimes inordinately long, from the front line. The lessons from the front, in peace as in war, bring the generals in the rear back to reality.