What is effective work? It is the flow through the business of quality information, delivered at the right speed, to the right place, at the right time.

How to do effective work

  • By assembling quality information (via IT systems, often supplemented by spreadsheets, and other relevant tools and sources). Then applying this quality information to your business and customer knowledge, to produce value to the customer, or prospect that they simply can’t say no to! (Or can’t say no to most of the time.)
  • By relentlessly identifying the inputs needed to produce the quality information, and also working with the business teams to use this quality information to drive increased revenue, and cashflow
  • By praising and recognising the use of this information within the business. Also quantifying, where possible, the additional revenue that has been achieved by using this information

A major driver of low business performance, or failure, is:

  • the inability to either identify the difference between “busy work” and “effective work”, or:
  • The inability to eliminate the “busy work”, and replace it with “effective work”

The positive effect on any business that substitutes effective work for busy work is often hard to believe. In fact, revenue increases of 20-30% are quite common. Importantly, the increase in the morale of people in the business is often quite stunning. Therefore, comments along the lines of “I wish we had done that years ago” are usual.

How to identify the real Centres of Influence (COIs) for a business

  • Do you know which customers generate 80% of your revenue?
  • Do you have a specific call plan and sales strategy for each of these customers?
  • Have you ever asked them what they think of your service?
  • Have you analysed the key customer categories within your business?
  • Who are the customers that you should be firing?
  • Who are the customers your business simply cannot afford to lose?
  • Have you answered the same questions (above), relating to your sales prospects, key suppliers, and key business partners?

How to leverage those COIs

The real opportunity is to:

  • Identify your COIs – the customers, prospects, suppliers and business partners
  • Identify the value that they see in your business offering, and also identify and changes in the value that you provide that they either want or need
  • Ask your COIs for their feedback as to how you can improve value to them
  • Ask your COIs for business referrals. If they are happy with your business, they will want to help your business.

By Murray Fulton