Why are processes in the company important for acquiring new customers?
Presenting processes in communication correctly is an art in itself. Knowing how to manage processes well is as much a part of the entrepreneur's or organization's competence as expertise, experience, passion and capacity. Everything is important for new customers to understand if someone is competent for the requested service. Even with a relaunch of the website, it must be a high priority to map the processes clearly.
I still remember the beginning of my business activity well. Besides my studies, I first founded an internet start-up and then a digital agency. Things started quite quickly in both companies. We had no idea about processes. The theoretical knowledge from my business studies immediately turned out to be completely useless. I knew the difference between line organisation and staff organisation, but had no clue what it had to do with my new, rapidly dynamically growing companies. With the first few employees, it's no problem at all. The organisation runs on demand, the tasks are simply assigned according to urgency to the person who seems best suited for them or who shouts "here" first. With ten employees at the latest, that's the end. Not to mention twenty. That's where the necessary intermediate structures start, which are needed so that the boss still has time for the strategic tasks and the most important customers.
Since we have grown very quickly, this time also came quickly. Fortunately, the first experienced employees who could bring along know-how from other companies also arrived at this stage. This is how we then defined and described our processes. Checklists are a good part of it and indispensable in the daily processing of To Dos. How else are we going to teach our new employees, who are almost every month, how to work with us? So we soon had checklists for all the important processes. In an online marketing agency, this is, for example, new customer contact, proposal preparation, pitch preparation, technical set-up of new systems, graphics creation, content filling, final testing of websites and some more.
This enabled us in the digital agency to bring all the work to a structured result that met our high quality standards. In our internet start-up, there were a few similar processes, such as hiring new employees. However, many things were less clearly describable because new circumstances arose very frequently. At the time, I would have very much liked some of the models developed over the last 25 years to have already existed. At the latest after a listed company took a stake in us and we had to report quarterly as a subsidiary, muddling through was no longer the order of the day. I remember the two consultants from Arthur Andersen with horror. They were not much older than I was at 27. But they had a lot of clever questions. I didn't have any clever answers. But they were important food for thought and worth looking at regularly. This brought us back to the processes. Even financial accounting (a necessary but not so welcome topic in a start-up) needs clear processes in order to produce the right results at the right time. And only then is it the basis for important decisions. If I don't know whether the big bill from the advertising campaign belongs in the last quarter or in the next or split into both, I can't draw a good conclusion from the overall result. We were therefore forced to install processes extremely quickly, and they slipped. And what does all this have to do with acquiring new customers?
Immensely. Without clear processes, it is almost impossible to generate growth in a highly competitive environment. The entrepreneur is otherwise dependent on his charisma, with which he can land a hit from time to time, but without a plan. Thus, the process is needed first as a prerequisite for lead generation. But it also needs the processes to work in order to satisfy customers in the long term. And telling them exactly what to expect is important in the acquisition phase. That's why we've included the point about company processes in our new customer presentations, explaining how things work for us. This part is certainly not as important as the actual services, in our case concept, design and programming. Nevertheless, it is a very important building block for generating trust. Customers thus know that the references presented are not a flash in the pan, but the result of a clear process with which they can expect an equally good result.
With ISO:9001 and the digitalisation of business processes, the topic has received a lot of attention in many industries. Rightly so, in my opinion. I recommend that those responsible in sales do not regard the topic as a necessary evil. Knowing all the important core processes in the company and transporting them adequately to new customers can make the difference in favour of a provider in case of doubt.