It is absolutely imperative that the sales and services your team provides be aligned around a common purpose. Your purpose, or the purpose of each department of your organization, needs to be well defined as it will determine how they go about problem solving, accomplishing daily tasks and long-term goals. When it’s all said and done, it’s what we actually do that matters, not what we say we do. How you do things will define your reputation in the community. One of the most common disconnects in any organization is between purpose and procedure, or between what we say we do and how we go about doing it.
Your organization as a whole needs to define it’s purpose, or what it means to win. Each department in your organization needs to define it’s purpose and clarify for itself what it looks like to win in the context of the organizational win. If the win is not clear, you are forcing your team to guess what it looks like and guess what…everybody will guess differently. If they are evaluating the win through their own lenses, they may erroneously conclude they are winning and successful, when in actuality they are leaving a lot to be desired. Let me provide you with a couple of examples of how this looks. The reconditioning department feels good about the work they do, while the used car department is ticked off that too much was spent on reconditioning leaving little room for margin. Or vice versa, the used car department is thrilled with their grosses, while the reconditioning department is sick to their stomachs that you are putting unsafe cars on the road. The F&I department feels good about the number of deals they submitted, while the office is more than energized to point out the details missed and send the deals back. Everybody is successful in their own eyes, but their approach is not in sync with the organizational win because the departmental wins have not been defined in the larger context.
Processes and procedures are not intended to stifle creativity and stunt growth. They are intended to streamline effectiveness within a set of agreed upon guidelines that are in alignment with your purpose. Rest assured, your current processes and procedures are designed to produce the results your are currently getting. So, we need to ask, “In light of what we’ve established as our win, is this really the best method for achieving the results we’re after?”
Your results may be stellar and you don’t want to change anything. Fine. But the last thing you want is to begin unintentionally drifting away from the current approach. If you have not been through this exercise and your current methodologies are largely intuitive processes, you would be well served to bring some objectivity by identifying and defining it. This is the only way to ensure you don’t drift. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied and need to make some changes, it will prove an impossible task to change something that has not been defined.
By going through this exercise of defining the win, both organizationally and departmentally, you will be leveraging every area of your business to be operating in alignment with the organizational purpose and on your way to winning.
Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to stay informed on how to overcome related succession planning issues.