Commercial Curiosity – Do Systems & Processes Stifle Creativity?

January 8, 2024
by Charlie Whyman

Are you a fan of systems and processes?

Are you in camp A? – I hate them with the fire of a thousand burning candles 😡 or

Camp B – love them, couldn’t live without them 🥰

(if you want to please reply to this email and let me know which camp you sit in – I’d love to know)

As an ex-engineer I LOVE systems and processes however… one of the reasons I didn’t pursue a career in engineering is because I’m not always very good at following them

BUT I still do love them and spend a good chunk of time setting them up for myself and using them for all my commercial operations (from marketing to sales and customer service) AND training others around the benefits of them and how to set them up.

Why?

Because systems and processes help you get more sales and profit from your marketing activity – simple!

Systems and Processes also GIVE you MORE time for creative thinking and problem solving.

Unfortunately, so many businesses either:

  • don’t have systems and processes set up for their commercial activities or

  • they don’t regularly review and optimise them or

  • they resist them so much because they feel they stifle creativity, innovation and adventure.

I’ve worked with many engineers that LOVE systems and processes and use them regularly but DON’T have systems and processes set up for their commercial activities.

I’ve also worked with people that struggle to follow systems and processes or don’t think this way.

So, I thought it’s a good topic to explore in this week’s newsletter 🙌

 

🦦 Question of the Week

Why are systems and processes so good for helping you get more sales from your marketing efforts AND freeing you up for more creative thinking and innovation?

 

🧠 Why this question is important

When you understand WHY systems are important, you’re more likely to prioritise them.

It’s also worth noting that even if you’re like me and struggle to follow them all the time, there are ways you can start to adopt systems and processes in your business that work for you and the more you use them, the better the results you get, the easier they become.

So here are a few reasons why systems and processes will help you get more sales from your marketing efforts AND free up your time for creative thinking.

  • Systems show you how everything in your business fits together and as you can’t do business without sales (in most cases), a Commercial System will help show you how to move people through your marketing, sales and customer service activities.

  • Systems make it easy for you to identify what works well and what needs your attention meaning you know where to focus your efforts for maximum return (for example you might be generating loads of leads but struggle to convert them at the proposal part of your system – this commonly shows us we need to work on our proposals first before changing anything about our lead gen approach)

  • Processes remove any mental fatigue from having to remember what you need to do or think on your feet about the next step you need to take. The less mental energy you spend on the day to date and repetitive tasks – the more mental energy you have for creative thinking PLUS you’ll also free up some time too.

  • Processes help you learn from previous mistakes and avoid making them in the future – we’ve probably all sent or seen an email addressed to [First Name] – this can easily be avoided with a simple checklist to test the email out before sending it, for example.

 

⚙️ How to implement

I’ve always found showing people a really simple commercial system helps explain this better than words, so I recorded a video with a high-level overview on what a commercial system looks like – check it out here —> [link to the video https://youtu.be/kUr7RU_Hpdc?si=dB5-l-qclIQRNSNT]

 

🥷🏻 Ninja Tip

One-Page Commercial Systems are really easy to show and explain to key stakeholders (at a high level without the detail)

This means that you spend less time in board meetings explaining yourself, why you’re doing what you’re doing and how it fits together.

This means:

  • more time to discuss important matters and solve key challenges.

  • less frustration with people that don’t understand marketing and to be perfectly honest only care about the results.

 

So, my ninja tip is to just grab a sheet of A3 paper and map out what you’re doing now. You might have loads of gaps and realise what you’re not doing – this is ok and totally normal.

You might have a complete system but see areas you can optimise and improve – this is also ok and totally normal.

The key is to just get something started, even if it’s rough and ready and build from there.

If you need help with any of this, please give me a shout and if you want to know more about getting more sales from your marketing efforts you can join a free training I’m running on 15th November here -> [https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4CoaTf_IQbmzaf8p5Mrc7w]

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