Work-life balance as a Sales And Marketing Director is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).
Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Sales And Marketing Director from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
Strategic Supplier Relationships: The Key to Vendor Performance Management
The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.
When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.
Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.
There's an old supply-chain saying that goes, 'A vendor gives you the best 'deal,' while a strategic partner gives you the highest quality at the lowest cost.' This adage sets the stage for this article on Strategic Supplier Relationships ('SSR') also known as Supplier Relationship Management ('SRM'). SSR is defined as a comprehensive approach to managing the interactions and communications between an enterprise and its suppliers. The goal of SSR is to effectively streamline and make more efficient the communication and interaction between an enterprise and its suppliers. This is accomplished through increased process efficiency related to the acquiring of goods and services, the managing of inventory, purchase order processing, and the management of materials. The benefits of SSR are lower costs, less administrative burden, increased productivity, and a more integrated supply-chain. With margins within the food industry being squeezed, it is ever so important to manage COGS (cost of goods sold) aggressively, thereby increasing profitability. The objective of this article is to shed some light on how SSR might reduce costs and administrative burden, while increasing margins. There are well published examples of companies using SSR to enhance the strategic relationship between buyers and suppliers. In essence, SSR can be accomplished by following these rules of engagement:
1. Carefully evaluate and choose strategic suppliers. When choosing a strategic partner, be sure to take a close look at their business, including such things as:
- Financial stability (D&B)
- Client references
- Proximity to your network
- Management depth
- Years in business
- Use of technology (EDI)
- Cultural fit
2. Develop a clear set of expectations. Before signing an agreement with a supplier, be sure there are clear rules and expectations, including specific tasks you demand them to accomplish. There must be clear roles and nothing must be left to interpretation in terms of responsibilities.
3. Define goals and performance targets. Specific key performance indicators (KPI's) must be developed and tracked to compare suppliers and keep them on track. KPI's such as on-time delivery, expected lead time, freight terms, etc. must be included in a quarterly report-card for each supplier. When setting targets for performance, use the SMART method for developing goals. Each goal must be:
4. Monitor and rank supplier performance. It's always a good idea to use a scorecard to monitor supplier performance. Additionally, ranking suppliers from best to worst and sharing this data will go a long way to improve performance (nobody wants to be at the bottom of the report).
5. Conduct annual reviews for continuous improvement. Finally, be sure to meet with your suppliers to solicit ideas on how to improve productivity, reduce administrative burden, increase the use of technology, and lower costs.
A comprehensive strategic supplier management program will result in a significant reduction in administrative burden, lower cost of goods, and ultimately, improved profitability. The first step is to establish the baseline of existing suppliers in terms of volumes, frequency, and costs. Next, develop a clear set of expectations, goals, and key performance indicators to monitor quarterly. Finally, be sure to meet with your strategic partners frequently to pick their brains about ways to improve productivity or reduce costs. Additionally, be sure you spend some time teaching your suppliers about the culture at your company and the strategic plans for growth. When taken seriously, the steps outlined in this article will not only improve supplier relationships and lower costs, but will also have a positive impact on profitability. So, remember, vendors are things of the past; strategic partners are what make a difference!
There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.
Improve Customer Experience by Overcoming Ethnocentric Customer-Centricity
Empowering employees like Sales And Marketing Director to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.
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What Does it Mean to be Customer-centric?
To have the customer's best interests as the focus of your attention - not to be pre-occupied in your own interests at the customer's expense.
To do this, you need to:
(1) Really know the customer in order to anticipate their best interests.
(2) Differentiate between primary and secondary motives.
Customer-Centric Primary Motives:
Making it easier and nicer for the customer to get and use solutions.
Self-Centric Secondary Motives:
Building revenue and profit through new product development, word-of-mouth, etc.
There's a myth that talking often to your customers (sales, service, surveys, etc.) means you're customer-focused. However, customer-focus goes beyond lip-service to the primary motives that drive your behaviors.
Gap in Desired Versus Actual Customer-Centricity
Half of companies say they're extremely customer-centric, but when customers of those companies were asked, only a tenth of them said those companies were extremely customer-centric. Why is there such a huge gap? When you think about who makes business processes and policies within a company, it's usually the workforce that doesn't interact directly with customers. Three-fourths of companies say that customer experience is not well defined and communicated within their company. Half of companies say they have fair or little knowledge of customer demographics, behaviors, psychographics, and transactional histories. Less than a tenth of companies say they have excellent knowledge of customers. Three-fourths of companies say their employees aren't well versed in how to delight customers.
Ways to Really Know the Customer
This represents an opportunity for those who work directly with customers to share valuable stories and facts with the rest of the company, to help the entire workforce live up to their brand promises. We usually think of marketing, sales, and customer service as outward-facing, with only outbound deliverables.
Yet, if a company is customer-centric, then concentric circles around the customer mean that marketing, service and sales are the natural conduit for helping the rest of the company - engineering, finance, human resources, production, operations, technology, safety, accounting, etc. - understand their impact on customer experience and customer profitability. Three-fourths of marketing groups say they don't influence the customer service function ... so you can imagine how much influence marketing has on the rest of the company!
Customer-facing professionals can sensitize the whole company toward the customer's plight and priorities:
(1) Make sure customer stories reflect the customer experience spectrum.
(2) Use creative ways to share customer stories:
- Internal newsletters
- Bulletin boards & posters
- Lobbies, break rooms, war rooms, conference rooms, cafeteria
- Staff meetings
(3) Involve organization in learning and adapting their mindsets - this is the organization-wide journey guiding everyone on managing their personal impact on customer experience, called internal branding
Return on Investment
Your company makes huge efforts and investments in communicating your value proposition, which is the brand promise that shapes customer expectations. A corresponding investment - at least in energy and scrutiny - makes sense for ensuring the brand promise is indeed delivered. Customer satisfaction occurs when the customer's experience meets or exceeds their expectations. Trust - being true to the brand promise - is biggest the biggest factor in building a customer-centric culture that maximizes customer profitability.
Note: statistics from CMO Council Customer Affinity study and Peppers & Rogers Customer Retention presentation.
When a Sales And Marketing Director spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.