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July 24, 2017 General

Building Teamwork and Culture: A Recipe for Revenue

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By Sonja Fridell

“It is so beautifully arranged on a plate, you know someone’s hands have been all over it.” – Julia Childs

When Alice Waters opened her famed restaurant, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California in 1971, she was at the forefront of the now flourishing locally grown, organic food movement. The vision for her restaurant was clear from the start:  To cook and serve food grown only with the principles of sustainable agriculture. 46 years later, her restaurant continues to prepare fresh ingredients, harvested in season, and purchased from local farmers. Waters’ philosophy of cooking and eating offers people the chance to connect with the source of their food, both the land it came from and the seasonal cycles in which it was grown and harvested.

This type of clear vision and philosophy would be a great start to any business, but a restaurant succeeding for over 40 years has got to have more going on than just a passion for the food.  Well, you guessed it, it does.  Waters’ goals are ultimately customer based, making their experience her top priority.

Teamwork is tricky

Anyone that has worked in a restaurant knows that the ‘front of the house’ (dining room) staff and ‘back of the house’ (kitchen) staff are notoriously at odds with one another.  In fact, there are times when it gets downright ugly.  The high stress, physical demands and distinct cultural differences of front to back of the house can ignite into explosive situations and feed competition instead of unification.  A line cook may complain,  “How can that waiter ask for a special order when we are slammed and in the weeds?”  The waiter may say, “I understand our company culture to be about accommodating the customer.”  Now let’s think about this in terms of sales and marketing teams, also notorious for communication gaps with sales as being the front of the house and marketing as the back of the house.

How can a restaurant – or any business – succeed in this fractured environment?  The bottom line is, it can’t.  After all, passion for something is a good start, but it can’t sustain a business alone.  And when teams are at odds with one another it’s the customer and ultimately your business who suffer, losing clients and sales. Creating a culture focussed on the customer experience can help alleviate this rivalry. A closing culture puts customers and potential customers above business operations at all times. When teams work together for common goals, rivalries dissipate and customers feel valued.

Response time is everything

Quick response times are an effective way to create a positive culture for sales.  Imagine you’ve been seated at a restaurant and it takes 15 minutes for a waiter to come to the table and greet you. You would probably be put off and soured by the experience already. However, had you been greeted promptly, you would have a positive first impression. Successful selling starts with responsiveness – being there for your customers when they need or want you.  This applies to all forms communication – emails, calls and text messages – your response time should always be immediate.

Josh Harcus, successful entrepreneur, best-selling author of A Closing Culture, and Sales Enablement Evangelist for PandaDoc writes and speaks about the importance of a 5 minute response time for inbound leads. That one strategy, a 5 minute response time, can impact your revenue significantly as it did for Hüify who saw a 6x increase in their revenue back in 2015.

Close deals faster

PandaDoc, a San Francisco based software company just down route 80, and right across the bay from Chez Panisse, has spent the last few years developing tools to minimize these gaps and help businesses integrate solutions. Founded in 2013, PandaDoc is geared toward helping organizations accelerate the sales process with a suite of tools that include document templates, editing, document tracking, and e-signature functionality while integrating with many customer relationship management (CRM) software systems such as SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics, Zendesk and Salesforce.

Missed our webinar with Josh Harcus on “The Art of the 5 Minute Follow Up”? Watch it here. Josh has literally written the book on creating “A Closing Culture.” Josh shares his tips for aligning sales and marketing and creating a productive culture.



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author bio

Sonja Fridell

Sonja is very active in architecting CRM, ERP and marketing automation solutions for clients across North America. As an ex-journalist, she is adept at exploring a client’s needs and coming up with cutting edge, elegant solutions that fit, drive adoption, and create real results.

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Sonja Fridell wearing a blue blouse and a dainty necklace.

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