Startups – Do you empower your employees to take $ decision?

[A lot of what I write these days reflects my observation on the street and few real life relationship with startups/small businesses.]

I go to this small tea shop in southern part of Bangalore which serves two different types of tea – regular one (costs Rs. 4/) and the premium one (Rs. 7/). The owner, right from day one served me the premium version (without even asking/giving me a choice). When he isn’t around, his employees usually ask and I end up consuming Rs. 4/ tea.

Frankly, it just doesn’t matter – neither the cost, nor the quantity (or premiumness).

The tea shop employees, in true essence of the word ‘job’ are simply doing their job, while Owner is trying to build relationships with clients (and get them to consume more).

But somewhere, the same passion/zeal/’CRM’ skills aren’t passed onto the employees. And the result is loss of sales (i.e. less consumption).

Coming back to the topic of this article, how many startups actually empower their employees to take $ decision or make certain assumptions during the sales cycle?

When I had to renew my bullet insurance, the ‘employee’ literally asked his boss to forego Re. 1/ that I didn’t give him (he didn’t have the change).

While these are true of big corporate where you need dickheads to work ‘as per the script’, how many startups actually give freedom to their sales force to take quick decision and close the deal?
Especially when time is money and one can’t afford to carry on a long-and-haggling discussion with one customer (and lose out on others) – does your sales force have the power to take quick decisions?

On this topic, I spoke to a startup/mid-size company founder who candidly said ‘I do want to keep the control and ensure that each and every penny is taken care of. ’

The bigger question to ask is – are you losing out few pennies because you are taking extra care of the pennies you are getting?

Is there an opportunity cost of ‘long and perfect sale cycle’?

What’s your opinion?

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