Here’s an idea: treat your marketing and sales as the lungs of your business; your operations are the heart.

It is marketing and sales that should feed fresh information back into your business from the outside world in the form of new ideas and market insights. The better your marketing and sales, the better the lung capacity of your business and the better your performance will be.

You see, marketing and sales aren’t just about making the next sale, they are about constantly staying in touch with your customers and keeping your business aligned with their needs. In fact, you could view marketing as one lung and sales as the other. For optimal performance you need both to work together.

The problem is that many businesses have lungs that look like those of chain smokers.Marketing and sales are neglected and suffer from chronic underinvestment. The logo looks unprofessional, the marketing material amateurish, the sales team are really professional beggars. Or just as bad, the business runs on one lung only which is often just the sales department.

If your marketing and sales are compromised, it hampers performance. It affects the amount of fresh market information your business inhales. Before long, you start to suffocate from being too inwardly focused. You lose track of reality. You are out of touch with the customer.

Is your business keeping a close eye on what’s going on outside? Is it breathing in fresh air through a healthy pair of lungs? Or are you huffing and puffing, soon to collapse?

When last did you learn something new from marketing and sales that changed how you do business? It should happen weekly!