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Business Process vs Business Culture

Ilan Gross

17 November 2021

This blog explores the vital link between business processes and culture, drawing on our extensive experience with numerous CRM implementations. We examine how management strategies and cultural values deeply influence every part of a business, from sales strategies to customer relationships. Join us as we reveal the intricate connection between structured operations and the cultural ethos that underpins them.

Through our journey with CRM implementations, we’ve observed a wide range of business outcomes. At the heart of these outcomes is business culture, which shapes our approach to sales, effective account management, and the way businesses interact with customers.

Adopting a CRM to boost sales and revenue requires transforming into a high-performance sales team. Here, business culture plays a crucial role, guiding the organization’s processes. The correct or incorrect cultural mindset and skill set can significantly impact results, affecting the sales process, account management, and overall business performance. In essence, business culture directs the business process; a misalignment between culture and skills can lead to adverse outcomes in various business functions.

Lumen's Definition of Business Culture

Lumen defines business culture as a sustainable, human-centric corporate environment that’s founded on Judeo-Christian values. This culture emphasizes high performance, innovation, and the importance of each team member’s contribution, fostering an atmosphere where growth and development are prioritized.

The second aspect of business culture encompasses the sum of skills and knowledge within the sales and marketing process. This includes the generation of qualified leads, the crafting of effective quote proposals, successful negotiation tactics, closing rates, and profit margins. It also involves team interactions, sales meetings, the establishment of realistic budgets, and the utilization of effective resources and tools.

In this context, it becomes clear that the process itself takes precedence over individuals. Without a solid foundation in skills and business processes, team members may inadvertently fill these gaps. In more extreme cases, they might even become the de facto business process themselves.

This perspective underscores the importance of developing a culture that not only values, but also equips its members with the necessary tools and knowledge to not just participate in, but actively shape and refine the business process for the better.

Business Process in the Context of the Sales Process

In the context of the sales process, a business process refers to the systematic set of activities and procedures that an organisation employs to engage with customers, manage sales opportunities, and ultimately close sales. This includes everything from lead generation and qualification to customer communication, negotiation, and finalising transactions.

In principle, when the CRM needs to manage accounts and sales, the business culture dictates the business process. We, and our clients, expect us to set up the sales process and account management. But our experience is very different whenever when the CRM is actually used for customer relationship management, and not as a database. The CRM brings the business culture and business acumen into the surface. In most cases we need to spend most of our time on business culture. In the SME market, where we have been working with CEOs and sales managers, most of our quality time revolves around business culture.

Lumen CRM coaching

Traditionally you would expect to start B2B CRM with setting up account management and sales management. From that point, Zoho CRM does a great job: you can follow up on your customers quotes and proposals; you can get all the data you need about your customers, especially follow-up on meetings, phone calls and email.

What we found is that the business process and business culture work very closely together. Because of this, not all CRM consultants are best suited where business culture is required. Because business culture requires strong business knowledge, it is a very different skillset from that of a CRM consultant. For a CRM consultant to have a discussion about business culture, they will need to know business and business management, and they need to know it well. That is one of the key reasons companies fail to achieve expected outcomes from their CRM implementation.

The questions we recommend asking are:

  • Is your business culture clearly understood and can it be translated to business process?
  • Does your CRM consultant have the ability to understand your business culture?
  • Has your CRM consultant achieved significant business success outside the CRM, so you can get the most benefit your Zoho CRM implementation?


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Picture of Ilan Gross

Ilan Gross

Picture of Ilan Gross

Ilan Gross

Ilan Gross is a distinguished pioneer and authoritative leader in the IT industry, boasting over two decades of unparalleled expertise in CRM systems and CRM strategy. As the Principal Zoho CRM Consultant at Lumen Business Solutions, Ilan has revolutionised the way B2B enterprises leverage CRM solutions, firmly establishing himself as a cornerstone of technological innovation and strategic prowess. His specialisation in integrating cutting-edge sales methodologies like SPIN, Gap Analysis, and Challenger Selling into CRM platforms has not only set new standards in the industry but has also redefined the essence of customer relationship management for enterprise customers. Ilan's visionary approach extends beyond traditional CRM systems; he is a trailblazer in AI development, AI implementation, and AI consulting, particularly noted for his pioneering work with private ChatGPT on the Azure platform. His foresight in recognising the transformative potential of AI in business processes has led to the creation of numerous AI applications for enterprise solutions, further solidifying his reputation as a leader in driving technological advancement and innovation. Under Ilan's leadership, businesses have experienced groundbreaking advancements in revenue-lifting strategies. Through his expert guidance, enterprises have not only improved their sales processes and customer engagement but have also witnessed substantial increases in revenue. Ilan's mastery of CRM systems, combined with his deep understanding of the strategic needs of large-scale businesses, positions him as an indispensable asset for any organisation aiming to scale and excel in today's competitive market. Moreover, Ilan Gross is celebrated as a pioneer of software development tools, including Aware IM and Magic Software. His contributions to these platforms have been instrumental in empowering developers and businesses alike, enabling them to build powerful, efficient applications with unprecedented ease and flexibility. This aspect of his expertise further underscores his role as a visionary leader, whose influence spans across the entire spectrum of IT development and strategy. In sum, Ilan Gross stands as a paragon of innovation and leadership in the IT industry. His exceptional skill set, combined with his pioneering contributions to AI and software development, marks him as a pivotal figure in shaping the future of technology for enterprise success.