Over the years, It’s amazing the number of large and small corporations that we’ve worked with that all have the same problem… a war, whether declared or just understood, between the sales, marketing and production departments. Sales departments are like the “Rodney Dangerfield’s” when it comes to the opinion of most marketers production staff in that “They get no respect”. The problem with these undeclared wars is instead of the three most important departments in a company pulling together they are often pulling the company apart. Instead of pointing the guns at the competition they tend to point the guns at each other.
A close friend of mine, who has run many international companies, used to hold a running debate with me. Through much of his career he was focused on operations and used to hate salesmen and their often perceived laziness (always on the golf course). I told him you know you can produce the finest widgets in the world but without a good sales force the widgets are just going to sit on the shelf or in your warehouse because they’re just not going to sell themselves.
High inventory levels in several of the companies forced my friend to review his theory on lazy salesmen and come to appreciate their importance to any successful company.
As far as I am concerned no one knows your clients like the sales department. Therefore marketing departments should always include the sales force and ask for their input BEFORE finalizing their marketing plans. The marketing departments then need to configure a plan that will best communicate why your product or service is going to make your clients life easier because at the end of the day that’s what it all about.
Each department holds the key to a company’s success or failure. But for the keys to work they must be manufactured only with the consultation and input of the other two departments.
The Production department has a responsibility to produce the best most innovative product or service possible AFTER first consulting with the sales department if this product or service will meet or exceed their clients’ needs. There is no sense producing a product or service that no one needs and one of the best judges of this need is the sales force.The Marketing department provides the Sales Department the finest plan and tools skewed to their clients AFTER consulting with the Sales Force on their needs. The Sales Department has to execute and stick to the plan without over promising or under delivering.
And finally like a fine orchestra they all have to learn to listen to each other and respect each other’s strengths in the process of producing a highly successful business.
When we all get along it’s amazing what companies are capable of producing and SELLING!