I was speaking with a prospective client the other day and was surprised by his insightfulness, and if I’m being honest, the lack of internal integration currently existing in the corporation. My discussion was with the recently promoted VP of Sales – he was looking for training for his entire sales organization to help them think and operate more strategically. While this is a common request, he went on to add marketing, product development and finance to the list.
How insightful is that? Marketing going along with sales is obvious, but as a VP of Sales, wanting to bring product development and finance into the program is extremely astute. Think about it, if there isn’t an open line of communications along with strategic alignment between sales and product development – they may end up missing opportunities to capture market share.
Finance may be a little less obvious, and although he mentioned that his finance organization is more involved in daily business operations than most, it still makes sense that they are onboard with the direction the company is moving so they can allocate resources accordingly.
Normally, this level of strategic integration comes from the very top, but if that is not happening in your organization you owe it to your sales organization to drive the integration yourself. Bottom line is – sales is the tip of the spear – if the rest of the organization is not onboard with the direction sales is going, that spare is not going anywhere fast.