Consulting with the Front Lines

“Neither studies nor market research nor computer modeling is a substitute for the test of reality.” — Peter Drucker

When creating value for the customer or eliminating any waste in the sales arena, too often what I see is that each group in a company (marketing and sales in particular) comes out with a definition or guideline on sales issues without involving the field sales personnel. When guidelines are made without the field’s input, it is a sure bet that the field will ignore them or nod their heads with no intention of ever following them.

To change top-down directives, corporate management should recognize that participation from the field should always be the first step in the process. While corporate will say, “We don’t have time to get their input” or “What do they know anyway” (they only talk to your customers every day!), omitting this essential step will ultimately result in a notable lack of action by the sales staff. Smart management teams ensure a bottom-up approach is followed because it is the more effective way to improve the sales process.