Peter Strohkorb writes of witnessing “the quarterly merry-go-round that is the production forecast” in which Sales give a prediction to the production department of what they will sell, which forms the basis of what the factory will produce for the coming quarter. The accuracy of which is often variable and it can make or break careers, and even businesses. Marketing is typically not even part of the conversation.
But, what if Sales and Marketing worked together? How different this conversation could be. This can be achieved through a Sales and Marketing SLA; an agreement to work cohesively and coherently together, sharing information and, ultimately, closing the loop so both gain actionable intelligence that helps improve outcomes from their efforts.
This 'Smarketing' powerhouse then shares this intelligence with manufacturing - influencing product improvements based on customer feedback, innovation for new products and building an ironclad forecasting process for the factories.
In the article below, Strohkorb describes a three-step process to achieving a three-way collaboration between sales, marketing and production. It is closer to your reach than you may realise.
Imagine a world where Marketing fully understands the market place, each segment, each need , and each competitor. It knows how to positively differentiate our brand and is able to guide our sales reps towards lucrative targets. Sales, at the same time, has been careful to return accurate feedback from the sales front back to Marketing so that everybody is completely clear on what campaigns work, what messaging resonates in the market place, and what customers say about our products.