Monday, 24 June 2013

Operations and Sales - Part 4: The benefits of a close relationship

In the last part of our in-depth focus on the relationship between Sales and Operations at a manufacturer of building products, we look at what the benefits of Sales and Operations working closely together can bring and also who should be driving this change.

The benefits of being customer-focused
The perfect team is a Sales group who follows through until delivery, and an Operations group who supports the Sales group throughout the whole sales team, one goal providing the following benefits:
  • A company that customers view as ‘reliable & trustworthy’ and come back to 
  • A company which has everyone working in the same direction
  • A company where people want to help and support each other and show loyalty
  • A company which has fewer headaches and problems to deal with internally and can concentrate on selling and growing
  • A company with quality and customer service at the heart of their culture
  • A company with a structure and ethos in place that means the system will work even when people leave
  • A company that knows their customers and communicates with them
The whole company needs to find out what the needs of the customer are and then deliver it to them to give you meaningful competitive advantage.

You can really flourish by bringing these key factors into your everyday approach, but everyone needs to support each other for short and long-term improvement. It is vital that you aim high and deliver even higher. The challenges that Sales and Operations face need to be overcome by working together in order to meet customers’ needs. 

Who should drive this change?
One person cannot make this change happen, but everyone will benefit when it does. Ideally the Managing Director should be recognising the necessity for such an approach, but Martyn suggests that the best way is for the Head of Sales and the Head of Operations to get together and start the process rolling:

“Taking that first step is the most difficult one, and it takes more than one person to implement the change. I would advise that if you are in Sales or in Operations then consider making the first step and approach your counterpart and start the process – it is better than continuing with mistrust, conflict, stress and unhappy customers. You will soon start to get the support to implement the culture change.”

So ask not the question: ‘What can your company do for you?’ but ‘What can you do for your company?’ and the first part will fall into place. Think of others, improve for long-term and not short-term gain and you will meet customers’ expectations and enjoy your jobs with less stress and more time to concentrate on your actual job.

Catch up on our series: 'How to establish a team relationship between Sales & Operations'
Part one: Understanding the issues between Sales and Operations
Part two: Creating a new culture and the role Operations play
Part three: How Sales can help and gain competitive advantage
Part four:  The Benefits of a close relationship

Pinnacle Consulting would like to give special thanks to Martyn Wilks for his time and expert opinion on this issue. Martyn has worked in managerial and directorship positions for market-leading companies including: manufacturers of sprinkler bulbs used in fire protection systems; catering fit-out equipment for hotels, restaurants and commercial kitchens; commercial ventilation extraction units; and domestic plastic piping systems and accessories. Martyn currently works for Day-Impex.

Pinnacle Consulting specialise in construction sales recruitment attracting the best building products sales jobs from some of the best manufacturers and distributors of building materials throughout the UK. Call us on 01480 405225 to discuss either your next career move or if you are looking at bringing high quality salespeople to your company who can understand the needs of the whole company.

Feature Image: PVC Pipes Stacked by Toa55 /

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