As a consultant and interim marketing executive I am exposed to a variety of business and organizational situations every year. Without fail when attempting to transform the performance of the marketing and sales team with best practices I run into a stiff headwind blowing through the hallways and between the cubicles.
Unfortunately I know of more than one case where investments were made in research, training and technology only to have the initiative stall out before the benefits could be realized.
The number one reason best practices fail in sales and marketing is because the environment is un-trusting, uncooperative, passive-aggressive, caustic, and in some cases even poisonous.
Recognize the place?
The work environment within sales and marketing in so many companies has taken on these negative characteristics slowly over time. Unfortunately it is cumulative. People in the organization have memories. Stories are passed from old hires to new hires. The negativity self-fulfills.
In short, our sales and marketing organization—the one we depend on for life-giving revenue today and in the future—is effectively working in the past. Instead of working together in every way with a shared vision of performance, the people in these departments stumble about with eyes locked onto the rear view mirror.
Best practices can’t be expected to generate breakthrough performance in sales and marketing if the people are carrying around negative baggage—both personal and organizational– from the past.
I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts and actual examples (please keep company names out of your posts)