Does the world begin and end with engineers, sales, or marketing?
How familiar are you with the senior management of companies in technology that think the world begins and ends with engineers only? On the other hand, how familiar are you with CEOs and Presidents that think that sales or marketing are the keystones of the company? If your like me you’ve worked for all of the above and found that attitudes can get out of hand.
I generally find that all too often a lack of respect for what the other does creates the problem and having a senior management team that focuses on a particular group often creates the framework for the attitudes. The people who know that they are “special” will take advantage and get focused on their own areas of expertise and think they have all the answers. In my opinion, you need to take the bull by the horns and let everyone know that while there are always people who excel at particular areas of expertise it still takes the entire teams effort to win.
If your a senior sales executive, it’s critical that you and your sales team understand the organization that you work for and it’s culture and do your best to sell your internal constituency as well as the external. Everyone needs to communicate about their part of the business and how it interfaces with the other parts – learn what everyone does and how it fits into the overall picture. Everyone needs to be heard and respected. If others don’t see sales as “special” but as a “necessary evil” don’t give in to negativity. Keep reinforcing the need for the entire team to be on board. No matter which area the CEO comes from, don’t let sales people get out of control, request only positivity.