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Sales people usually work independently of other functions in distribution companies, but that autonomy can hinder collaboration, says Evan Rosen in the MDM Interview: Building a Collaborative Culture. Companies that foster collaboration work more efficiently, because they aren’t waiting for work to come down the line or for decisions that need to be made elsewhere.
Shifting to a collaborative work culture is essential in today’s Information Age, he says. Companies working in command-and-control cultures are often operating the same as they were in the Industrial Age, when that structure was most efficient.
Technology has lowered the time and distance barriers, enabling more people to have access to more information – in many cases changing who should be making decisions for the most efficiency, and when they should be making them.
As an organization adopts a collaborative structure, people across functions, levels and regions become more interdependent. So a salesperson can participate in product and service development to ensure that products and services reflect customer requirements.
“The salesperson benefits, because he or she is now selling something more in line with what customers want,” Rosen says. “Product development and marketing people benefit, because they’re creating products that resonate with the marketplace. And the company benefits, because everybody is working in concert to achieve common goals and create greater value.”