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A Delicate Balance: Sales Growth and Production

(February 2012) posted on Tue Jan 24, 2012

"Much like the Chinese concept of yin and yang, the sales and production departments must exist side by side, harmoniously."

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By Marty McGhie

Now, they will probably argue that placing too much sales pressure on production will prevent them from achieving those goals. They don’t necessarily consider themselves to be the enemy of the sales team – clearly they know that without sales they wouldn’t have a job. But, often, you find animosity among the production staff when they perceive that there is no control or standards by which the sales staff is being held. And if you aren’t careful, your production staff can cultivate an attitude that all they’re doing is working like crazy to make the sales team a lot of money. Morale can quickly become toxic. The challenge is to make sure each person on your production team knows that they’re working to create success for the entire business, not just your sales reps.

Establishing a system
In order to create a successful business model, you must have both your sales team and your production team working together. But this can only happen if a system of good communication is set up.

On the sales side, you must help them understand that there will be some constraints on the production side that they must work with. If your sales staff ignores those constraints, production will inevitably miss customer deadlines and the result is potentially loss of business.

In my experience, when sales reps have no formal communication systems or procedures set up to inform them of turn times, status of the shop, machine problems, inventory issues, etc., they’ll tend to overpromise to your customers and let production worry about how to get it produced.