KURT: Everyone knows the difference between the easy life of a salesperson vs. the busy life of the service/operation side of the business. Salespeople attend networking events at country clubs and upscale restaurants, while service people sweat it out and make sure there’s enough money to allow them to “play.”
ERIC: Yes, most salespeople like the finer things in life, but we have to network to generate business for service people. We wouldn’t have landed those big jobs if it weren’t for us salespeople networking with the right people. It sounds like all glitz and glamour, but it’s hard work remembering who you need to talk to and what about, to move the process along.
KURT: Additionally, the sales and marketing department worries only about finding sales and making the phone ring daily. Meanwhile, on the service/operations side, our heads are spinning. We’re worrying about productivity, inventory, warehousing, fleet management, purchasing, training and development, and project management. It’s obvious the sales department leans on us for support and counts on us to
make sure those resources are there to help them do their jobs. With all this on service/operations’ plate, you don’t have to wonder who keeps the company’s lights on.
ERIC: Hey, it’s tough work making the phone ring. Constantly evaluating the marketing plan isn’t easy. Sure, networking at events and shooting commercials looks fun, but there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it. If you aren’t marketing to the right people at the right time, you aren’t going to achieve the results you want. There’s a lot more that goes into social media marketing than posting things online. Creating all of the content for posts, blogs and the company website isn’t easy. Operations, on the other hand, have it easy — work, inventory, warehousing, fleet management, purchasing, training and development, and product management? Those things are routine. Try working in sales and marketing, where you have to stay ahead of the trends. We aren’t doing the same things in marketing that we did last week, let alone last year or years before. Effective marketing is a moving target. With sales, it isn’t easy cold calling or generating leads when people typically don’t want to talk about bugs. All operations and the service department have to do is treat the jobs we sell.
KURT: Same old routine? If we were doing things the same and not looking for new and innovative ways to service customers, sales wouldn’t have anything to sell. Operations must take the time to evaluate and test the effectiveness of the new products and processes constantly generated by the industry to decide what best benefits our customers and give sales something else to offer prospects. Keeping up with a fleet of vehicles is no easy task, either. We have to make sure everything is in working order for salespeople to make it to their networking events so we can continue to pay the bills.
Well, PMP readers, who won this debate? Lock in your vote at the poll question here and we’ll announce the results in the July issue.