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Why A Commercial Council Team Is Essential

Poor communications across cross functional teams can cause your company to lose big business.

It happened to one company and cost it $20 million in sales.

The sales side was conducting pricing negotiations with a North American OEM in the U.S. At the same time their European colleagues were developing a new program for the parent company in Europe and were identified as the supplier of choice for the program. Because of the commercial demands being discussed in North America, the parent company chose to move in another direction and awarded the business to a competitor.

The loss of this program represented $20 million in sales or approximately 30 percent of the company’s European plants revenue.

After the customer’s announcement, the sales team in North America received an internal memo from the vice president and general manager of the European operations detailing the loss of the program and the impact to his operations.

The sales side knew there was indeed a clear need for global communications.

During the next staff meeting they presented the framework for a Commercial Council team to the vice president. That team would meet on a regular basis to discuss global customer and product strategies. It would consist of key decision makers from directors to the CEO of the company across sales, purchasing and finance from North America, Europe and Asia and would meet bi-weekly to discuss key customer issues and strategies.

Information in one region is now shared with colleagues in another region so they can prepare their strategy in advance of a customer’s request.

As a result, the team was better aligned with the company’s direction, customer expectations, and morale was high.

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