Post after post in the Tales of the Pyramid series I describe what happens to the corporate hierarchical structures, usually pyramids.
This time the pyramid is torn. Half of the organization moves ahead and backs up the project while another half resists change.
Typical example is a broad market strategy change that requires to renew products and/or customers portfolios, discontinuing products that do not fit into the scheme anymore, stopping to serve some markets segments, etc.
Forecasting, procurement, production, marketing and shipment usually have no problem embracing this kind of change, but sales seldom welcome it.
Salesforce has strong incentive about sales and disrupting their bonus-process with a new deal is no fun to them. There are those easy-sales that yield bonus without big effort. There are products the customers are accustomed to and make them change to an alternate requires big effort while being risky.
Salesforce often fight to keep the portfolios as they are best for them, regardless to the overall interest. If they can’t convince, they often do not (totally) stick to the decisions and new objectives, letting customers order products bound to disappear and still visiting customers which are no more desirable.
As unwanted orders keep being fed into the process, the pipe never totally dries up and portfolios are not renewed as decided.
Remote subsidiaries play the same game justifying their play with local rules and constraints.
Sales are not the only division that can tear off the pyramid, but I witnessed it often with them.