The terms virtual corporation, continuous improvement, and total customer service are all used to describe parts of the same process, wherein producers, suppliers, and customers all work together in an ongoing effort to develop, refine, and improve products (or services). Now Cespedes, a managing partner at the Center for Executive Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts, adds concurrent marketing to that terminology and looks at the process from the context of the marketing function, with particular emphasis on the role of the sales force. Based on a four-year study of four industries (computers, telecommunications, consumer goods, and medical products), this book considers the practical aspects of coordinating organizational structure, information systems, compensation practices, training, and career paths. David Rouse
From the Back Cover
Companies today have the capability to develop higher quality products and services faster than ever before. Advances in production quality, cycle time, supply chain arrangements, and customer information - all radical improvements in "upstream" efforts to serve the customer - have altered business competition. Concurrent Marketing is the first book to show why this competitive environment demands a new, more coordinated marketing effort "downstream" in which field sales and service take on increased strategic significance. In such an environment, product management, sales, and service groups must interact more often, more quickly, and in greater depth across an increased number of products, markets, and accounts. Concurrent Marketing explains how companies can integrate the activities of these three groups and leverage functional expertise for competitive advantage. Cespedes addresses the importance of specialist expertise in cross-functional activities; the role and limits of incentives in achieving flexible coordination; the relationship between individual and organizational learning in managing change; the sales force as the fulcrum of marketing efforts; and the consequences of reengineering and team work initiatives that ignore these critical issues. Concurrent marketing presents a competitive opportunity and challenge, says Cespedes, because few firms are yet organized to respond to the new realities of the marketplace. The structures, systems, and processes required to integrate product, sales, and service groups are the building blocks of organizational excellence. They also represent a key to competitive advantage for those companies willing to take the lead.