A consultant was to give a talk at a sales conference. The CEO asks him to focus on the importance of cooperation and teamwork between the sales and marketing teams, since neither group has a particularly high regard for the other, and the lack of cohesion and goodwill is hampering effectiveness and morale.
The marketing staff constantly moan about the sales people 'doing their own thing' and 'failing to follow central strategy'; and the sales people say that the marketing people are all 'idle theorists who waste their time at exhibitions and agency lunches' and have 'never done a decent day's work in their lives'.
Being a lover of rugby, the consultant decides to use the analogy of a rugby team's forwards and backs working together to achieve the best team performance.
"......So, just as in the game of rugby, the forwards, like the marketing department, do the initial work to create the platform and to make the opportunities, and then pass the ball out to the backs, the sales department, who then use their skills and energy to score the tries. The forwards and the backs, just like marketing and sales, are each good at what they do; And they work together so that the team wins..." said the consultant, finishing his talk.
The audience seemed to respond positively, and the conference broke for lunch. At the bar the consultant asked one of the top sales-people what he had thought of the analogy - had it given him food for thought?
"Yes, I see what you mean," said the salesperson, "It does make sense. The sales people - the backs, yes. - The backs need the marketing department - the forwards, yes. To make the opportunities for us, so that we, the backs, can go and score the tries - to win the business. We work together as a team - each playing our own part - working as a team."
The consultant beamed and nodded enthusiastically, only to get disheartened again when the salesperson added as an afterthought, "I still think our forwards are a bunch of idiots..."