Without sales, all the rest of the stuff that goes on in an enterprise is irrelevant. All the lofty strategies, policies, and well intentioned platitudes are dependent on the delivery of sales for their oxygen.

As a senior manager in a large enterprise, I used to annoy, sometimes terminally, marketing personnel by insisting they all spend periods of time, particularly during the annual peak sales periods, out in the field, carrying a bag, talking to the retail personnel of our customers, and interacting with consumers in the retail space.

Most came back energised, engaged and motivated, some did not, and they usually found their career prospects better elsewhere pretty quickly.

Often other functional management also benefitted greatly from seeing how the product they made, counted, delivered, or engineered lived in the sales environment.

50 interactions with intelligent customers and consumers, and those who preferred our competitor products may not be a statistically significant sample, but you will learn more from those interactions than you will from reading expensive research reports behind a desk.