Let's say you have the task to improve the sales department workings in the context of the enterprise. Use business architecture. This has nothing to do with IT or technology, though.
To align sales and service operations with the organization, one has to understand the interactions with other functions and, indeed, the key activities in sales and services, current roles and organization, products, customer types and segments.
Begin by sketching such an interaction diagram starting from the customer and considering all other functions. Sales and service have various internal functions that must be illustrated in exchanges. Then qualify these exchanges in terms of importance and frequency to find out with whom you interact most. This is the current picture.
Then streamline these exchanges and try different organizations designs. Use swim-lanes diagrams. Come with a target functional architecture and proposed organization design that implements it.
The organization may not be optimal because because of existing silos with different management and objectives that make those exchanges more difficult.
Organization design is based on a mixture of business units, product lines, functional and geographical criteria. Consider these if you propose a different organization.
Consider, too, describing current and future organization roles in terms of tasks that contribute to the function.
Then consider how to move from the current organization to the future one with minimum disruption--and plan the move. Work with all concerned to make it happen.
Ideally, one should understand the key sales and business workflows and the functional organization of the enterprise. You may want to view this high-level presentation on a reference business architecture.
You may start from the reference architecture to describe own processes at a relevant level of detail. Group related activities in a function to enhance exchanges.
Common performance indicators may help align sales to other departments without re-organization.
You may also create horizontal (besides vertical organization) business responsibilities and (like in a matrix organization) to oversee products flow along the value chain, from production, distribution to sales. Similar to process managers in business process improvement approaches.
Comments welcome, as always.