It is very important that representatives from all of the various functions involved in delivering an offering to the market meet with customers face-to-face. This includes not only sales, customer service or marketing, but engineering, finance, manufacturing, purchasing, human resources, and other functions that tend to stay at the office or on the factory floor.
Such functions receive feedback from customers only through the filter of other functional groups. They miss the rich, multifaceted learning and feedback they receive when they face real customers. Meeting with real customers using real products is necessary if a cross-functional team is to create a product that solves the customer’s problems and truly delights them.