These are true problems salespeople have shared with us, but won't share with management.
Our CRM is crap because you want me to spend hours on it for your own purposes and not mine. I know I have to use it, but don’t expect me to like it. I am tired of complaining about it. If I complain too much you’ll ditch the current system and I will go through hell to learn about another system that is essentially just like the last system. You didn’t ask me when you chose the system, you didn’t ask me about the sales process, you didn’t ask me what a qualified lead is and you didn’t train me and yet you expect me to use the program.
I lie on my sales forecast because my prospects lie and if I told you the truth you’d freak out. There are some things you just don’t need to know. When sales are down and forecasts are weak it’s a cry for help from the sales guy.
"I lie on my sales forecast because my prospects lie and if I told you the truth you’d freak out."
Management sets the quota but never asks us if it is doable. Arbitrarily the numbers go up, but there isn’t an increase in sales leads. Management adds products to sell and never takes away anything. If I’m not making the old quota what makes you think I can make the new one with a 10-20% increase? Somebody must ask us what’s possible.
My sales manager doesn’t have a clue because she/he hasn’t been on a sales call with me for months and only talks to me through sales beatings (I mean meetings).
If my manager says he’ll travel with me and he gives me a week or so to set up the meetings, I will take him/her to my best customers, and recent sales I’ve made, but seldom to a new prospect. I don’t need the sales manager’s criticism or him screwing up the deal.
Oh and another one. the sales manager most often takes me for breakfast, to plan the day which I have already done. He lays some stuff on me which is usually another form of the sales beating. We do a call, take a long early lunch, another call and I drop him off at the airport early. In the end, we’re both relieved.
"Marketing wouldn’t know a qualified lead if the person sent them money in the mail."
I must play customer service rep on new customers because our customer service people will blow the deal. That eats a lot of my time, don’t discourage me because I will do it no matter what you say. I love it when the customer service rep first meets a client and says, “Great to meet you, now what did you buy?” They can take it over later once I am sure they know the score and the check has cleared.
Marketing dumps names on me and calls them qualified leads. Marketing wouldn’t know a qualified lead if the person sent them money in the mail. Give me a qualified lead and I will turn it into a sale 50% of the time. Maybe more.
Our sales meetings are sales beatings. These turn into sales beatings and it’s a hell of a way to start the week on a downer. It takes the rest of the day to recover from the beating. It’s all about forecast, what we should do differently, and marketing never attends. It really gets interesting when the CFO attends. It’s all about numbers not the customer. There is never any discussion on what the company can do to help us make quota. No motivation, no congrats, little training and it’s all about the numbers. It’s a beat down.
Customers expect proposals the same day or within 24 hours. If you make me go to sales management, marketing or worse finance for every proposal it takes from a day to a week or more and I often lose the deal to more responsive competitors. If I do proposals the same day or within 24 hours the customers is happy with us and that’s a start.
"If you make me go to sales management, marketing or worse finance for every proposal I often lose the deal to more responsive competitors"
I like to get senior management involved with negotiations with a prospect when price is the issue. When the prospect says they want a price reduction the senior manager traveling with me will cave 90% of the time. The customer wins, I win and the manager feels useful. The company doesn’t win so much as the discounts are usually steep. This is the only time I like senior managers to travel with me.
Marketing people never meet the prospects. They have no idea what drives a prospect to buy our products. They never travel with me, listen in on sales calls or even do the basic research to know why they buy. They hide behind their desk. Sometimes they go to trade shows and say that they now know the customer. Give me a break they are clueless. Travel with us. Hear what the customers ask us. Listen to the objections.
If you want me to make fifty calls a day, which is a number from the 1990’s I’ll give it to you, but more than half to three quarters will be to customer customers or old prospects. You’ll like the body count but not the results. Let me decide the goal.
Don’t change my compensation plan at mid-year and expect me to suddenly perform. If sales are down and you think changing my comp plan will turn things around, you’re more out of touch than I thought. I will spend a lot of time trying to figure how you are screwing with me.
"If you change my comp plan at mid-year, I will spend a lot of time trying to figure how you are screwing with me."
If you change my comprehension plan so that I will get less compensation per sale, don’t expect me to sell more to make up for it. When this happens I start looking for a new job.
If sales are down and you’re putting pressure on me, my pipeline will start to stretch out and look better. Prospects in the pipeline will not move up and new prospects will start filling in the bottom. I am playing you for time until my lying prospects get honest with me.
"Don’t believe me. The prospects have stopped talking to me, the new ones are weak and I am playing you to avoid being fired until I can find another job or I get lucky and the market place turns."
If sales are down and I’m not making quota and you fire me, you’ll find my pipeline is worthless and I have been playing you along until I can find another job. Don’t blame me, you set up the system and the rules and encourage me to play a game that threatens my self-interest.
Teamwork? The manager keeps talking about team work, but he never considers himself part of the team. Neither does marketing. If we are a team, each team member has something to contribute. Marketing says they’re helping but I don’t see the qualified leads.
After this dump, I think I should look for another job, but there’s no guarantee the new place will be better. Maybe I should just go into marketing or management.