Are you Helping or Hampering your Sales People?

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If we look at the illustration presented here, you will notice that both rowers are rowing in the opposite direction. Since they both have their backs to each other, they can’t tell what the other rower is doing. All they know is that they both are rowing and thinking that they are helping to row the boat, but they don’t seem to be getting anywhere. The harder they row, the more in place they stay. So, until they both turn around and see why they aren’t making any progress and start communicating with each other, they will wear themselves out and get nowhere.

I see this same analogy being played out in sales organizations across the world. In one rower you have Management comprised of Sales, Product and Marketing and the other rower is made up of sales people.  The sales people are desperately trying to reach their goal and row as hard as they can in one direction, but for some reason they just can’t seem to get there, while the management team seems to have their eyes fixed and rowing in a different direction and, therefore, we have a stalemate.

It has been my experience that rarely does sales management or marketing or product ever get out in the field to have a face-to-face meeting with prospects. Much of what they do is based on their ideas and assumptions of what prospects need and want. This is usually because the channel of communication between these two groups is often non-existent, broken or ignored.

Who better to tell you what is working and what isn’t, with regards to sales training, marketing assets, or new products, than your frontline sales people?  They are the ones who can tell you if the training they receive is helping them, whether the marketing assets are effective and whether the products, that are being produced, are what the customer needs and wants.  Unless the management team recognizes that these frontline people offer great value by providing feedback and their feedback will be valued and not ignored, only then will this help both groups to start rowing in the same direction. That way, the management team will have an effective way to know whether or not they are helping and not hampering their sales people.

At least that’s the way I see it, what say you?

  1. nicholasholland Says: March 18, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Agreed! Moreover, its amazing how IT departments still dictate what tools the sales & marketing teams use. The trend across america is that CMO’s and VP of Sales are increasingly driving tech budgets… yet many managers/C-Levels with no sales/marketing experience still fight this trend.

    If Tech is helping every other part of the business world, then why not sales? Here is a list of my favorite tech tools that are powering the future of sales:

    Managers… get out into the field! Try to use the tools you’ve given your team… and if you won’t/can’t, then at least listen to those that are doing it day in and day out 🙂

  2. ChuckCarey Says: March 19, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Great points Nicholas and thanks for the connection to your list of favorite tech tools. I’m kind of partial to CollaboRate myself, but then I guess I’m just predigest. Those organizations that are a slave to what IT departments dictate don’t control their own destiny.