Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Eight easy ways to demotivate your sales staff

Often over the years I've heard managers say that managing salespersons is like managing racehorses - they might be good performers, but they're a little skittish and temperamental. I'm not sure that I completely agree with that assessment, but if you want to see just how skittish and temperamental your salespersons can be, try one of the strategies below:
  1. Hire them and send them right out into the field. Don't want to waste time with too much product detail - after all, it's not their job to make it, only to get somebody to buy it.
  2. Make sure they aren't weighed down by piles of marketing material to take into the field. What do prospects need - for them to draw a picture?
  3. Let them find their own leads. What do they think you are - the Library of Congress??
  4. Pay them all the same. Wouldn't want to show favoritism, because they're all putting in the time, regardless of how much revenue they produce.
  5. Yammer at them about how they need to make more sales calls, then bury them in sales reporting requirements.
  6. Give them lots of territory - so much that they spend 80% of their week in a car or on a plane.
  7. When their territory starts to bloat their commission checks cut the territory into several pieces and distribute it among several people. If they're an outstanding performer give them the opportunity to start over several times so they can feel the thrill of accomplishment.
  8. Mess up the fulfillment of their customers' orders. You have the options of late delivery, partial shipments, rude service, or poor quality. You will have extra impact if it's the first order from this customer.

If you've found an effective way to start the pain train for your sales staff, send us a note. We are always looking for new ideas and would love to hear from you.


Brad Shorr said...

You've picked out some real gems! Amazingly, companies repeat these errors time and time again. (Found your post on the Problogger killer title project.)

Jen Travers said...

I also found your blog via Problogger. I don't even have a sales staff, but your title was very eye-catching, so I had to take a look. The post itself was also very interesting and had helpful ideas. Good luck!

Andrea said...

This gave me a giggle as I've experienced almost all of these (except for the bloated territory one - never lasted that long).

loringparks said...

As someone who's worked in corporate America, I think I've probably witnessed or experienced most of these mistakes - mmm and probably made a few myself!

Laurie, Owner of Halo Secretarial Services said...

I found you through Problogger too! Perfect examples of company stupidity. It never ceases to amaze me how those in charge make mistakes that would make them quit if role reversals happened!

Admin said...

Hi Julie,

A very good article - I found it through Problogger.net! I was is the sales (and still am, but from a different perspective) for 8 years and what you've said is true.

How can I get in touch with you in order to translate and publish this article in Bulgarian language in the leading Bulgarian blog www.NovaVizia.com, with your picture, author name, bio section and links to your blog?

I was not able to find any e-mail contacts, this is why I am asking directly here.

Julie Poland, certified business coach said...

Thanks for all of your comments, everyone. I always like to hear from someone new. Admin, you can email me at summitjulie@gmail.com if you'd like to discuss the translation issue.

milf said...
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