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October 12, 2012

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Geoff Anderson

You must have very different sales people than I have ever had. Sadly, while I would like to think that all sales people hit all 5 of these, way too many sales people fall far short.

For example, in your #1, the empathy is a good in theory idea, but one that I rarely see in practice. It is far more common to have sales advocating to give the customer every thing in the "ask" and to not question why.

As a product manager, I often have to get involved, usually after sales tells the senior executive that if we don't add feature Y, we will never make another sale. And almost 100% of the time, it turns out that it was neither a requirement, nor would the customer NOT accept a reasonable workaround.

#5 is a laugher here. They "barely" use our CRM. One of them hasn't sync'd his database in over 4 months (I get to see who connects when). Usually they complain that the tools are too difficult to use, or fear that the tools are in place to just babysit them, neither which is true.

Great post though!

Robert DeRobertis

Thanks Geoff:

I've seen differing skill sets in sales people across industries and across organizations. Some sales people are taxi drivers (take us to the account), some are deal grabbers (focused on a deal and not long term profit), some are lazy and a few are great. As marketers, we need to hunt for the few great sales people and become their buddies.

On item 5, my team developed a tool that resides on the sales person’s computer and is updated when they are online. It keeps all their sales materials up to date. Adoption has been a long road. It was achieved because the VP of Sales and Marketing championed the development of the tool. We are now fine tuning it based on recommendations we get from our best sales people. The great ones use the tool all the time and advocate to the others who trail along.

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