Every day I talk to sales managers, directors and vice presidents about their teams. We talk through their administrative and workflow pains and I tell them how Prialto can help. We offer value in a number of ways, but one of our value props often, too often in my opinion, sends the conversation down a confounding path.
By taking administrative processes and workflows off the plate of their salespeople, Prialto gives those salespeople additional hours in the day to focus on other key, high-touch tasks, not the least of which is selling. The confounding part of the conversation comes after I explain how we do that and it usually goes something like this:
“Look, this sounds great, but if I gave my sales reps more time, they would probably just spend it on the golf course or head home early.”
It’s a disheartening sentiment on a number of levels. And I’m not even going to spend time on the fact that it’s been proven again (New York Times) and again (Forbes) and again (The Economist) that working less actually makes you more productive (and I’ll just barely reference the fact that A LOT of business gets done on the golf course!). No, I want to focus on the fact that, when presented with the opportunity to save sales reps time, like more than 12 hours a week worth of time… some management-types will question whether or not their reps will make good use of that time.
Why is that? Two thoughts come to mind;
1. Salespeople tend to be a social bunch. Imagine you’re an executive and your path from say, a conference room you frequent, to your office takes you by the engineering team and then the sales team. The engineering team is plugged into their computers and perhaps literally, hacking away. The sales team is loud, chatting with one another, around each other’s computers and lazily lounging on the office furniture.
Does that sound like a sweeping generalization of Sales teams AND Engineering teams? It is! Sales teams, good ones are just as focused as engineering teams. Even the sentiment that salespeople tend to be an overly social bunch is not really true for “good salespeople.” Which leads me to believe the real reason people say this is…
2. Salespeople are on the front lines of blame when things aren’t going well for a company. Now before you jump all over me to say, “when things are going well, sales people are greatly rewarded,” I would like to say I agree with you.
However, rarely, if ever, has a management-level person admitted, when revenue is down or stagnating that their product simply has issues. No, the first people to blame are the ones who are supposedly, directly responsible for bringing that revenue in the door. And that seems a little unfair.
The title of this post, “do you hate your salespeople?” is obviously supposed to be provocative So “hate” is probably hyperbolic, but at the very least, when expressing such a sentiment you can safely assume that these managers who don’t believe their people are worth saving time for simply lack a certain degree of respect for their sales teams.