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SPIF Tip #35: A Wake Up Call for Senior Management

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Piyush Saggi is the co-founder

and CEO of a promising startup in Atlanta called SalesTing. He interviewed a seasoned enterprise sales rep in a recent LinkedIn post “Confessions of an Enterprise Sales Rep.”

Some of what the rep said was priceless:

Piyush: What % of your leads come from Marketing?

Rep: Tough to answer that. Probably not much. Every now and then they'll send me someone's contact info as a "lead" if that person attended a webinar but I'm usually already engaged at that company.

Piyush: Have you ever shared this with your Marketing team?

Rep: Common, man. I don't want to be the jerk who'll tell them this. Live and let live.

Piyush: How much do you like your CRM?

Rep: As much as I like going through TSA at the airport. CRM is for management, not reps. I know what I do and I don't think I have amnesia that I need to record everything I do in CRM. CRM is for management to spend their days running reports.

Piyush: You seem a little perked up with this question?

Rep: Yeah. We just had a call where we were told that we really need to put everything in CRM as the business is suffering. I don't understand that. I'm the one working on deals. Business suffers when a deal doesn't move. I think CRM is just a way for management to spend their days. I guess they need to stay busy, after all.

When I saw this I left a comment on this immediately:

WELL DONE PIYUSH!

I experienced similar things as a salesperson years ago. Interviews with dozens of sales reps since confirm the same thing:

Most senior executives are not interested in solving the problems salespeople face. They are interested in “results.” Their mindset is functional. “If the sales department fails to make its numbers, there must be a problem in the sales department.”

They might see immediate causes and effects of sales training and coaching. They know some things are outside the sales department's control.

Yet the causes and effects of "marketing," or "process improvement" seem foreign and nebulous. It requires measuring and improving how work is done across departments.

That is called systems thinking. It is not part of their job. As a result, they continue to manage Soviet-style … nothing ever changes.

What do you think about this? Have you seen this too?

Michael

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