Friday, March 16, 2007

Pride & Prejudice: Or, The Sales Floor Drama

In Sales it's a day by day competition that drives us to excel. If you can't handle that atmosphere, then you're not going to do well in Sales. Some atmospheres (Sales floors) are cut throat, others are more lax, but there will always be competition and numbers don't lie. There's money out there, and you're all vying to be the one to take it. Welcome to the game.

Whenever new people come onto a Sales floor they're immediately in the midst of the crew. It's almost a little unfair to people because the learning curve can be quite steep, but there again it's just the nature of the business. On our particular floor we're rather close knit and more of a team than a gang of thieves looking to stab each other in the back. I guess you could say that's our "corporate culture".

Some people come to our offices and they just blend in rather naturally. This is due in large part to their personalities, professional experiences and ambitions. Other folks, well, they just rub the team the wrong way. I suppose it's the same with any office, really, but in an open air Sales floor such as we have in my office the impact of someone who doesn't keep the hive humming is particularly pronounced.

So, given the already competitive nature of the Sales floor and the particular format we adhere to, there is a level of competition and pride that abounds at our work. Competition to succeed and pride when you do succeed. Part of the pride comes from doing your job well; this means finding the good lead, following up on it, and closing the account. It kind of goes without saying that to not close your own accounts is a little amateurish. It can be expected in newbies, but eventually anyone worth their salt will be able to do it their selves, or they shouldn't be here in the first place. There should still be the sting of lack of accomplishment in that 'victory'.
Pyrrhic at best ...

It's exceedingly taxing on morale in my office when "Sales Professionals" I work with are given full compensation for work they did not see through to completion. OK, so you got a lead, but you didn't close it. You wouldn't be able to close it, and that's why someone else had to step up to the plate for you. I know it's best for the firm, and I can't argue with that logic, but I don't like having to suffer my own defeats while others get paid for what is essentially their lack of ability.

Also, when those same parties gloat in their 'accomplishments' it steams me up even more. Too much pride on my part? Possibly. But, as someone once said: "A man's got to know his limitations." Operative word being man.