Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sales Motivation

When numbers are down, Sales Managers get angry. That's Sales, and that's working in a Sales position. I understand this.

From time to time we'll get little 'motivational' talks from our manager when the numbers dip below expectations. These typically consist of criticisms of our efforts and/or enthusiasm at the job.

The first one is valid from time to time, and it can easily be charted by comparing the number of dials we've made, the number of leads we've generated, the close ratio et alia. and then you work to rectify the situation by dialing more, working on your pitch and what not.

The second one is more subjective and thus more difficult to pin down. I don't know how to show more enthusiasm at work; would he like me to walk into work with an erection? That's hyperbole, but I think the point is valid. I don't sleep on the job, I get my dialing numbers where they need to be (quantifiable effort indicator), and I do the best I can. I'm typically here before anyone else, and I'm the last one out the door most days.

I guess what it comes down to is that I don't like these little speeches so much. If nothing else they are far from motivational. I understand their purpose, I understand the message and the intended result, but there's only so much we can do. Sometimes people are not willing to talk to you. Sometimes people don't have the money to afford your product. Sometimes your product is not suitable to their needs. You can try to screen these non-buyers out as best you can (and we've been trained to do that), but at some point there's just an economic/market "X factor" that you can't combat.

Often times we'll have this year's performance compared to last year's. I understand the quantitative value of this act, and it makes sense on some level. However, this year is not last year on so many levels (in terms of staff, product, etc.) and thus the comparison is not entirely apt. Beyond that, when you see glaring holes in the logic it makes you take less seriously the message delivered.

Of course, I could be just bitching (check) and finding rationalizations for why my performance is not on par with neither the company's nor my personal expectations (double check).