John R. Treace has over 30 years experience as a sales executive in the medical products industry. He spent over 10 years specializing in the restructuring of sales departments of companies that were either bankrupt or failing. Investor groups and venture capital firms hired him to manage turnarounds of pre-IPO companies. In 2010, he founded JR Treace & Associates, a sales management consulting business. Treace is the author of Nuts & Bolts of Sales Management: How to Build a High-Velocity Sales Organization.
I have been part of many business turnarounds in my career, and in all situations I have noted the errors consistently made by sales management, all of which negatively impact team morale and sales. Here are seven of the deadly sins of sales management.
1. Conflicts with Marketing
We have all heard of the traditional conflict between sales and marketing. The sales team says the product is priced too high or not what the customer wants, or that the marketing programs are ineffective. Marketing may say the sales force is not well trained, too small, ineffective, or a myriad of other complaints. Sometimes these are valid complaints, and good management will identify and address them. But if they are not valid, or if they are merely excuses for poor performance, it is imperative that management recognize this situation. There is nothing worse than having the sales and marketing departments at each other's throats. This is a formula for business failure, and powerful management will work to create collaboration and understanding between the two groups.