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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Sales Management

John Treace
Friday, October 7, 2011
John Treace
We 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 aren’t 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.

I was once employed to affect a business turnaround in an organization that had conflicted sales and marketing departments. Since the overall corporate sales results were lacking, both groups blamed the other for the failure. Prior management was unable to fix the situation, and the blame game expanded to serious interdepartmental conflict. To overcome this situation, we employed a consultant skilled in strategic planning processes and team-building. We conducted a two-day offsite meeting designed to bring the sales and marketing groups together and show them they must function as a team for success. As a result, the relationship evolved so that if marketing was late introducing a new product, sales management would pick up the slack with promotions on existing products. Conversely, if sales anticipated a tough quarter, marketing would work to release a new product ahead of schedule. Teamwork between sales and marketing isn’t a “sometimes” thing; it is critical to the success of a high-velocity organization.

2. Poor People Management


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