Sales Management Training | How to Gripe Without Losing Your Job

April 17th, 2012

sales managment training mistakes

We love talking about sales management training mistakes.

I’m not sure why, but humans seems to love to rubberneck at car crashes, revel in the latest scandals and watch gladiator matches.

Well, maybe not the last one…

I have no idea why this really occurs.

I do have a theory however.

My theory is its because when we watch these things on TV or read about them in the newspaper, we gain comfort in the fact that it’s not us who is doing the screwing up…it’s someone else’s problem.

Someone once told me that this is the reason why The Jerry Springer Show is so popular.

Because when we watch the car crashes that happen on that show we say to ourselves:

“Hmm, I guess my life really is pretty good after all…at least I’m not like THAT guy!”

I think they’re right.

Sales Management Training on Mistakes

Here we have long been advocates of telling sales management professionals what NOT to do when they are managing their salespeople including:

I guess, we’re just like everyone else in that its good to write about what NOT to do.

It feels kind of…safe.

But one of the biggest sales management mistakes a sales manager can make is griping to his salespeople about how bad things are…especially when he knows exactly how bad things are.

Get a bunch of salespeople in a group, perhaps a sales meeting and just listen to the how they talk to each other.

They gripe.

Get a bunch of sales managers in a room together and you’ll see the same thing happen.

They gripe just as much…

So if you are a sales management professional, how are you supposed to gripe without alienating and demotivating your sales people in the process?

That’s easy.

Here’s a short video clip on how to gripe without losing your sales management job… But at the same time keeping your sales team focused on the task at hand, no matter how grisly or ugly it may be.

YouTube Preview Image

Where to Use This Sales Management Training Griping Technique

The ability to gripe without losing your job is certainly a lost’s not that we have few opportunities to gripe, as a sales manager, you have plenty of opportunity to gripe…it’s just that no one will listen to you.

You’re sales, there are no excuses, right?

Here is a partial list of where you can use this griping strategy from the video above:

  • Upper management just doubled your quarterly quota without telling you
  • Operations just blocked your last sale because they can’t take on additional personnel.
  • Finance to shut down your proposal because the profit margin was 28% instead of 31% as required by corporate policy.
  • You just lost two salespeople to the competition but management will only let you hire one to replace them.
  • You just landed the largest account of your sales management career and the guys in processing forgot to ship the order and it sat on a courier’s desk for over a week
  • Your travel expenses budget was just cut by two thirds for the last half of 2012 and you have five overnights coming just in the next two weeks.
  • Seven of your 10 salespeople missed their quota last month by greater than 20% and hopes look dim for covering this month.
  • Your best sales rep just left to work for the competition.
  • Upper management just rolled out the fourth “initiative” of the quarter and nominated you to spearhead the charge.
  • Finance just told you to cut off your second-largest account from any further sales because they are over 90 days due.

Of course, this is only a partial list. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of other opportunities to use these sales management griping strategies.

Whatever you do though, don’t gripe in front of your salespeople. If you do, pose a hypothetical scenario by Capt. Miller does in the above video…

Remember, gripes go up.

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2 Responses to “Sales Management Training | How to Gripe Without Losing Your Job”

  1. Bob says:

    Love the saving private ryan video! Gripes do go up or all the way to the CEO.

  2. Ralph says:

    Best management movie ever for sure….not to mention one of the best MOVIES of all time.

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