Sales Management Blindness

So there I was, grabbing a cheeky spot of late lunch in a sandwich chain store near Piccadilly.  In the area reserved for seating, I plonked myself down, took the weight off my feet and tucked into my barely warmed up fuel.  I soon became aware that everyone else around was like me, on their own grabbing a quick bite before rushing to their next engagement.  Everyone, that is, except for the Dublin-accented lady for whom I dare say life was just beginning.

For whatever reason she was holed up, it became apparent that she decided to call up all those that she evidently sales-managed.  Her mission was to remind them of their upcoming “PDR”.  These were to be held mid-December, so almost a month from now.  In case you’re wondering, when one of her charges asked the same thing, she responded “your Personal Development Review, darling”.

I sat fairly close to her, and in the brief few minutes I was within earshot, it was crystal clear to me that no-one was particularly enamoured to receive such a call.  Phrases like “have you done your homework” peppered her chat.  This review was a few weeks off and of obvious importance to the Manager.  But why the need to make calls specifically about it?  Everyone should have a formalised annual review of some sort, but why make a point of phoning in the middle of the day to remind people?  Email can indeed be suffocating, but surely the format and dates can be arranged better that way?  Likewise expectations can be set forth (for both parties) at a previous sales meeting or one-to-one meeting?

It’s difficult to see what she was hoping to achieve with this approach.

My experience of sales management (from both sides of the divide of course) demonstrate to me without any doubt whatsoever, that process- and deal-management are two separate disciplines.  The former should take place offline at specific times, the latter during the day as a constant.

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