We know. Everyone hates salespeople. Got it. Thanks for noticing.

So, why do we do it? Why, even, do we like it? Because we know in the deep caverns of your thoughts…when you get up in the morning to go to work…despite your frustration and disdain with the guy who can’t get his paperwork right…you need us. In fact, your career stability depends upon our ability to do our job well.

If there are no sales, there is no business. There are no operations folks. There is no customer service department. Nobody needs to be hired to answer the phone. Heck, you don’t even need a board of directors. In fact, you wouldn’t need anything because a sale was never made.

People who don’t have to prospect and close for a living hate when I point this out. I don’t know why there’s much of an argument about it, but everyone’s livelihood depends on the sales department. That doesn’t mean others aren’t exceptionally good at what they do in their support roles. But, that’s what other departments are in EVERY business…support to sales.

So, why don’t they help instead of chastise? Why do other departments exist in a state of hostile truce with the sales department? Why aren’t they doing everything possible to make their sellers more productive? After all, a rising tide floats all boats, and there is only one department that produces top line revenue in a company, while every other department is simply an expense. If sales thrive, then the accountants may get a raise too. If sales falter, then the engineering department may find itself getting outsourced in a cost cutting move.

Everyone in an organization needs to help feed the beast.

I think part of the problem is that most departments don’t understand what makes salespeople tick. Imagine waking up every day and looking forward to multiple rejections, hostile treatment, and maybe even a scowl when you walk in the room. And yet, most good salespeople love it. “No” doesn’t bother them. Rejection? On to the next. The great salespeople are FORWARD thinkers, independent, and enjoyers of social interaction. They love conversation, autonomy, and the ability to control their own destiny. They never look back because, if they did, they’d get stuck in the mud. So, the next time your Territory Manager fills out his expense report incorrectly or forgets to enter something in CRM, reflect on why this happens. They can’t worry about the minutia…there’s another deal to close. And for your own job security, you better hope they’re successful.

I do not intend to pick on operations, customer service, finance, or service. I agree that without those departments, a business would struggle mightily. They are the detail people. They make sure the train runs on time. They look BACKWARD to make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. Unfortunately, it’s for those exact reasons that they could never be in sales. A “no” would devastate them, because that would imply that they did something incorrectly, which would be an impossibility in their minds. They need to follow rules and protocols, and do it perfectly. Patience and exactness is a virtue in that world, but unfortunately…patient salespeople have skinny kids.

True sales organizations grow in any and every economy. Instead of getting frustrated with the people that “carry the bag” in your company:

1. Involve every department in the sales process. Give them a role. Can they bird-dog leads? Can they upsell when they have a customer on the phone? Can they be involved if a salesperson brings in a prospect for a company tour?
2. Provide support. Take the burden of CRM entry, expense reports, and contract fulfillment off of the people you need to be spending their time talking to prospective customers. Hiring someone to do data entry is not an expensive proposition, and it frees your salespeople up to do what they do best (and it isn’t paperwork).
3. Produce as many leads as you can for them. What does your marketing department do to help customers find your company? Do you have departments sending out emails and letters? Trust me, after a day of knocking on doors, there is nothing more thrilling than getting a qualified lead.

When everyone in a company takes ownership of sales, participates in the process, and supports revenue generation…GROWTH happens. You hit your quota, and everyone succeeds. How are you helping to feed the beast?

Author's Bio: 

Dave Eisley has been in management for 15+ years and has recruited, managed, and trained hundreds of salespeople. Through this experience he has learned what works, and more importantly, what doesn't.