For almost 30 years, I’ve been working with sales representatives in many industries. They are outgoing, congenial people who realize that they are entrepreneurs and can take control of their success. They are also “thick-skinned” due to the high amount of rejection they receive from customers. Customers can be a source of anger, but that’s just part of the game. What makes them mad is how their company treats them. You know the company that shouts “We have to teamwork” in sales meetings. Here are four ways that a company can make its sales reps angry – which can reduce morale, teamwork, and profits – and how you can stop it.
1) Pay them on Time:
Companies don’t have to pay their employees on time. Your customers should pay their bills on time. All employees, including those in the C-suite, expect to receive their wages on time. Why would you think it is wrong to pay the people who “bring home the bacon” in order for the company’s entire workforce to be paid on schedule? It’s easy to stop it. Ask your reps if they are having trouble getting paid. There is no excuse.
2) Play with Their Territory:
Sales managers enjoy rearranging territories as if they were their personal serfdom. While adjustments may be necessary if specific reps aren’t pulling their weight, many times, it is done just to “shakeup,” which is absurd. Because all sales are built on relationships, it is impossible to build a relationship if the rules keep changing. It’s possible to stop it by allowing your sales reps to develop their relationships, with the exception of low-performing reps.
3) Provide Little or No Support:
Sales reps go out and do their job. Then, they transfer responsibility to fulfill the order or maintain customer satisfaction. Who is responsible if support fails to perform their job? Sales reps. Who loses a sale? Sales reps. Who fails to meet their targets? Sales reps are not at fault. Many agents told me that they push teamwork down their throats but then tolerate the lack of cooperation and do nothing about it. It’s possible to stop it by talking to your reps to find the weak links in the support chain and fixing them. Again, no excuses.
4) Overburden with Paperwork:
The bottom line is that adding too much paperwork to a rep’s job can slow them down. Some of the paperwork reps were required to complete was not understandable. It is also important to note that if the person who receives the paperwork, a non-commissioned employee, loses it, all correspondence must be resent. Wasted time equals lost sales which in turn leads to lower productivity and lower profits. Your company’s heart is made up of salespeople. If you block the flow of information to that heart with unnecessary paperwork, it can kill your company. How to stop it? Reduce paperwork so reps can do the job they were hired to do: Sell, not fill out endless paperwork.
These are the top four ways to anger reps. Sales managers and executives can start taking steps to stop this behavior.