2002 Comments for the VP of Sales

By Pragmatic Institute April 27, 2007

  • Adequately training our sales people requires more time than just a one hour webcast.  Could we please have some kind of sales training bootcamp?

  • Adjust strategy and don't throw good money after bad to save executive face.

  • Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

  • All of our lives would be easier if sales reps would take the time to learn the tools and processes that have been created to assist them.

  • Allow marketing more access to customers.

  • Always go into a customer with the view that they will be a reference.

  • Back off and let marketing do its job

  • Be a leader

  • Be a model!

  • Be consistent and knowledgable of what features you want. It causes R&D/Production great difficulty that Sales keeps changing its mind on its priorities and release dates.

  • be firm with prices, and don't offer such high discounts

  • Be less tool focused and more solution focused!

  • Be more accessible.

  • Be more daring. Be customer oriented not only shareholder oriented.

  • Be more particular about who we do business with.  Educate, then target the companies who want to do business with us.  Establish a one-to-one relationship by doing whatever it takes to make them our customer.

  • Be more proactive and strategic rather than reactive in our operations

  • Be more responsive: return my phone calls and emails in a timely manner.  When you ask for something with a deadline the least you can do is give me the respect and read it!

  • Be realistic about delivery dates, and revenue forecasts.

  • Become knowledgeable about product management

  • become more externally focused, i.e. start working on the business versus in the business.

  • Being that you've now proven our suspicions that you're incompetent and care only about today's sales, what exactly do you think we will be doing in a year, other than looking for new employment?

  • Believe what the market is telling you, not just your sales people.

  • Better leadership of sales team.

  • Broaden the customer base, work harder and smarter.

  • Budgets have been slashed to the point that we can no longer do decent research in our effort to collect requirements. No wonder our new products are missing the mark and our old products are failing to evolve as they should.

  • Business Development team should really be one level higher in the organization (at the same level than 'Sales' and 'Consulting/R&D', not included in S&M).

  • Can you show up every once in a while and let us know what's going on with our customer relationships since we're not allowed to call/visit any customer.

  • Carry a specific number for my product and get some SC specialists that line up with that number!

  • Change from a financially driven company to a market driven company

  • change pricing

  • Clearly articulate and drive the entire org (not just marketing) toward a strategy that goes beyond the generalilties of a mission statement.

  • Commit yourself to the product plan

  • COMMUNICATE--when out there selling, make sure to include Product Management so things aren't promised that we can't deliver upon, or that end up costing more money to create than the revenue gained.

  • communicate the reorgs in a timely manner

  • Communicate your plans more clearly and more often.

  • Concentrate on selling, and leave the minute details of the marketing and product management to me--the time you spend worrying about these details will not translate into sales.

  • Concentrate on your own team's performance

  • Conduct market research with real customers or prospects before deciding to build the next 'gee-whiz' application/feature.

  • congratulations on your promotion.

  • Consider the value of multiple channels and that of a product line

  • Considering past product management, appreciate the expertise in these current roles-you have the best people-support and respect their experience.

  • Consistency begets consistency which begets success.

  • consult with me before promising we can deliver

  • Create a long-term strategy

  • Create separate quotas for separate product lines.

  • Cross-train your team.

  • Customers are just as important as internal development teams.

  • Cut our sales force in half TODAY by eliminating the money-grubbing account reps who know nothing about customer relationships!

  • Define my role more clearly and then let me do my job

  • Demand better training and validation from marketing before sending sales people into the killing field of go-nowhere 'solutions.'

  • Demand that your sales team take responsibility for their own education.

  • Determine a strategy and stick with it instead of chasing every deal good or bad, small or large.

  • Distill the messages you want to send me.  Don't have every rep call me with their thoughts. I am as busy as you are.

  • Do less better!

  • Do the right thing for the company and put a gun in your mouth.

  • Do we understand why we are trying to sell into particular markets and what gaps exist in relation to our product offering

  • do what you say, not what you preach

  • do you know the difference between management and leadership?

  • Do you know where the market is going?

  • do your job--not marketing's job!

  • Does not take advantage of tools available to him.

  • Doesn't fully understand the product potential internally and externally to the business

  • doesn't understand that the PMs' constant hand holding of sales is taking away from critical research and development time.

  • Don't be so afraid to let me visit your customers

  • don't be such a prick

  • don't change strategy on a whim!

  • Don't confuse sales with installation--refocus your customers questions.

  • Don't ignore the obvious in hopes that it will just go away because you want it to.

  • Don't just talk to us about how 'bad' we're doing our jobs.  At least give us some credit for the stuff that you think we're doing right and show us some appreciation.  It's always bad comments that we get from you--not the great things that you're seeing.

  • Don't let guys that don't know the product talk to potential customers.

  • Don't let your sales force give in to price so early

  • Don't make promises that I have to keep!

  • Don't micro-manage & don't put customer support issues as a higher priority over new development without at least discussing the priorities/business case/revenue opportunities first.

  • Don't micro-manage.

  • Don't promise a new feature and time frame without consulting PMs. It creates long term problems

  • Don't promise the customer functionality we don't have yet.

  • Don't promise what we can't deliver.

  • Don't promise work that is not currently in scope for the next release.

  • Don't sell features that we don't provide without asking development!!!

  • Don't sell features.

  • Don't sell futures!!

  • Don't sell vapor ware and expect implementations to be able to meet the sale agreements.

  • Don't shoot the messenger!

  • Don't try to do his own copy writing and advertising layout.

  • Empower business development managers (kind of equivalent to Marketing Program Manager in your terminology)- and not only on paper-

  • engage in more solutions conversations, not technical

  • Executive leadership needs to be consistent. Different departments are not always in synch.

  • Existing customer satisfaction is important and should be factored into any upcoming release.  Driving releases by market needs alone is short-sighted.  Existing customers are our best references.

  • Finish what you start

  • Fire him, hire someone who gets it and doesn't whine like a 2 year old.

  • Fire the incompetents. Keep the team focused.

  • First learn to sell what we HAVE--stop selling what we don't.

  • fix the comp plan

  • Fix the demo--we work hard on producing quality software and the demo does nothing to show off our competitive differentiators.

  • Focus on both top line and bottom line

  • Focus on selling and turn programs, events and similar MarComm activities over to the Marketing group.

  • Focus on selling my products!

  • Focus on the customers needs and not just current sales opportunities.

  • Focus on the customers' needs, not on keeping your job!

  • Focus on the plan and work the plan

  • Focus on the Real Deals

  • Focus the Field on selling value, not on discounting to win business

  • Focus!!

  • focus, focus, focus, ...

  • Follow the guidance product mgmt is providing--we have proven we can help you with major customer opportunities... stop encouraging the internal competition/politics within our (downsizing) company!

  • Follow the leads I gave you. Follow the big projects now!

  • Follow the product strategy. It works.

  • From study to practice

  • future product releases.

  • gain credibility by spending time out of the office with customers, prospects and evaluators.

  • Get a clue

  • Get a clue!

  • Get a clue.

  • Get a great contact management tool and share info! Let Marketing go with sales to be flies on the wall!

  • Get a mitt and get in the game

  • get connected into corporate strategy

  • Get f******d!

  • Get focused and stay on strategy, the knee jerk reactive mode we are in is costing us value in the long run.

  • Get involved or get out

  • Get me a bigger budget, and I'll get you a better product!

  • get me on a bonus plan

  • Get more involved, be more inclusive of everyone on the team.

  • Get more technical

  • Get off your ass and start selling the product!  Why does everyone do all the work for you and you get the commission.  Closer my ass!  Learn how to use the computer.

  • Get off your ego and help our departments work together in unison.

  • Get on board!

  • Get out of my way and think it through.

  • Get product management more involved with the end customer.

  • Get rid of our senior mgmt.

  • Get rid of the wrong people

  • Get sales people who think they need to understand our products to sell them!

  • Get someone who can actually learn what our products do and then help our customers apply them.

  • Get the sales force to use the tools at their disposal. Sell what you have, don't whine about what you don't have!

  • Get to know my product

  • Get to know our products & increase the professionalism of our sales presence.

  • Get us out of the technical day to day grind with development.  We are not project managers

  • Get with the program!

  • Get your head out of your ass!

  • Get your people trained so I don't have to do so many demos.

  • Get your sales people to read the materials we give them.

  • Get your shit together

  • Give me a budget of my own

  • Give me a channel manager and a good marcom person so I can focus on more strategic activities such as prospect, market, industry and  competitive research for unsolved problems and business opportunities

  • Give me a clear direction.

  • Give me an educated and competent sales force to work with so i can move from tactical to strategic task

  • Give me focus of the channel to sell--and allow me to focus on strategic vs. tactical.

  • Give me more money!

  • Give the sales force more technical training so they can understand how our products solve customer problems.

  • give us a budget, and let us build the funnel for you.

  • Give us a sales projection by product/product line.

  • Give us more business use cases for use in staying ahead,

  • go ahead and commit more specialized sales resources for the most successful products, including ours, regardless of the internal political conflict, simply because it is working

  • Go get em...  And I need a forecast too...

  • Go prospecting

  • Good for business

  • Good job

  • good job

  • Good job selling what we have!

  • Great Job!

  • Great Job!!!

  • Great job.

  • greedy

  • Has an incredible way with customer relationships.  Leaves the product knowledge to us.

  • Have a plan, have a strategy

  • Have confidence in me to run with a project and not micro manage me.

  • Have some balls.

  • Have the sales people be more tactical in their selling efforts

  • He is dynamic, a great salesman, and a hard worker.

  • He lets others do his dirty work.

  • He needs to communicate with the group a little more.

  • He needs to decide what products are important to his organization and make that decision known.

  • He needs to organize events/plans by more than 21 days.

  • He should take product costs into more consideration during the sales cycle.

  • Help me develop and implement more sound processes & procedures, training for our marketing/product managers (self-included), and mean of working smarter instead of harder.

  • Help me help you.

  • Help me hold the line with the CEO to place quality over the 'latest thing'.  My VP of Sales is actually very good on this, but it is our primary task sometimes it seems.

  • Help me keep panic from spreading in the sales force around new licensing plans

  • Help us make the pitch for the value of your classes so that we can get our attendance funded.

  • Help your sales reps focus on selling, not on paperwork!

  • He's a good guy, but the sales reps whine too much about insignificant features (which no one uses anyways) that aren't in our product but are in a competitor's product...

  • He's has a case of whiplash requirements and changes his mind constantly

  • He's shortsighted, doesn't often act in the best interest of the company, and powered solely by compensation opportunity.  Unfortunately as well, comp is determined by sales and an ex-sales guy runs the company...

  • Hire a Sales force that really knows how to sell Software, independent of our hardware product offerings.

  • Hire intelligent / skilled personnel that know the technology and can sell, not just take orders.

  • hire more enterprise sales staff for our product line..

  • Hire more sales support staff (systems engineers, reps, etc.) with industry experience

  • Hire sales people that sale value through understanding the consumer problems......

  • Hire sales people who know how to create presentations and develop sales strategies.

  • Hire sales staff with extensive sales expertise.

  • Hire some 'hunter sales people!'  Our sales people ONLY sell to existing customers!!

  • His group works wonders with clients. Would like to see what they can do with Prospects!

  • Hoards information too much.

  • Hold people accountable and don't be afraid to make big personnel changes in your organization

  • Hold the line on discounting, and discipline those who make false statements about product capabilities.

  • How about a talent upgrade?

  • how can i better serve your reps (what tools are most effective)

  • How can there be true Teamwork when Sales is always King?

  • How can we get aligned across Sales, Marketing, & Product Management?

  • How much do YOU make?'?

  • how's your job search coming? Any crumbs you can toss this way?

  • I am capable of more that you allow me to be.

  • I am not a sales support person.

  • I am not here for sales support. I'm supposed to be working on product.

  • I am not talking with customers and that is a problem

  • I can give you a quality product or I can give you one today, which do you want?

  • I can say anything to him.

  • I can say just about anything to my VP sales, without reprisals

  • I have a great, open relationship with my Sales VP.  Anything I've ever wanted to say, I have already.

  • I have an open relationship with my VP of Sales and do not fear reprisal generally as we report to different managers who are peers w/in the organization

  • I need a budget.

  • I need better forecasting.

  • I need more of your time so we can talk about issues.

  • I need to get out of the office more and be in front of Customers!!!

  • I need to know about all prospects

  • I talk with him every day as a peer as I do with the President so there is no fear...and the question is, are we prepared to stick with our customer-driven strategic development priorities or allow them to be constantly altered by customer-driven situational sales priorities related to quarterly revenue targets?...this is our constant dilemma.

  • I think he is doing a great job.

  • I wish Sales took the time (and bothered) to learn about the product they are supposed to be trying to sell!

  • I wish the sales people would read the positioning documents I produce.

  • I wish we had one.

  • I wish you would involve me earlier in strategic decisions. My team is always brought in after the fact, if at all.

  • I wish you would make your vision more clear to me and the rest of the team.

  • I work too many hours, don't have enough internal support, and would like for you to read the gads of information that is available to you to sell these products. I am not 1-800-sales support. BUT, if I got a percentage of the commissioned, I might be :-)

  • I'd ask him for the best way to reach the sales people with my message.

  • If a tree falls in the forest ... make sure that I'm aware of sales activity.

  • If i get you to the CIO and he nods based on our pitch, but your team doesn't close it, it is a sales issue.

  • if it's not in the development cycle don't sell it--sell what we have instead

  • If something isn't working to promote the product, inform marketing.  Don't try to address the problem on your own.

  • If we expect to succeed in the future, then the Sales department needs to get routine discounting and the amount of discounting under control.

  • If you change our job descriptions and responsibilities without communicating it to the rest of the Marketing team, nothing will change except our stress level.

  • If you make a decision stick with it, make adjustments when necessary. Stop waiting to make everyone happy

  • If you make your sales people read content we produce on the product and competition, we wouldn't have to constantly baby-sit them when they meet with customers and prospects.

  • If you sell what we have now, we can do a better job of developing what you need to sell next.  Don't sell what you think we need next.

  • If your sales force really wants to know what's going on with the product, tell them to shut up and listen.

  • I'm not sales support.

  • Improve communications between the field and corporate

  • Improvements to project evaluation are needed, in regards to resources and prioritization.

  • Incent your sales staff to support marketing activities, such as loss analysis, responding requests to get info on sales challenges (product related)

  • Incentivize Sales to learn more about my products and do more than take orders

  • Increase my base or I'm outa here.

  • Increase sales of additional products to existing customers

  • Integrity is key to successful long-term customer relationships.

  • Internal customer service is important to the support of our customers.  We are failing in this area.

  • It is time to hold all Product Managers accountable for writing realistic business cases and understanding P&L implications.

  • It is your responsibility (not mine) to hold your sales people accountable for reaching the targeted customers.

  • it would be nice to have one :-)

  • It's our fault you can't sell more because the product doesn't work. It's development's fault for not working 'with' me, rather, 'against' me when I try to communicate my customer requirements. [I wonder when development will realize that we must make products that SELL].

  • Keep fighting for a market-driven strategy.

  • Keep it simple--don't overdo the processes and metrics because they are taking more time than the execution.

  • Keep learning about Marketing...

  • keep me in the loop!!!

  • Keep me in the Loop...

  • Keep the squeaky wheels within your sales force under control

  • Keep up the great job.

  • Keeping salespeople's morale 'high' by keeping them uninformed of what our product really can and cannot do makes absolutely no sense to me.

  • Know more about problems and how our product solves those problems.

  • Know what you promise.

  • Know your customer.

  • Know your customer's needs and requirements.

  • Know your products

  • learn how to do your well job so that i don't feel the need to do it for you

  • Learn how to make decisions and communicate

  • Learn how to position the product and stop asking for more competitive analysis information

  • Learn how to sell the products we have rather than custom 'one-offs' for customers

  • Learn the company products and understand how they can be used in more than on situation

  • Learn the product better and understand the value proposition

  • Learn the product.

  • Learn the products, know the business we sell to, and be tactfully aggressive.

  • learn the products.

  • Learn to demonstrate the product without my help. Then I will be able to focus on Product Marketing more and make your job easier.

  • Learn to read. Teach your people to read.

  • Learn to sell value, not price

  • Leave my stuff alone

  • Leave.

  • Less is more. Embrace white space!

  • Let Marketing do what it is designed to.  Not sales support.  We are a strategic organization, not just tactical.

  • Let me develop a long term roadmap and stick to it.

  • let me do my job

  • Let me do my job, and stop interfering. The area I work in is not an area that the corporation understands. Trust in my judgment, I know what I am talking about.

  • LET ME TALK TO THE CUSTOMERS!!!!

  • Let product management train your people on proper messaging for clients, we do know them better than you think.

  • Let us focus on the market needs, not just your 'latest deal'. Listen more and talk less.

  • Let's analyze the information and make a plan.  Let's follow the plan for more than a week before we change it again.

  • Let's be more careful on qualification so we minimize over promising and then under delivering.

  • Let's collaborate more between sales and marketing and be customer driven together.

  • Let's communicate more.

  • Let's create a product hierarchy that clarifies how our different offerings work together.

  • Let's focus on selling and not politics.

  • Let's get some go getters on this sales team & hit some numbers!

  • Lets make sure our people negotiate better with the customers/prospects.

  • Let's put together a solid sales script and demo script so the idiots that you have working for you might be able to present to a customer and get it right.

  • let's work together--in synch.

  • Lighten Up

  • Listen and communication are the keys--you don't need more tools; you need to work with the ones you currently have more effectively!

  • Listen to both existing customers and prospects.  Retention (references) is just as important as expansion.

  • Listen to marketing.

  • Listen to what the field is telling you!

  • Listen to your customers

  • Listen to your employees they have the best insight into customer needs.

  • Long range strategic plans

  • lose the ego and focus on the market and what's happening

  • Make a decision and stick with it.

  • Make a decision!

  • Make a decision. Right or wrong, make a decision. Indecision kills innovation, leads to demotivation and eventually a lack of market share

  • Make all your sales people do the demo exactly as I do it and your sales will increase.

  • Make big changes incrementally--and pilot big technology changes with 1 product to test the market before betting the company.

  • Make sales goals more realistic.

  • Make sure sales people really follow business plans by product/solutions/business areas !

  • Make sure that you are getting me involved at the right time in the sales process

  • Make sure you understand the limitations and capabilities we're committing to the customers in our products. Don't expect delivery dates to synch with incentive plans, especially where product development entails discovery.

  • Make sure your people attend product training sessions

  • Make sure your Sales team keep us current re what their needs are and when we organize training, make sure they all attend

  • Make up your mind!

  • Manage a customer's long term relationship based on their business model and not by our quarterly goals

  • Manage your sales team, be concerned with profit, New channels do not equal new products

  • Manage, don't just supervise. Care about what's important, not about what's urgent. Address key problems, not just little ones.

  • market share or profitability.  pick one.

  • Marketing is not only sales support for current pipeline.  We are looking at FY 04 and beyond already.

  • minimize the product license discounts

  • More access to data so we can measure results

  • More communication please.

  • more customer focus

  • Most of the technical product and application training that I give to the sales reps is wasted.  In general, they don't really understand the application of some of our products.  There are a few sales reps who really dig in and understand, but most aren't willing to do their own homework to really learn the applications.  I'm tired of hearing the sales reps complain 'we need more training!' or 'we need more tools!', when they're not effectively using what they've already been given.  I do the best I can, but who has the time or budget in this business environment to sit around dreaming up training topics and producing sales tools!

  • Motivate me more!

  • motivate your reps more to spend more time selling

  • My job is boring.

  • My salary does not reflect what I do and as such I have begun to take a very slack attitude to my job (ie. surf the net). There has not been any incentive for me to be more productive. The only thing keeping me at this job is the bad job market in my area.

  • My VP of Sales depends on me saying anything I want without fear of reprisal

  • Need a field sales team

  • Need more resources to cover all areas of the business

  • Need more time and resources for career development and technical improvement.

  • need to be more than a one-product company

  • Need to better engage with a prospect to determine their needs and map them to a solution not a product.

  • Need to cut down on the large discounts, especially at the end of a quarter.  Why do you believe that our product is LESS valuable at the end of a quarter?

  • Need to focus on target markets

  • Need to pay me more money.

  • needs to be more in touch with reality

  • No longer discount the daily billing rate!

  • No more fire drills.

  • No plan, no execution.

  • no risk no gain

  • Non US money might not be green, but we still want it!

  • Not every transaction needs to be an exception.  If you want us to provide pertinent data analysis, we need the consistent raw data to analyze.  Garbage in, garbage out.

  • Not everyone has the same unrealistic expectations as you.

  • Nothing negative--I have a good relationship with the sales department and the VP of sales, and I think he does a good job.

  • One customer does not make a market

  • Open up the channels of communication within your organization and to other company departments.

  • Our current org. structure & policies insulate PM from the customers to the extent that valuable market input is filtered or lost.

  • Our Products are good, sell what we have today, not what we will have in two years.

  • Our sales teams need more training on how to sell our products strategically, and we should never give a discount without expecting something in return from the customer.

  • Our vp acts like a sales person. He doesn't act like an officer of the company.

  • Our VP is not a very good leader within our team and does not appropriately/adequately represent Product Management with other departments.

  • Overloaded with work

  • Pay attention to the little guys

  • Pay me more!

  • pay more attention to developing customer relations than to  internal jockeying for your next promotion

  • Please be sure you are on the same page as product development with regard to release dates for products. Please be sure you are on the same page as marketing with regard to release dates for sales tools and collateral. Please do not commit us publicly to dates you have not discussed and cleared with us.

  • Please get a business plan & stick to it-- coach your salespeople to learn to follow directions about positioning, the product, and how to sell.

  • Please have your sales teams leave me alone.

  • Please have your staff read the materials produced by Product Mgt. and Product Marketing to assist in the positioning and sale of the applications.

  • Please keep your people focused on selling the current products, rather than giving up so easily and bringing in PM to discuss futures.

  • Please let me get face-to-face with prospects and lost prospects to understand their business problems.

  • Please read and

Pragmatic Institute

Pragmatic Institute

Pragmatic Institute (formerly Pragmatic Marketing) has continuously delivered thought leadership in technology product management and marketing since it was founded in 1993. Today, we provide training and present at industry events around the world, conduct the industry’s largest annual survey and produce respected publications that are read by more than 100,000 product management and marketing professionals. Our thought-leadership portfolio includes the Pragmatic  Framework, eBooks, blogs, webinars, podcasts, newsletters, The Pragmatic magazine and the bestseller “Tuned In.”

 

To learn more about our courses and join the growing international community of more than 150,000 product management and marketing professionals trained by Pragmatic Institute, please click here.

Looking for the latest in product and data science? Get our articles, webinars and podcasts.