by Ken Kupchik
Sales is extremely competitive. Your company’s rivals will do everything in their power to make sure they close a deal instead of you, and are actively trying to put your company (and you) out of business. But in sales, it’s not just your competitors that you need to worry about, it’s also your coworkers that can cost you money.
While many coworkers are supportive and can help you perform better, there are those who can get in the way of closing deals. In this article, we’ll explain who these toxic coworkers are and why they kill your deals. If you want to make more money in sales, avoid these types of people at all costs:
- The incompetent sales support employee
A bad sales support employee can kill your deal faster than you can say “I’m so sorry Mr.Customer!” Salespeople must rely on sales support staff to provide competent service no matter what the product is, and there’s no doubt a customer who was otherwise convinced to do business can back out because their experience with support or anyone other than the salesperson is terrible. It’s a tragedy when this happens because it’s almost completely out of the sales rep’s hands.
- The time vampire
Time vampires are people at work who require so much time and attention that they end up dramatically reducing your productivity. This can be a coworker who sits next to you that talks too much and is always distracting you, or a fellow sales rep who constantly asks for help instead of trying to work through their problems on their own. It can also be the coworker who is impossible to escape from when you’re unfortunate enough to get stuck in a conversation with them. Time vampires cost you money.
- The complainer
Work in sales long enough and you’ll see that there are always complainers in every organization. These people kill your deals because their complaining drags down morale, leading to poor performance. As most management books say, complaining is like a cancer that can destroy an organization from the inside out, which is also why company culture is so important. Complaining is contagious, so you absolutely must stay away from complainers if you want to be successful.
- The thief
Thankfully this type of coworker isn’t very common in sales anymore, mostly because CRM’s have made it more difficult to steal other people’s deals. But if you work with a thief in sales, you always have to look over your shoulder to make sure you’re not getting conned. Thieves will take your customers behind your back, call your leads if they think they can get away with it, and basically use you to get ahead whenever possible. It’s unethical and infuriating, but it happens.
- The saboteur
Another rare coworker, the saboteur is a jealous and passive-aggressive person who is just as focused on watching coworkers fail as on his or her own success. You can usually identify a saboteur by their snide remarks that sound like compliments but are actually thinly-veiled insults. The saboteur is the kind of employee who will tell management on you if they see you doing anything at all they think might get you in trouble. Along with the thief, the saboteur is the worst type of coworker to have.
- The bad sales manager
A good sales manager can help you close more deals, but a bad sales manager can make you close less. Bad sales managers are common, and they’re usually bad not because they’re bad people but because they have no business being in a leadership position. A good sales manager offers you support and doesn’t talk down to you. A bad sales manager treats you like you’re worthless and thinks negative reinforcement is the only effective management style. On some occasions, you might even have a sales manager who wants to see you fail because they have a personal problem with you. If that’s the case, ask to be reassigned to another manager, or find another sales job immediately.