There are approximately 15 million salespeople in the United States, grinding out a living in one of the world’s oldest professions. We all sell different things, and our experiences vary depending on the industry, geographic location, the CRM we use, and the type of sales we’re in.
But all salespeople share a common bond in what we have to deal with on a daily basis. Only a salesperson (or former salesperson) understands the struggle and the things that can drive salespeople nuts.
Here are ten things we can agree that all salespeople hate:
There’s nothing worse than a manager who refuses to leave you alone long enough to sell. It’s wonderful to have support from management, but sometimes it crossed over into borderline stalking. Give your sales reps guidance, and then leave them to perform on their own.
Favoritism is bad in any industry, but in sales, it directly affects your income. If management is favoring one salesperson over another for non-performance reasons, then you might want to consider switching jobs. Someone being fed leads because they’re best friends with the sales manager is an untenable situation for everyone.
3. Bad Leads
Not every salesperson gets leads, but of the ones who do, a bad lead is incredibly annoying. Wrong numbers, people who claimed they never filled out a form, or grotesquely unqualified prospects all comprise the bad lead trifecta. It’s actually better to not get leads at all than to get a bad lead because at least you’re not wasting your time.
4. Paperwork and data entry
Salespeople want to prospect and sell, not update spreadsheets and type out reports. While tools like Spiro’s AI-Powered CRM help eliminate manual data entry, many organizations have been unwilling to adapt to technological changes, and still waste their salespeople’s time that would be much better spent closing deals.
It sucks when a prospect rejects a deal, but it sucks, even more, when a prospect signs a deal only to cancel it. These (non) deals are the most painful because the salesperson is already counting them towards their bonus when everything falls apart. Of course, you shouldn’t count deals until they’re 100% done anyway, but it’s still devastating to have something fall out after getting it signed.
6. Pointless meetings
Salespeople hate meetings because they take time away from selling. Unlike other departments, meetings only get in the way of making money, and in many cases are redundant or pointless. Management should always be mindful of inviting salespeople to meetings for this very reason.
7. Negative coworkers
Negativity spreads like wildfire, and sales is a profession that requires not only avoiding negativity but becoming irrationally optimistic. Negative coworkers are never top producers, but they love dragging everyone else down to their level. If you work with any of these (and chances are you do), make sure to stay far, far away.
8. Dishonest customers
The phrase “Buyers are liars” isn’t fair to most customers, but there is a reason why so many salespeople say it. Customers sometimes lie to salespeople because they think they are going to be lied to, because they want to get a better deal, or because they want to make themselves look better. Dishonesty makes sales much more difficult, for everyone, not just salespeople.
9. Changes to the comp plan
When management changes the comp plan, they usually say that the changes will make it easier for salespeople to make more money, when it’s usually the opposite that happens. Changes to the comp plan in sales are as likely to happen as the sun rising every day, but it tends to throw a wrench into everyone’s job.
10. Being Stereotyped
One of the most difficult things about being a salesperson is the assumption that the general public, and many prospects, will make about your character, and honesty. There are, of course, salespeople who are unethical, and who lie to make money. But these people are the exception to the rule. Salespeople all deal with other’s pre-conceived notions, and they all hate it.