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Getting a donkey to drink?

Wisdom says, “You show him a drinking donkey.” How true it is in our relations with co-workers in Sales and Marketing, that we often tell, mandate, demand, coerce, force, pressure, compel, dictate and intimidate…but we seldom lead by example.


For instance: 

1. There is the sales manager who tells his salespeople to use the CRM system, but doesn’t use it herself.

2. There is the marketing manager who mandates that ROI be a part of every lead generation program, but doesn’t do it for trade shows, webinars or pay-for-click advertising. 

3. There is the company president who demands that quotas be met, but cuts the marketing lead generation budget in the last three months of the year, every year.

4. There is the sales manager who coerces his salespeople to use the CRM system and then allows them to do double work by reporting on their sales funnel using Excel.

5  There is the company president who forces new products on his sales channel without realizing he has to increase the number of people selling or some products will fall short; there are only so many selling hours. 

6. There is the sales manager who pressures his salespeople to follow up every sales inquiry and lead but allows them to stop after the first phone call. 

7. There is the marketing manager who doesn’t compel his department to prove the return on investment for lead generation while demanding 100% follow-up from salespeople. 

8. There is the company president who dictates marketing dollar budgets while disconnecting lead generation from quota attainment. This is the same president who fails to approve marketing spending early in the year to support sales. 

9. There is the sales manager who intimidates Marketing and refuses to enforce a 100% follow-up of sales leads.

All of these little habits and quirks are tugging on the productivity of Sales and Marketing. They aren’t mean spirited; they are just human faults and failings. And yet if we are to overcome these issues, one by one, we have to show by example how to make the donkey drink. We have to calmly and matter-of-factly demonstrate to our junior and senior managers that things can change.

The answer lies not in telling, mandating, demanding, coercing, forcing, pressuring, compelling, dictating and intimidating, but in leading by example with sound judgement and common sense. 


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