Why everyone at corporate hates you

They don’t hate you per­son­ally (most of them any­way). But they do … they really do.  They hate you for your job, your role and your (per­ceived) income.  They don’t rec­og­nize that what you do is a pro­fes­sion and how hard you work. Or how much shit you take.

Face it, an unde­ni­able fact in cor­po­rate life is there’s a great deal of ani­mos­ity in most com­pa­nies between sales and the folks that work in the non-revenue pro­duc­ing jobs. (non-revs)

In my expe­ri­ences all of this angst breaks down into four basic categories

  1. When you sell some­thing, it makes more work for them
  2. They don’t under­stand what you do, or how hard it is.
  3. There is a pre­con­ceived notion of sales peo­ple that is not exactly positive.
  4. They resent all the money (they think) you’re making

Lets break it down:

When you sell some­thing, it makes more work for them.

Seri­ously, WTF! But it’s true. I call it “the cus­tomer is evil syn­drome” – as in – this would be a great job if it weren’t for all these pesky cus­tomers. These are the peo­ple in the post sales areas (ser­vice, install, main­te­nance, etc) that are prob­a­bly over whelmed, under­staffed and com­pletely screwed when it comes to sup­port­ing more cus­tomers. They’ve for­got­ten that what you do, and each new cus­tomer, is THE rea­son they have a job.

They don’t under­stand what you do, or how hard it is.

I have never, ever seen any sales ani­mos­ity from any non-revs that spend time in the field sup­port­ing a sales effort. They get it if they expe­ri­ence it. This is a really hard job.

No,  this comes from those that think your whole gig is to play golf, buy drinks, din­ners and lie to peo­ple. They do the work. You get the trip.

There is a pre­con­ceived notion of sales peo­ple that is not exactly positive.

I’m sure this one is based on some bru­tal, trau­matic expe­ri­ence involv­ing a used car or maybe mom ran off with the fuller brush man (does that date me?) But these non-revs think that all you do is trick fuck peo­ple out of their money. They turn a blind eye to rev­enue oppor­tu­ni­ties and in the mean time short cir­cuit their own company’s success.

They resent all the money (they think) you’re making

When any­one says it’s not about the money – IT IS ABSOLUTELY ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. In any good com­pany the sales peo­ple should be among the high­est com­pen­sated employ­ees. It’s your efforts that keep the lights on and it’s your efforts that make the stock price go up. What they don’t under­stand is you have 50% or more of your income at risk. This is not just your per­for­mance but the per­for­mance of all the other func­tional areas of the orga­ni­za­tion (as out­lined in an ear­lier post on Sales Swamis, The Great Irony)

No one else in the com­pany (except per­haps some of the execs) take that kind of risk.

OK, every­body hates you. What are you going to do about it? Hon­estly, fix­ing it is a bit like solv­ing the Mid­dle East prob­lem, not sure there is a good answer. But as a true Sales Swami you should stick to what you are good at.


Iden­tify those non-revs that are hin­der­ing your suc­cess. Reach out to them. Take them on a sales call or two or ten – I always like to run their asses off when I get them in the field.  Show them what your job entails and find out how you can help those non-revs be suc­cess­ful. Find out how they are com­pen­sated (not what they are com­pen­sated -  that’s bad form, not to men­tion prob­a­bly piti­ful) and find out how you can impact that.

Before I get too touchy feely, I also want to say that there will be those that you can’t, no mat­ter what, impact. They are non-revs that are too far-gone and prob­a­bly buy in to more than one of the above sales angst issues.

My advice… fuck ‘em.

Blow through them like an igno­rant screener that is keep­ing you from get­ting to the ulti­mate deci­sion maker. These peo­ple are in your way and in my expe­ri­ence those folks will end up unem­ployed even­tu­ally.

You can impact most. But you can’t fix every­thing. After all you’re just try­ing to bang out the rent.

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