Let the Cranky Product Manager next respond to this nugget of advice on product training, courtesy of the Cranky Sales Engineer:
7. Bring the Cranky Sales Engineer some real references.
Ummm, Cranky Sales Engineer, isn’t that YOUR job?
Let the Cranky Product Manager get this straight… before YOU can start selling the NEW product (or new version of the product) you want REAL references from REAL customers. And you want the product manager to provide these references to you on a silver platter?
OK. Would you also like a mint on your pillow and a foot rub?
What, you can’t sell something unless someone ELSE has ALREADY sold it? You must be a real SALES GENIUS! So glad we have you on board and pay you the big bucks! Thank Cheezus you are at a tech company, where new products and new versions come out constantly.
Seriously, NO ONE has the new product / new release yet. Hence the word “NEW.” There are NO “real” references yet. That is why Product Management is even at Kickoff – to train you on the product. So YOU can sell it to real customers and go get those references. The Cranky Product Manager can (and does) tell you about the customers who gave input on the product concept and feedback on pre-release versions, but you’d likely scoff at that.
OK, one more:
The Cranky Sales Engineer is giving up chunks of his life to sit in your presentation—he may even have gotten up early to get there and may be hung over. He will sell your products if they add value and make customers lives better. But, if he walks out of your meeting mourning two hours of his life that he’ll never get back, you can kiss his support goodbye until the next Scotch-soaked Sales Kickoff in 2010.
AWWWW. Poor, put-upon, entitled Cranky Sales Engineer. Having to get up EARLY! While you are HUNG OVER, no less!
Dear Cheezus, how outrageous of your company to interfere with your PAID, booze-drenched, awards-laded excursion to the tropics. How DARE they expect you to attend and listen to some presentations about the products you are PAID to sell. The nerve! It is all such an inconvenience when you are trying to get your drink on.
Anyway, just remember that while you got up early (boo fraking hoo), the Cranky Product Manager giving the presentation got up EARLIER. And while you’re hung-over after a night of clubbing, strippers, gambling, cigars, and boozing it up, the Cranky Product Manager spent that same night working on that presentation and practicing it in her hotel room’s bathroom mirror, over and over. NO HANGOVER, but no fun either.
You moan about losing two hours of your life, but remember that the Cranky PM lost way more than that working on that fraking demo you so casually ignore.
Cranky Sales Engineer, you are indeed lucky. No matter how disrespectful you are of the CPM during product training (because she didn’t bring you references, had slides with too many words, and had the nerve to be enthusiastic about the future), and no matter if you “kissed your support” of her goodbye, the Cranky Product Manager will still help you sell the product. She won’t kiss her support of you goodbye.
Why? Because she’s not a coin-operated mercenary. Because she actually cares about what’s good for the product and what’s good for the entire company. Because she is not solely focused on her own wallet. Unlike the vast majority of you Droids.
So, yes, in a few weeks the Cranky Product Manager will save your ass yet again. Even though you won’t deserve it. She will give the product demo to YOUR customer — the demo you SHOULD have learned during training but didn’t. She will give you a private tutorial on the customer problems and how the product alleviates them. Because she’s not going to let a ding-dong Droid get in the way of her product’s success.
Surely, the LEAST you can do in return is give the Cranky Product Manager the sales commission that SHE earned for you.