• Failing to communicate the reasons and timetable for a process, policy or technology change results in resistance, confusion and distraction from productive activities.
• Failing to communicate corporate goals and strategies. This may cause the organization to act at cross-purposes. For example, the marketing department invests in a campaign to promote product A, while the sales force is sending out direct mail pieces promoting product B.
• Failing to listen to your sales reps’ feedback about a new process. Your sales reps are the close to your internal customer and often the first to know about the customers’ response to a new process.
• Failing to give constructive feedback to a direct report because “the timing is not right”. The best time to give performance feedback is as soon as you become aware of the problem. The “right time” may never come. The longer you wait the worse the problem gets. And withholding feedback breeds mistrust. Your sales reps need to know where they stand with you at all times.
• Failing to correct a misunderstanding, or failing to clarify your own confusion. Eventually it comes back to haunt you. For example, you let slide a direct report’s misunderstanding about deadlines because you are not clear yourself. Pretty soon all your sales reps are slipping deadlines and productivity is heading down.
• Giving clumsy or unhelpful feedback in front of others, which puts sales reps on the defence and may lead to resentment rather than cooperation.