Verbal sparring

I came to the office early today to listen to a presentation from one of our sales engineers on the role of a sales engineer, how their team supports sales account executives, and what the expectations of account executives are. Today was day two of our regional office’s sales quarterly business review, and I wanted to make sure I was aware of what was going on. In the last few months, we have had a number of new account executives join who seem to be a bit lost in the area of what their role is during prospect meetings, and so there’s been a lot of tension between the sales engineering team and the account executive team.

It was as though all the excitement of the day was in this one session, listening to our head sales engineer discuss all the do’s and don’t’s, then listening to a specific account executive verbally spar with him over things he didn’t agree with. In other words, what he was really trying to say was, “I don’t want to do more work. You can keep doing that because I disagree with what you are saying.” This is the type of behavior that I’ve never respected or liked about sales people — the idea that everyone else does all the heavy lifting, and they can just come in to open and close a meeting. I’ve been lucky to work with many incredible and inspiring account executives at my current company who are not like this at all, but there’s always the bad apples that seem to linger everywhere, no matter where you go.

At least it made for an entertaining morning for me. I love listening to people argue during work meetings. You can see all the tension, aggression, and self-restraint on display at once.

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