Funny how I’ve changed on my approach to CRM the past few years

Time was, I more or less refused to put my activity into CRM, as mandated by most Sales Organizations.  I figured I was measured by quota, and if I hit quota they’d keep me regardless if I updated CRM and if I didn’t hit quota they’d fire me anyway, so screw them – if they wanted me to update CRM they could get ride of my quota.  But the past few years I worked as a manager where CRM was watched soooo closely and it was so chaotic that (to make a long story short) you had to use CRM.  So I;ve gotten int he habit of it and am one of the most ardent documentary in CRM now.  I still dont think it’s a great tool as compared to effort vs. reward, but when in Rome…

Funny how I’ve changed on my approach to CRM the past few years

The strangest boss I ever had was an obsessive compulsive

The strangest boss I ever had I didn’t think would be that way.  He looked polished and professional.  But he was odd in so many ways:

  • He took his shoes off and walked round the office in his socks.  So we’d have a guy in a suit walking around in his stocking feet.  Like I wanted his foot oil and odor in my work place (bleh).
  • He fell asleep mid-conversation on the short drive back from a client visit.
  • He was always late, and we never knew where he was, but was obsessive about where other people were when he was there.
  • ALways worked from home, but didn’t like any of us working from home.
  • Threatened to fire someone for repeating a mistake in a team meeting.  (“You do that again, you’re fired.”).
  • Would obsessive about the little things – for example, there were a few small coffee stains on the carpet just outside the kitchen that honestly were difficult to even see, but he was always obsessing about them, asking who was spilling on the carpet, etc.  
  • Would tell stories about how he’d get up in the middle of the night to clean the kitchen sink because he’d remembered it wasn’t clean.
  • He ran a depressing office.  It was so quiet in there, and although everyone was nice I don’t think anyone was happy being there.

My most recent boss was also a little strange.  He was so friendly and forthright when he recruited me, and we had several wonderful conversations before I joined, but within a couple of months it was painful to have a conversation with him.  It was excruciating going to client meetings with him, since he had very little to say on the way there or back, and he was so nice but tended to make passive aggressive comments about people that indicated a deep source of frustration.  Ugh.  I feel it is very dishonest to portray yourself as one way when courting someone then being another way after the courting is over.  Be who you are so there are no unpleasant surprised for anyone later!

The strangest boss I ever had was an obsessive compulsive

Trying to make the most of a slow week at work

Normally, I take this week to rest and recuperate since most clients are OOF anyway and I am a firm believer that it is important to re-charge the batteries.  But I am OOF next week due to timing, so am doing the best I can to be productive this week.  

  • Updated our slide deck and posted it online.  Have been making some suggested changes, which I appreciate — it is nice to get feedback in an attempt to make the info better.  My boss isn’t responding though – I never know if he is going to respond or not.
  • I don’t want to put work aside next week, so made a list of clients I should/could email next week.  There are 92 who I need to check in with, so am going through each one now to add my note to them, then will transfer that to a mail merge that I can copy and paste into emails next week, when people are returning from the holidays.  I am also adding a few prospects who didn’t respond to previous emails so could email again.
  • I am making some calls today.  I reached a couple of people, including one who might have an immediate need.
Trying to make the most of a slow week at work

Wow – I respond better to kudos that criticism and the proof is in the data.

For several months I was breaking my butt, making sales calls, setting up meetings, finding a few opportunities, including a couple of real good opportunities.  I was frustrated with our lack of detail in delivery and our delivery’s slow responses and missed meetings, but figured that was part of the learning curve of this org and I would be able to adapt as time went on.  But in October our owner vented at me about our lack of sales, never mind that I’d warned him before even accepting the job that their solutions would take time to build, and that was before I realized some of the other challenges we faced.  I was irritated that he blamed me, versus recognizing there had been challenges but we were making progress (and we were).  

Since that time, my sales activities have dropped by 25%, not out of spite but because I am no longer killing myself (working from home at 6 AM, racing to the office, staying after the office closes, working through lunch).  I am funny – I work as hard (if not harder) than anyone when I am appreciated, something that others have always recognized in me. But that is not unconditional, and I know from experience that I only respond well to criticism if I truly truly respect the person giving me constructive feedback, which is rare and is definitely not this company.

I think that is true of most people.  I like to hire hard workers then encourage them to reinforce good behaviors versus criticizing.  I’ve hired two people who turned out to not meet expectations, and both were strong referrals taht went against my gut, a mistake I’ll never make again.

Wow – I respond better to kudos that criticism and the proof is in the data.

What happened to veterans day?

It used to be that Veterans Day was a holiday for everyone.  It was supposed to honor the veterans, but regardless it was a day off for most non-service employees.  Now most companies are open, which means a third of the employees skip the day to care for their kids (who are off), a third make it an easy work day, and a third put in a normal day.  Which all results in essentially an unproductive day where no one is rested.  Americans (Corporate America) have forgotten the value in rest days, in the meaning work hard and play hard.  It is another way that modern day Corporate America — for all its talk on efficiency — is not efficient at all.  Wouldn’t it be better to tell everyone to take the day off, rest or honor the veterans, and come back feeling fresh the day after?  

Our office was open, and I spent much of the day trying unsuccessfully to keep things moving.  I got home at 6 PM thinking what a wasted day it had been 🙂

What happened to veterans day?

Talked to former employee about how work was going, made me glad I was not working there any more :)

Had coffee with a former employee who remains at the company where we worked together.  It sounds like the company is still a mess, and mired in metrics hell.  For example, each Rep has to find 6-8 leads a week, and they are measured on how well the delivery team covers the leads since (in theory) if the lead is good then delivery will do good work on it.  This is shocking – the delivery team isn’t doing good work and usually blames the leads, since they don’t really have any accountability (again, if the leads don’t advance it is the rep’s fault).  

Meanwhile, there are twice a week meetings where each rep’s leads are reviewed, they are given action items on each lead then questioned about the these items at the next meeting.  So there is a perpetual current of stress that begins with the 6-8 leads and runs down sh** creek from there.  

Oh my god.  What a hell hole, and a sign that the company is run by a former data-obsessesed engineer and not an actual good business person.  It makes me veeeerrrrryyyyy glad I don’t work there anymore.  How can you possibly be strategic and thorough — and possibly enjoy your job — when you are obsessed all the time about meeting one-size-fits-all metrics developed by people with no common sense?  🙂 

Talked to former employee about how work was going, made me glad I was not working there any more :)

A quick conversation with a farmer at the Farmer’s Market about her work schedule and season…

The farmer I often buy my berries from every week at the Farmer’s Market looked tired this week. So I asked, “How many Farmer’s Market do you attend a week?”  “Six,” she said.  “We have markets every day but Monday, when we go to Pike Place Market.  So we basically work seven days a week.”  They start getting very tired about this time of year, she said, when they’ve been running to farmers markets every day all summer for months, often on only a few hours of sleep.  “At this time of year, we wake up more tired than when we went bo bed.”  “Do you do this all year?” I asked.  “No!” she said.  “Through October.  Then we are down to 1 day a week. We go through this every year.  The season starts and we’re excited because we are bored, then by this time of year we are tired and ready for the break again.”  

A quick conversation with a farmer at the Farmer’s Market about her work schedule and season…