CultureProduct ManagementSaeedSales

Why don’t Product Managers go to Club?

It’s that time of year when companies are having their annual sales kickoffs and also announcing which members of the sales force sold enough in 2012 to qualify them to go to Sales Club.

If you don’t know what “Sales Club” is, you’re definitely not in sales :-).  Sales Club is a reward given to top producing salespeople. It is usually an all expense paid trip to a high end vacation resort in some place like Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico,  Tahiti, Bali etc. You get the picture.

While this is a great reward for salespeople, what about everyone else who also significantly helped the company achieve it’s goals?  The  top sales people didn’t achieve those numbers on their own did they?

Let me refer you to my Devil’s Dictionary definition of “Sales Club”.

Sales Club: n. A disincentive program for non-sales employees who make significant contributions but aren’t likewise rewarded with a trip to an exotic location.

Yes, I’m griping a bit here, but why not?   And don’t tell me because we’re not in Sales.

Product Managers (and Product Marketers) provide key strategic and tactical help to Sales. We are often called in by Sales, when they need some “big guns” to talk  product roadmap or strategy with the prospect to convince them to sign the deal.

We travel (often on short notice) to customer sites to support proofs of concepts or defuse tricky customer situations.

We focus on both the short term tactical activities — ensuring the funnel is primed for sales — as well as longer term strategic ones — ensuring product, positioning and messaging are aligned with market needs.

I could go on, but I’ll stop here and ask the following:

  1. Do any of you Product Managers or Product Marketers get invited to Club?
  2. If so, what is the criteria used to qualify?
  3. Who decided that PMs and PMMs should go and why? i.e. it had to be a conscious decision made by some executive at your company?

You can leave your responses in the comments.



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