How Not to Make Joint Sales Calls

A best practice for sales management by guest poster Dave Kahle, author and leading sales educator.

By Dave Kahle
modern communication skills
One of the fundamental principles that I’ve held to for my career in sales is this:  One of the best things a sales manager can do is make joint sales calls with his/her sales people.

While I continue to believe that, I received an email from an Ezine subscriber some time ago that made me think a bit more cautiously about this.  He identified himself as a buyer, and wrote me about the practice from his point of view – a person on the other side of the desk.  He began by observing that joint sales calls with the sales manager often caused more harm than good.

Here are some of the observations he made, followed by my comments.

The sales managers often come in with a patter that is all positive.  I saw it as B.S.  …. in that they did not really believe it themselves, and both the sales person and I [the buyer] knew that he was ignoring a lot of negatives.

DK – Transparency and honesty are always preferable to B S.  The days of expecting that your overtly positive patter will gloss over real issues and enamor the customer (or the sales person) are long gone.

The sales managers were often not open to taking suggestions, or, if they did, there was no follow up back to the customer.

DK – Could it be that some sales managers are so concerned with their view of themselves as the all-knowledgeable person that they come across as not being open to suggestions from the customers?  One of the reasons for a sales manager to make joint sales calls is to hear it directly from the customer’s mouth.  Sales managers should develop the habit of listening carefully to the customers.

There was often a tension visible between the sales manager and the sales person.  It gave me, as the customer, a feeling that the relationships were rarely what they should have been.

DK – In my career as a sales person, I had a couple of sales managers with whom the relationship could be called “tense.”  Frankly, I tried to avoid having them make joint sales calls with me.  Perhaps it was because I felt the customer would pick up on that tension.  Regardless, this is a sobering observation from a customer which should prod both sales people as well as sales managers to examine their relationships and improve them if necessary.

The sales managers were not aware of the problems that were previously reported to the sales person.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the “I’ll look into it” answer, and never heard back.

DK – One of the reasons to make a joint call is to let the customer know that he/she is valued by the management of the company as well as by the sales person.  Showing a lack of knowledge of the customer’s issues sends a message that you really don’t care.  And, of course, every sales manager should “do what they say they are going to do,” and follow up with the customer whenever appropriate. That’s Sales 101.

One of the most sobering experiences in our lives occurs when we gain a glimpse of how other people see us.  This reflection by a corporate buyer should cause many of us to stop and consider our actions, attitudes and motivations, in order to take our performance to a higher level.

Image “modern communication skills” by kevin rawlings on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

About the Author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales educators. He’s written nine books, presented in 47 states and eight countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations.  Sign up for his free weekly Ezine, and visit his blog.

Copyright MMXII by Dave Kahle
All Rights Reserved.

Commence CRM Surpasses the Competition with New Activity Management Feature

Commence CRM, well known for its robust functionality and affordable price continues to surpass its competition with new features that provide real value to customers. One of the most recent enhancements affects the activity management module. There is nothing exciting about activity management, but Commence has added a fun easy to use feature that customers are applauding.

Accessible Communication. It's the Law!

Activity Management CRM

Commence CRM now offers a rich text editor within the CRM system which enables you to make your task list stand out with color and bold formatting. Just select a word or paragraph and change the font, text, color or background. It’s fun, easy to use and allows you to use color to prioritize your task list.

Activity Management view in Commence CRM

The rich text formatting toolbar is available in Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, and includes shortcuts to popular styles and formats such as bold, italics, and underlining similar to Microsoft Word.

Task details in Commence CRM are enhanced using the Rich Text Format Toolbar

Easy-to-use CRM Feature Highlights

Shortcut buttons on the toolbar give you easy access to:

  • Create lists and step-by-step details with the BULLET and NUMBERING tools
  • INDENT paragraphs or OUTDENT paragraphs
  • Choose between LEFT, CENTERED, OR RIGHT ALIGNED text for each paragraph
  • Insert TABLES to neatly display rows and columns of data
  • Place HORIZONTAL LINES in your notes to create sections
  • Use the HYPERLINK button to create interactive content right within your activity notes. Add clickable URL links to open an http website, a secure https site, ftp site, news group, and other internet addresses.
  • Email addresses are converted to live and clickable MAILTO: addresses, allowing you to quickly send an email message to that recipient.


Drop-downs menus on the formatting toolbar make it easy to set your font, font size, and choose from a variety of font styles and paragraph formats including 6 heading levels!

This activity management feature is just another example of Commence’s commitment to continuing to enhance our CRM software through new and innovative features.

Image “Accessible Communication. It’s the Law!” by Giulia Forsythe on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

All other images owned by Commence Corporation.