Situation: The Sales MonkeysTM are hanging from the trees on their weekly sales call crying “You only give us a 90 day product outlook! How are we supposed to sell without a 2-year roadmap!” Well monkey-boys, the reason you don’t get the full roadmap anymore is because the last time we made the mistake of giving it to you, half of you sold the customer who was ready to install TOMORROW on the feature that was coming in 2 years, and the other half actually advised your customers to hold off on buying because “we’ve got a great feature coming out in the next release, you’ll probably want to wait for that one.” (really).
So since we’ve determined that it’s not if you’ll spill the beans, but how damaging the leak will be, you only get a 90-day outlook. But you’re coming in for your quarterly
vacation junket drinking binge sales meeting, so we’ll be generous and present the shiny new rolling 2-year roadmap the Exec team just signed off against…
(…Product Management presents 2-year roadmap in Sales Meeting…)
Sales Monkey’s: R0x0r! OMG I’m totally making 50% of my quota this year! I’ll get another trophy for being the #1 RSM in the Western Mohave Desert Region!
(…not 1 hour later…)
Sales Monkey: “OMG! Teh roadmap is sux0r! I can’t sell n e thing! I’m goin on vacation bye!” (side note: I actually got a text message very similar to this once from a sales guy…)
Product Management: “…and this is different than normal how?”
Sales Monkey: “My must have key feature …that I’ve been selling without for the last 3 years… isn’t on the roadmap for 18 months! WTF!”
Sales Monkey’s don’t see the big picture. A feature is “out there” on the roadmap because either the market doesn’t need it yet, or the opportunity isn’t as big as the stuff ahead of it. You can try to explain this to them but you’d have about as productive conversation with a wall. Sales == coin operated! What is best for the business is a nice-to-have. Your best bet is to make that coincide with gettin’ paid – ya feel me?