- Dumb Thing #1: Update a website without telling the sales team, so that the customers can tell them what's new in your product set.
- Dumb Thing #2: Offer a better price to customers on the web site than the sales team can offer directly to the customers.
- Dumb Thing #3: Hire more sales reps for a region than revenue from that region can support, so they'll all compete for the same business.
- Dumb Thing #4: Save all the best leads for the top rep and send the questionable ones to the other reps, just in case they might get lucky.
- Dumb Thing #5: Insist that all contact info belongs to the company and demand all copies when the sales rep leaves the company.
- Dumb Thing #6: Limit the sales reps' access within your own firm to minor players so that they don't "get in the hair" of top management.
- Dumb Thing #7: Promise the reps good commissions but hold off paying them until the end of the quarter or the end of the fiscal year.
- Dumb Thing #8: Make sure that the most popular products are unavailable to the reps, especially if demonstrating is key to closing a sale.
- Dumb Thing #9: Spend big money on a sales and marketing campaign that has no tie-in to the products that the reps must actually sell.
UPDATE 11/3: This post is continued in the post "More Dumb Things Sales Managers Do".