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Fighting Mad

Is infighting among your sales reps sidelining your business? Try these tips to get back on track.
April 1, 2004

Barbs being bandied about your sales floor? Cutting remarks getting lobbed over cubicles? If you've got warring sales reps, you're in a world of business hurt.

Infighting among your sales squad can lead to an unhealthy environment for all your employees. As Jay Arthur, author of Motivate Everyone: Family, Friends, Co-Workers (Even Yourself)! (LifeStar Publishing), puts it, "Discord can be crippling-nothing gets done because everyone is bickering." Arthur warns that when a manager is engrossed in supervising hostile employees, costs can pile up in wasted time, lowered job motivation and the potential loss of skilled workers. If you're living a sales version of the Capulets and the Montagues, here are practical steps to take to resolve the conflicts:

While you may be hopeful that grown-ups will work out their own conflicts, don't bet your business and sales productivity on it. James DeSena, author of The 10 Immutable Laws of Power Selling: The Key to Winning Sales, Wowing Customers, and Driving Your Profits Through the Roof (McGraw-Hill), suggests you invite reps in for a meeting and ask them to agree to work to resolve the conflict. DeSena instructs managers to solicit each side's story, ask for a commitment to work together without fighting, and let reps know their behaviors will be monitored.

Miller offers these do's and don'ts for sales managers dealing with battling reps:



Kimberly l. Mccall (Marketing Angel) is president of McCall Media & Marketing Inc. ( and author of Sell It, Baby! Marketing Angel's 37 Down-to-Earth & Practical How-To's on Marketing, Branding & Sales.