FilterTerritory Sales Manager
I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than a year)
Outstanding Cadillac benefit plans. Stock ownership for all employees from day one. Great earnings potential. Fantastic facilities with 5 star dining and free vending machines in break rooms. Very professional atmosphere with high quality coworkers.
Management style. Microsoft has a management style that I felt discouraged top performance. High priority is placed on sales forecasting to the point that I spent 65% of my time each week in forecast spread sheets and forecast reviews with management. The culture set by management is also a throw each other under the bus culture. Typically sales were performed by sales teams of various Product Specialist Technical Sales Experts and Account Managers. If a team lost a sale to a competitor, management would schedule a conference call with the team for a loss review. During the call the manager would often ask each member of the team who the weak link on the team is that caused the team to loose the opportunity. The legacy Microsoft employees would immediately begin throwing each other under the bus. Having come from an IBM culture where we truly worked as a team, watched each others back and typically had "air cover" followed up by coaching from our managers, I found the Microsoft throw each other under the bus mentality to be very detrimental to to building a good close cohesive sales team where the members were motivated to trust each other and work together in a positive way to be successful. It appeared that back stabbing was expected and eagerly applied by employees in an effort to safe themselves or try to get brownie points. I found it to be a very negative and demoralizing approach to team sales..
Advice to Management
Streamline and simplify the sales forecasting process and only requires once every two to four weeks. We would often be asked to update our forecast on almost a daily basis.
Although I was a very successful award winning rep, while working for another company I once made a mistake that caused us to loose a fairly sizable sale. The Executive I was working under took the blame with upper management and protected my back. He simply asked me if I had learned from my mistake which I certainly had. The entire sales team learned a great lesson from that, From that day forward myself and the rest of my team adopted the attitude that we not only wanted to over achieve for our own purposes but also to make our Executive look great. We cared about him as much as he cared about us. We would walk through fire for him and always wanted to have his back. We went on to be a consistently overachieving team that one numerous world wide sales awards. Strong comradery and a positive healthy desire to achieve a goal together always leads to greater and more rewarding success than a negative beat down distrustful environment. I understand that some managers feel like fear is the greatest motivator but I disagree. When I know I am working for someone that believes in and is loyal to me, I will work twice as hard to show my appreciation.
1) Well recognized company name and products helps you cut to the chase when talking to IT decision makers. No time wasted on positioning your "best of breed" solutions
2) Resource rich
3) Health benefits
1) Companies wo frequently comment about work-life "integration" probably have a problem with it.
2) Tougher to find next role at level 63+
3) Feel too pressured to do a new job every few years. Would like to enjoy being a "professional in place"
4) Data quality needs improvement
Advice to Management
Train managers to help employees to grow and develop. Seems like managers are just trying to manage their own careers and metrics.
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