Have you considered writing a letter to one of your associates? Just send it in and we’ll post. Keep the bad language to a minimum and try to make it constructive.
I love you man… and I totally respect your challenges. I know I wouldn’t want to be the person responsible for finding business and closing deals. I know you’re busy and have a lot of crap on your plate, but I could use some help.
First of all, can you please not overpromise things to customers without consulting with me? I’m responsible for keeping the roadmap in order, clearly communicating it and trying to balance all of your needs with all of the other sales folks needs… at the same time developing a vision for our products… AND trying to work all the details with engineering.
Oh… on a related subject. Can you please not go directly to developers to ask for features without bringing me into the conversation? I obviously want you to talk to whomever you want (and you’re good at that talking thing), but if a developer (or even the VP) says they can do something, that doesn’t always mean they “should” and that it’s good for the product line.. or the company. It might be critical and I want to help you be successful with your customers, but let’s discuss the next time you have a need and be sure we get whatever you need into our product thinking. Also, if you’re looking for an understanding of which release a new feature is in, please talk with me or our program manager (we are usually in sync on what we are promising, but not always).
I also wanted to talk with you about getting access to customers. I know they are “your” customers and you are responsible for making them happy… and continue to buy from us. But I need to talk with them too. And sometimes it’s hard to coordinate with you. You need to trust that I won’t say anything stupid, won’t overpromise what we have on the roadmap, and will always try to make you look good. I hope you agree that the more customers I actually can talk with, the better our products will be. Can we talk through how we should best coordinate my access directly to customers?
I know there’s more, but that’s all for now. The bottomline? Let’s figure out how we can BOTH be successful.
With deepest regards,
Your Product Manager