To call them out as liars(15 Posts)
I work in sales. It's still a relatively new job and I'm about to have my probation review (which I will hopefully pass). So far I've had really good feedback from my line manager and am quite good at what I do. The problem is the colleagues on my team.
The role is office based and we sell our products via phone and email. When we get an enquiry we log details of it on the customer record and that then becomes our customer for 12 weeks from the date of enquiry. You can prolong the length which you have the customer by updating the enquiry. We all have our own targets (there are 3 of us who do the same role) and we earn commission ok anything over our targets. The targets were raised in April and a number of factors are making it difficult to reach target.
About two weeks ago one of my colleagues A basically doctored a record to make it look like a lead was theirs. A had added an enquiry and selected a date of a few weeks previous to mine to make it look like the customer had already been speaking to A when I know full well they hadn't. It was a lead worth quite a lot and A deferred it to our line manager to make the decision on who got to keep the lead. As I already had a different enquiry recorded before the doctored enquiry was added (which was a couple of weeks after my original enquiry was listed) the lead stayed with me. I did not mention to our line manager that my colleague had basically tried to steal the lead off me as I didn't want to cause any problems and I just let it go.
Today my other colleague B emailed me to say that one of my current leads belonged to her due to an existing enquiry on a linked record. At the time I was busy trying to sort something else and she came over to me to check I'd got the email. This lead only came in just over a week ago and I remember checking the customer record (as I normally do) for any existing enquiries. There was one from October last year and one from 1st February this year, both from B. We were past the 12 week ownership period so I recorded the enquiry and put my name to it. When I checked today one of the dates had been changed to 1st March which would have put the ownership back to B. B coming over put me on the spot so I said sorry if thought she was out of ownership but passed the details of my enquiry over to her as I didn't want to call her a liar then and there.
When I got a minute I checked the linked record and that customer would have actually belonged to me when she supposedly took another enquiry from them, as I had recorded an enquiry 5 weeks previously. Going back to the original record I realised that not only had she changed the date on the enquiry but she had basically changed the wording to the enquiry from October. I didn't call her on it and ask for the lead back, but have been stewing all day about this. That lead is mine, she's also doctored the record to try and make it look like it was her customer but has completely failed. This isn't the first time she's done this either and the first time she made a song and dance about it to colleague A, protecting her tracking sheet so no one could read it and talking about people taking her leads. This was aimed at me, because our line manager sometimes distributes leads and he hadn't checked whether a lead that came in already belonged to someone. The lead was passed to B but I already had an enquiry on it. Instead of passing the lead back to me she then went on a linked record and made out that the person who made the enquiry worked there. When the person got in touch to say they had heard nothing, our line manager checked and realised he should have passed it to me in the first place and then gave it back to me to chase up. I ended up getting the sale and she's been making out I've stolen it, when in fact she was trying to do that to me.
Anyway the dilemma I have is that I'm still relatively new and I've got a lot of other things going on right now so id prefer not to start having problems with colleagues. However, both A and B have effectively stolen leads from me. I'm really pissed off about today but if I ask for the lead back I will have to call B out on doctoring the record to make it look like its her customer. The way she also came over to me nice as pie and started going on about how she'd have let it go if she was close to her target and how we're all scrimping for leads
The system isn't perfect and you can add enquiries to the record whenever you want with whatever date you want. I know they've both changed the records and the likelihood is that both of them will try and pull this stunt again in the future. AIBU to bring it up with my line manager and also ask B for my lead back? I don't really want to have to call either of them out on this and I can just foresee being given the cold shoulder/bitching behind my back if I escalate this. I just don't feel comfortable having to have that confrontation and am also wondering whether I now need to start screen shorting records when I put the enquiry on so I can back it up with evidence in future. WWYD?
I think I'd want to raise it. I'm guessing they can't change your entries? In which case from now on I'd probably mark all of mine with a note about checking the lead and no previous contact being recorded or the date of the last previous contact and a brief summary of that.
So today date, contact with Jane at PotentialCustomerCom
Then you have a record showing you did a search and what showed up if there's a problem in future
I would have to say something, if you don't then they'll just carry on taking the mickey.
Would also screenshot and make a manger aware, not for them to act on straight away but just so you've gone through all the right channels if it escalates.
That's a good idea Cat, thank you.
They could change my entries if they wanted as each enquiry is able to be edited by anyone with access to the records, but then mine would be missing unless they then added another enquiry saying I'd written it. Probably far too risky to do it that way as I keep my own tracking sheets and have some details backed up there.
It's a bit ridiculous to have to go to those lengths really and I'm quite disappointed that my colleagues seem to think it's ok to steal like this.
Obviously we have no clue about the system you use, but even if they back date the entry is there not a time stamp in the background that shows when the entry was actually made? I know we have systems at work where it would look like an entry was made at a certain point, but the IT team are absolutely able to determine when entries were written.
You need to raise it with your line manager, it's a awful thing to do to a colleague but it does happen.
What's the system? I'm pretty sure most of them (and have seen quite a lot) will on reports note when entries have been added (might not be visible to you)
Raise it calmly and professionally, but no sales manager want this going on in their team as it escalates.
And absolutely what cat has said, log everything! Many sales people moan about CRM's but there pretty good at sorting this sort of stuff out.
The manager may decide to change the access rights so no-body except the sales manager and above can change.
Yes MsMims, that's kind of what I'm thinking right now. Any conversation I'd want off the record and it would be more of an awareness thing for him. If he came up with something or spoke to them straight away then they'd definitely link it back to me. I'm just so annoyed about the lead today, probably more annoyed at myself really as I should have just told B no it was my lead, but I was just worried about it coming out as 'you're a liar' type sentence. I passed it over to keep the peace but the more I think of it the more I wonder why the heck I should!
There is always an audit trail showing when the entries were amended. Whether the actual content 'before' and 'after' is recorded in the trail - depends on how sophisticated the system is. Worth asking your IT person to pull out something old from your records for some current reference. That will tell you how much your system 'knows'.
Simple answer is you shouldn't as a sales person targets are everything.
A good manager will be tactful and not want fights over leads.
I'm not sure about a background stamp but I imagine it probably would. The only problem is the guy who looks after the IT gets on quite well with both colleagues so if I, or even my line manager I suppose, were to start asking about time stamps and things it may get back to colleagues.
We use IMIS kittens. I don't know if they'd change access as everyone uses it to make notes on records for different things, not just the sales team, so that'd mean overhauling how others work as well I guess?
There is likely to be elements where access can be changed/different levels of authorisation can be given etc.
IT guys will not give out information shared/requested by senior members of staff, not worth risking their job over this.
I would discuss with your manager even if that is to clarify the lead process in more detail and explain what has happened. If you don't this will happen over and over again. It may well be if they have been their longer that they have had previous contact but it's for the manager to make the call - this situation is one I have seen over and over again with all ranks of sales staff they won't be that surprised
Yes, you're right to raise it. Not only are they screwing you out of what is rightfully yours, if the records are considered data protected/confidential then falsifying them like that might have the potential to get someone into trouble.
Going to try bring it up with my line manager this afternoon.
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