The Case of The Unwary Salesperson

This is the first in a series of posts about how good documentation solves business problems.

It is not uncommon for sales teams to over-promise. Either because your salespeople don’t know the current feature set, or because they don’t recognize the limits of customization, they may sell your customers more than you can easily deliver.

The executive in charge of sales feels the pain in the form of lost sales and irate customers, when it turns out that what they’re getting is not what they thought they were buying. The Director of Engineering (hardware or software) feels the pain when he or she gets a brush fire in the form of a customization order for a client that simply can’t be left unsatisfied.

Both scenarios – lost sales and cost overruns for customization – hurt the company’s bottom line. Unhappy customers hurt your company’s reputation and reduce future revenue.

The solution is better documentation. Sales training materials can keep the sales team up to date on the latest feature set and when new features are expected to roll out. Reference cards can keep the information ready to hand on sales calls. A technical writer can bring the sales team and product development team together in ways that help keep everyone happy.

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