Every so often on a slammed sale days, I offer to pay for lunch for the sales team to keep everyone at their desks focused on sales rather than worrying about food. Other times, a very nice customer might offer to pay for lunch one day for the sales team. Regardless of the situation, I usually task someone with ordering and picking up the food so the rest of the team can focus on sales. Seems pretty simple right? Somehow it never seems to go as planned.
Here are two examples:
How to spend $200 on lunch for 6:
Daniel one of our Senior Account Managers calls me on his way into work (he comes in at 11:00PM), here is the conversation:
Daniel: "Hey Steven, I see its really slammed at work want me to pick up lunch on the way in?"
Steven: "Sure, go ahead no one has had time to get up from their desk much less get lunch. Pick something up an Ill buy lunch today for the team".
Daniel: "What should I get"
Steven: "Whatever is fine, gotta go the phone is ringing"
Daniel shows up a bit later with a ton of food, enough to feed half the office not just sales. A really nice Fajitas feast with all the fixings, hot sauce, cheese, beans, guacamole, rice, pretty much everything. I thought to myself, wow Daniel did a really good job here this is excellent. Then I get the bill... It was over $200 for takeout lunch for 6 people. I promptly tell Daniel he is no longer on lunch delivery team, and that $200 for lunch is a bit much. Two months later I am still trying to work up the courage to put that one on an expense report.
How to spend $25 on lunch for 10:
A particularly grateful customer contacted us saying that he wanted to buy lunch for the sales and a couple of networking team members that helped him out with a recent issue. Mary another one of our Senior Account Managers was tasked with the order this time and after much discussion back and forth between Pizza and Mexican food, we settle on Mexican food. I am thinking to myself, thank goodness Daniel isn't in charge of this order, Vik (the customer) probably doesn't want to pay $200 for lunch. When the food arrives, I step out into the sales area to examine the feast. Much to my surprise there is only two very small bags of food half full.
I announce out loud:
"Where is the rest of the food? This isn't close to enough to feed 10 people."
I'm told "that's it, that's all we got".
No cheese, no hot sauce, no guacamole... this is a far cry from the spread Daniel got last time and there was no chance of it feeding 8 people. Ultimately I send someone back for more food.
So what is the lesson learned here? The sale team is excellent at selling SoftLayer services, and managing customer relationships. They can tell you the difference between and why you want a Single processor 5000 series server vs. a Single processor 3000 series server, they can tell you why your video streaming site needs to run on a server with SAS drives and not SATAII drives, and they can tell you all about StorageLayer and how it can help you. What cant they do for you? They can't get the Mexican food order for lunch correct.
Next time we will stick with Pizza.