Sales Punishment

I spent my first ~2.5 years at Bronto as the company's only salesperson. I hawked our email marketing snake oil medicine to every marketing agency, law firm, health club, and university on the east coast - (at least it seemed like it at the time) - and learned a lot in the process, including how to motivate a sales team.

Bronto, unlike typical sales organizations, often set a sales "punishment" in addition to our sales goal and stretch goal. Obviously, the punishment kicked in if we didn't hit our number and was meant to spur us on to victory. As far as I remember, we only punished ourselves twice:

The first time, we met at Meridian Parkway corporate park in the middle of the night and swam our 9ft tall inflatable Bronto mascot across the disgusting office park pond.

From left - Joe, Chaz, Britney, and Eric swim Big Bronto across the pond. (Not pictured - Caroline)

The fun continued as we convened in the parking lot for a beer after the swim. As I recall, Meridian Parkway security showed up and we proceeded to have an awkward exchange in which we explained why we were wet and he essentially told us to never swim in the pond again. (The details are a little fuzzy on this one...)

The 2nd punishment we endured was more of the public humiliation type. Essentially, we set up shop at the front door of our office building - who's tenants included numerous stodgy business types - and accosted those entering and exiting the building with something like the following:

Hi - we're Bronto Software, a local technology start-up. We didn't hit our sales goal and would like for you to dole out the punishment by pelting us with water balloons or squirting us with a water gun. You can either roll the dice to punish a random victim or you can just pick the department you think blew it this month.

Don't you think it was the sales team's fault?

As you can tell from the photo below, it ended up being everyone's fault...but mostly mine:

Front row, from left - Brandon, Chaz, Eric, and Jack.
Back row, from left - Danielle, Brad, Joe, and Oliver.

Looking back, the punishments were just as fun - if not more so - than the rewards. That said, I'm glad that we avoided the following "punishments" as crafted by Chaz:

- November Halloween. All Brontos would have been required to dress up in outlandish Halloween costumes...on November 1.

- Carolina Wolfpack. The plan was to don the most obnoxious NC State gear we could find and then eat lunch at the UNC cafeteria.