Hey Sales VP, Don’t Leave Your Sales People Hanging!

I’m looking for a new SaaS software for A Sales Guy Recruiting. After finding a leader in the industry, I searched their website and I clicked on the little red button to request a demo. It was Sunday. By Monday, I was on the phone with a sales rep. He asked a bunch of questions and suggested a demo.

Tuesday rolls around, I’m on a demo. I’m digging how fast this is going. I don’t like to dick around. Once I’ve decided to do something, I like to go.

Demo time arrives and my first disappointment. His opening salvo, “A little bit about our company.”

NO!!!  I quickly jump in. I don’t care about your company, how long you’ve been in business, or how many customers you have. I don’t give a shit. I’m here for a demo.

Hey VP of sales. Cut it out! Don’t make your sales team share that boring information with me. Do your sales team better than that. Don’t bore me, a prospect, with your company details. The fact that you have a bazillion customers and you’ve been in business since Jesus, doesn’t factor into my decision. Don’t wast my time. It just leaves your sales guys hanging.

After my, direct unwillingness to sit through a second of self-serving blabber, we get to the good stuff. The demo.

The demo goes OK. It’s not targeted to my unique, specific needs. Didn’t we just have a call the yesterday?  The demo should be tailored to my needs, right? Hmmm? But hey, I can live with it and will figure out whether whatever feature he’s showing me matters or not.

We get almost two thirds through the demo and the sales person gets excited and references all the new features coming in the next release, including . . . hold your breath — multi-browser support. Yup, you guessed it. This particular SaaS recruiting software only runs on Internet Explorer. In case you’re wondering, I’m a Mac user and I told the sales guy this the day before in our prelim call. He just wasted an hour of my time.

In spite of all of this, this is where it gets really humorous. I ask when they new version, the multi-browser version will be available. He says; it  is supposed to be available in the next month OR SO!?  Huh? Supposed to be?

The poor kid couldn’t give me a date. Why? Because management couldn’t give him a date.

This poor kid was scrambling to keep this deal alive. He was anticipating objections and responding to everyone he could possible think of. He was suggesting work arounds, like using VMWare and running parallel operating systems until they were ready, then we could switch. He was dancing. I give him mad kudos for the effort. Here is the problem. His company, his VP, failed him. Like a general sending a soldier to war without the right equipment, this company has sent their sales people into battle and left them hanging. This poor kid didn’t have the back end support he needed to deal with this situation.

As sales leaders our job isn’t ONLY to manage and monitor our teams performance, it’s also to enhance it and support it and when a sales person is left hanging like this poor kid, it’s the sales leader(s) fault.

  • There needs to be a drop dead, will not miss, unquestionable availability date for the new release sales can share with customers — period!
  • There needs to be several suggested work arounds the company will support or offer for free until the release date.
  • Sales people need training on how to address the issue of lack of multi browser compatibility now
  • There needs to be a call rotation where leadership listens to the calls the sales team is having in order respond to ground level issues
  • Leadership needs to make calls themselves using only the tools the sales person has. If it’s hard to sell, there is a problem.
  • All self-serving content needs to be removed from the presentations. Don’t put us through that pain
  • Don’t leave your sales people hangin’.

I felt bad for this kid. He gets an “A” for effort. Unfortunately, effort doesn’t win the race.

BTW: I went back and asked to be allowed in the trial and when they went live I would roll into the live paid version. I was told no. It’s only for existing customers, they don’t want new customers first experience to be on a beta. That makes sense, but I aint waiting some undisclosed amount of time for a product that “might” be ready because you’re afraid I might have a bad experience? Hello? You’re a little late for that.

I’m trialling another system and if works. I’m going with them.

That companies VP may have left their sales people hangin’, but I’ll  be damned if they leave me hanging.

Hey sales leaders, don’t leave your sale people hangin’. Give them what they need to be successful, it’s your job.