The Lie, The Time Waster and the Bullshit (A Lesson for SaaS Sales Teams)

A Sales Guy Recruiting is in the market for a new ATS (applicant tracking system). We’ve reached out to several of the leaders in the space and I have to tell you, if their sales organizations and approaches are any indication of the type of company they are, I’m in a lose lose. One company in particularly, and ironically it’s the front runner, has been the most egregious in their incompetence.

I reached out to the company for a demo and to learn more. I didn’t hear from them for two weeks. Frustrated, I tweeted my dissatisfaction and low and behold I get a call back. They say they’ve been having problems with their inbound lead system. OK, I’m a flexible guy, shit happens. I’m told someone will follow up with me. They do, but that takes another week or so. From inquiry to demo took over a month.

Once we connect, we set up “TWO” appointments. One discovery call and one demo. The argument to this approach, spend 15 minutes before the demo to learn my business and what’s driving my need to look at an ATS. This way they can customize the demo to my companies needs. Makes sense to me, good approach.

During the discovery call, I specifically say the main and most critical driver to changing ATS’s is that I currently have no reporting. I can not see my business. I have no visibility. We go over the 15 minutes scheduled as I explicitly outline why I want visibility into the business. What happens when I don’t. What type of KPI’s I measure that I currently can’t see and more. I couldn’t have been any more clear. Reporting and visibility are the most important driver behind our decision to change.

Fast forward to the demo. I’m excited to see what they can do from a reporting perspective and how I’ll be able to track the business more effectively. I ask my team to participate as well, as they will be using it from a day to day perspective.

The demo begins and after an hour, the scheduled duration of the demo, ask me if I’ve seen one report or one reporting feature?

You got it, not one. I had a hard stop at 2:00 and had to go and never saw anything that I needed to see to make the decision. I call out the sales person, telling him I’m not too happy. They took 20 minutes of my time the day before and an hour during the demo and I hadn’t got what I asked for. He said the reporting was next (last) and that he was prepared to show it. My thought, why did you make it last. We had already established it was the most important element of my decision process. I was pissed.

A few weeks later, I get a call from the sales person asking if I wanted to get back on the phone and see more of the demo, particularly the reporting. I say I’m not sure and that I’m still a bit pissed that so much of my time was wasted and he argued with me and said they were going to show me at the end. He was full of excuses. It only made my more angry!

These guys screwed this up from the beginning to the end and took almost no accountability.

Here’s how I break it down:

The Lie – Don’t tell me we’re doing a discovery call in order to customize the demo and then NOT customize the demo. That’s just strait-up bullshit. If a customer tells you reporting is the number one feature to their decision, show them your reporting capabilities. Don’t put it LAST! If you’re gonna steal 15 extra minutes of your prospects time with a discovery call, you’d better make up for it by providing a targeted, informative, effectively delivered demo. Don’t tell me you want 15 minutes extra minutes of my time to create a customize demo, then give me the same shitty demo you give everyone else.

The Time Waster – I wasted one hour and twenty minutes on the phone not getting what I needed. I wasted my time explaining my business and what I needed to run it. I wasted an hour being walked through a demo that didn’t give me the information I needed to make a decision. I wasted valuable time because this company couldn’t get their shit together and do what they say they were going to do.

The Bull Shit – Don’t bullshit me when I call you out on your glaring and blatant screw up. Don’t come up with excuses. Don’t tell me you were saving it for the end, AFTER you went over the allotted hour time slot. Don’t tell me that you were showing me the other features because my team was on the demo and they were the ones going to be using it. I told you I was the decision maker. I told you what the key decision factor was going to be. I told you exactly what I needed to see and you didn’t show it to me. Don’t bull shit me, just own up to it, take your lumps, be accountable and move on. Arguing with me and coming up with bull shit excuses only makes it worse.

Trust in sales is nothing new. We’ve know this for years. Yet, when companies don’t deliver as promised, trust is eroded. When trust is eroded, it makes it very difficult to sell to them. No on feels good about buying without trust.

Do what you say you’re gonna do. Do it well and if by chance you mess up. Just fuckin’ own it. Your bull shit just makes it worse.

Don’t be these guys. They’ve just about sold themselves OUT of a sale.