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It’s Not The Customer’s Job To Figure Out How You Help!

by David Brock on July 10th, 2020

I am looking for some software tools to help our team. After listening to about 4 suppliers, I’m about to give up, it’s probably easier, cheaper to do nothing.

As I reflect on our conversations:

  1. We’ve talked about our needs, what we are looking for, and what we hope to achieve. Sales people seem to be nodding their heads in the right direction, I take this for understanding.
  2. I’ve sat through endless corporate glamor presentations. You know the one’s that show logos of huge companies and talk about how great their companies are. Those logos are meaningless to me, those companies are very different from mine. I suspected the companies were OK, we did our homework in narrowing to those 4 companies.
  3. I’ve been victim of endless pitches about, “here are the features and functions of our product.”
  4. I’ve sat through 4 demos of what they wanted to show me, not what we think we’d like to do with these solutions.
  5. I’ve asked, “What do these things mean for what we want to do?” The responses are about what the product does, not how we use the product for what we want to do.
  6. My team sits after these meetings trying to figure out if these solutions enable us to achieve what we want to do. We go back to the sales people with questions, they tell us about their products?
  7. I ask, “What can we expect the business impact will be if we implement the your solution? How much time should we be able to save? How much can it improve the quality of our work?” The sales people tell me what their product does.
  8. Each of the sales people have suggested I could get a discount if I make the decision this month, but I still don’t know what results the solution will help us produce. My team is trying to figure it out.

It’s not my job to figure out how I get the results I want from something a sales person is trying to sell me. But somehow, sales people are making it my job.

I wonder if they will give me a discount because I’m doing so much of their work for them. Maybe I should send them a consulting bill?

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  1. Harvey permalink

    Oh my God, I had the same experience with Sales Enablement vendors (Seismic, Highspot,…) and they were talking non-stop about their product. When asked them what problem do you solve, they’ve said the communication between sales & marketing. Guess what Dave, we are status quo know 🙂

    • Sadly, the suppliers of sales and marketing tools are among the very worst! How ironic, when what they sell is supposed to improve our ability to effectively engage our customers.

      • Harvey permalink

        That’s tragic. Last time I was approached on LinkedIn from the sales enablement sales rep and he sent me “personalized” messages. Their product was so good, that I made the sales messaging for him that will open my bosses door and that happened. It’s tragic that sales enablement companies don’t enable themselves first 🙂 Obviously, the shoemaker always wears the worst shoes

  2. Dave, could not agree with you more which is why the first thing we ask potential customers at Commence Corporation is what goals or objectives do they have for their CRM system and what will constitute success in their mind. We then ask if they are prepared to invest the time and effort necessary to ensure their success? CRM software for small to mid-size firms is somewhat of a commodity today. By this I mean that no specific vendor has a set of features so unique that they just blow away the competition so success is not about features and functions any more, but instead the experience the solution provider can deliver to ensure the customer can see measurable improvement in how they market, sell and provide service to their customers. This is where Commence CRM really shines.

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