Perhaps never in the history of the planet has sales activity, driven by nonsensical systems like CRM, Account Based Marketing and sales process managers like MEDDIC, SPIN, Challenger — caused buyers to adopt Anti-Sales Technology.
There is now an emerging tech category we should start calling Anti Sales Tech (AST). Hey Gartner guys, maybe you need to start talking about AST categories and pressure the vendors in the space to buy your crappy advice so they can get into the AST Magic Quadrant better positioned than the guy next to them!
What is Anti-Sales Technology you ask?
Well, it is emerging in distant places and subtle buyer behaviors, and B2B tech is beginning to see this as the next great category.
First, there was the almost universal industry revulsion with cold calling and SPAM email campaigns from Marketo, DiscoverOrg, and a hundred other “marketing automation” participants who Shanghaied the business email of some poor, innocent executive and sold that name to perhaps 250 startups to create a “lead funnel.”
Buyers said “hey, I can go to that web site and learn what I need about this product. I do not need to speak to that sales rep who wants to know what keeps me up at night.” I can download the white paper or attend a webinar and learn what I need to know!
Then the buyer did it! He or she went to the web site.
Buyers figured out pretty quickly to NEVER give out a business email address. They downloaded that white paper. Big Mistake!
Then came the call from the chirpy BDR (business development rep, really!) who wanted to know if he or she had any questions about the document they have yet to read. Every few days, someone else calls and emails about the downloaded document. The buyer name was sold to DiscoverOrg and RainKing, now one company, and it was syndicated to hundreds of useless startups who needed — you guessed it — the sales funnel.
That poor business executive has now become the most hunted animal in the B2B kingdom — they are a “LEAD!”
So the first, most primitive ANTI SALES technology these executive buyers employed was the Hotmail and Gmail account. Only give up that email address which one can cancel later when it is overwhelmed by DiscoverOrg buyers funded by endless VC money.
Aha! Marketing brethren are just too clever.
They were ecstatic to have 1,000 people sign up for that webinar. But wait, 87% of the email addresses were Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo. Damn! Doesn’t do much for that sales funnel.
B2B marketing changed the rules. If you want that white paper or to attend a webinar, you have to cough up your “business email.” No more Gmail, no more Yahoo or Hotmail.
So, executives stopped attending these events. This is an ANTI SALES behavior.
I challenge any of you useless SaaS companies and your incompetent marketing executives – look at your lead-gen lists and find anyone who downloaded a white paper or attended a webinar who is not a low level grunt. If you find one, I bet he or she either made a mistake or they were on that 4th glass of Cab and just said, “I need some pain!”
The only webinar attendees have become low level types who couldn’t get budget for a pencil sharpener. Even these did not use their corporate emails more than a few times as they learned about the ugly ABM door that action opened.
Here, I would take you, dear reader, to “what did the smart marketing-type do?” Unfortunately, there are not very many smart marketing types in the B2B space.
Thus, let’s ask a different question.
Wouldn’t you think that perhaps the smart marketer would say “hey, I get it. Prospects do not want endless, cookie-cutter emails and interruption phone calls. They have changed and want to avoid sales people until very late, if ever, in the process. OK, I will sell to them the way they want to consume information!”
Well, dear reader, you have missed the point. Marketers, Sales VPs, do not know another way to sell. So their answer is to double down on what does not work because it is all they know.
Double down means the implementation of intrusive CRM, ABM and other systems that send 7 “profile tailored emails” to each of the persona-victims on their lists. Ouch! No critical thinking here. Only perform stupid stuff, more often, it will surely work. It must, it is all I know!
You have all seen this activity. You are emailing me your agreement at a 99% rate. (there are some real hate emails from some transaction Sales VPs which I do cherish.)
You all agree with this. But what you do not know, is how much fun you can have with ANTI SALES techniques and technology. You all know this obsolete sales model started by PTC with the MEDDIC nonsense is dead meat.
But, death of a sales model can be vastly entertaining. It is for me!
Let me tell you about RoboKiller!
It is one of many apps I can download on my phone and it gives out a very funny answering cadence to those pesky BDRs calling me about a sales automation system. And it records the calls.
Last evening, after two glasses of Chardonnay, I fired up the recording app. I listened to over a dozen BDR callers, all about sales automation systems, speak to Hillary Clinton, Morgan Freeman (impersonators) and a very funny Russian guy who asked them compelling questions. I laughed so hard I woke up my spouse.
We are now in a new age. It is the age of the ANTI SALES technology. The B2B sales world is pretty clearly breaking into the 95% of VC-funded companies who will continue to do this nonsense and inflict it on their prospects.
The rest of us will be human. We will be clever. We will find ways, usually via trusted advisors, to bring real value to customers. We will give customers information, value, they cannot find anywhere else, at any price.
And we will have riotously funny evenings listening to RoboKiller voice recordings of some hapless BDR talking to a drunk Russian.
This is so much fun. Thanks to the transaction Sales VPs for this free entertainment!