Best & Worst Technology Buying Experience
CEO, Creation Agency
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We are extremely excited to release our new video interview series; The Best & Worst B2B Technology Buying Experiences. We’re talking with leaders in SaaS and sales about times they have bought B2B technology and experienced a nightmare B2B buying process, uncovering where things have gone wrong and identifying where the sales rep and their team could improve.
And of course, we’re flipping the conversation to unearth stories of sales reps and companies who’ve delivered an exceptional experience. We’ll highlight true best practices to help buyers know what they should expect. Nobody should settle for a bad onboarding and buying process.
So, here’s episode 1 of our new series with Jack Kosakowski…
Technology Buying Experiences With Jack Kosakowski
Here’s the full conversation for you to listen to. But if you’d rather read some of the highlights, keep scrolling down for the transcript.
The Bad Technology Buying Experience
Jack Kosakowski: As an agency, a lot of times we’re shopping for our customers.
Most of the time we’re not buying something for us. We’re buying something for a customer and then we’re implementing it. I would say the worst experience that I’ve had is when we got sold on an integration into a CRM.
The CRM was HubSpot and we were told that the sales acceleration tool would integrate into the tool and so that we could build it out through the API. And so what happened was the customer actually paid us about $5,000 to do the integration. And as we build out the integration, what they did was they shut off the API.
So essentially the customer made a $40,000 investment on a contract. It was all based off the API being able to do something in HubSpot. If it couldn’t happen, obviously it would be just wasting $40,000 because they wouldn’t be using it. And I think the toughest part about this whole thing is that, the salesperson was in a bad spot. The higher-ups made the decision to shut off the API and not allow it to do what they initially sold us on.
I think where the sales rep screwed up and I think this is a learning lesson for a lot of sales reps is, they didn’t just come to us and let us know that this happened.
They let us sit on it for a month without getting us the real truth. And I think if we would have just gotten the real truth, it would have saved us a lot of headaches. We refer to a lot of business to them and I think it would have saved us a lot of headache because we were looking bad in front of the customer until they finally got the customer on the phone too.
I think as a salesperson, don’t backtrack when you know that there’s a fire. Just call the fire a fire. And especially if it’s not your fault, right? So I think it was really bad for the vendor because they probably lost $200,000 worth of referral business. The sales rep obviously lost, he kind of screwed his reputation a bit with me.
I think there’s a big learning lesson in that because as you work for the big tech companies, they are going to make decisions that are going to screw that up. You just have to be really transparent. And if that means losing the deal, that’s fine. Don’t put our relationship in a bad spot, especially if it’s got a big referral number behind it.
What A Good Technology Buying Experience Looks Like
Jack Kosakowski: There’s so many reps that do know their stuff. I think when you look at marketing automation, since I sold marketing automation for five years. What I can say in my experience is the best salespeople we’re sales engineers.
They are account executives that could have sat in the sales engineers’ seat. And the reason I say that is because once you start to get a deep understanding of the use cases and how the product on a technical level fits those use cases, you start to elevate yourself from just selling people. Then you’re able to consult with people. And that’s where a lot of salespeople go. They suck, right? It’s because they’ve only been on the selling part and they don’t know the product well enough to actually consult on how it fixes your business problem.
That comes down to the training I guess. But I think it also comes down to sales reps just throwing up their hands in the air and saying, I just don’t understand this well enough to sell it and I really need to invest my time, whether that’s off hours of selling, I really need to dive into this. And I can tell you that one of the easiest ways to do that as a start researching and writing about something in your industry because once you start to write about it, you start to really hold yourself accountable and understand things that are at a higher level.