A Clear View of Sales
Vendor Neutral • Podcast
Is the Sales Technology Buying Process Over Engineered?
Episode 11 -
Founder & CEO Tenbound
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Is the Sales Technology Buying Process Over Engineered?
Listen as Dan Ciiley, CEO of Vendor Neutral, talks with David Dulany, founder, and CEO of Tenbound who provides invaluable insights into the world of sales technology buying today. He shares stories about his Best (AND Worst!) sales technology buying experiences, the important role SDR/BDR’s play in the sales process and shares some examples of where over-engineering the sales process can cause a negative customer experience.
Dan Cilley Thanks, everybody, for joining us for another Vendor Neutral Zone podcast, really excited today to have David Dulany of Tenbound. Thanks for joining us today, David.
David Dulany You got it. Thanks for having me on.
Dan Cilley No problem. These podcasts are really about the best and worst sales technology buying experiences. So we like to take advantage of individuals like yourself who have had many opportunities potentially to make salestech acquisitions, and they’ve seen it all. They’ve seen what good looks like and what bad looks like. So what I’d like to ask you to kind of kick this off is if you don’t mind sharing a negative experience, really kind of where you didn’t get the response or the partnership that you were looking for with a potential vendor or solution provider. So if you don’t mind kicking that off to start and then we’ll ask a little bit later on what good looks like and really where you saw value in partnering with a vendor or solution provider. So go ahead, David. Take it away.
David Dulany Yeah. Thank you so much. So when I think about negative experiences, I think that there’s a few of the social networks that have grown to the point where they’ve let hubris take over their buying experience to the point where they’ve basically eliminated human beings from the process. And I guess I come from the days of when you actually need a human being to help you facilitate the buying process. Literally, I can think of one company. Do we name names?
Dan Cilley No, not for that. Not for the negative side of sales technology buying. I don’t mind sharing on the positive, but no need to call out the negative.
David Dulany I got all kinds of stories of the positive. But there’s large social networks, there’s two or three of them that you can probably think of that have engineered their buying process to the point where they’ve eliminated human beings from the buying process. And there they have an expectation that you can figure it out based on some steps that are not super clear and at some point in the process. You have subtle context-based questions that you really need to ask before you can hand over your credit card. And literally, I want to spend money with you people like I do. But if I don’t feel confident and I don’t feel like they’re able to fulfill exactly what I’m looking for, then I have to move on to a different resource. So I know that they’re very effective. But if I can’t get my questions answered and I just keep going around in this bot based buying circle, I have to move on to a different resource.
Dan Cilley I fully agree with you. You know, it’s so often today a lot of these larger organizations, there are plenty of vendors out there that have steps in their process, steps in their sales cycle, and they bring on individuals, SDR, BDR role who potentially could carry an opportunity or prospect right through the entire sales process, but they choose instead to put steps in the process. You know, to hand it off to a sales engineer, to hand it off to an account executive, where potentially on the front end, if they had just taken the opportunity to learn more about what your needs were, take the questions that you’re asking or are looking for information on and get that information, get that detail. You have far more respect for that sales cycle because you’re not just passing you off to the next person. You’re actually trying to not just move you in a process, but actually answer your questions and get you a result, and I think that that’s something that’s lacking a lot in a lot of vendor presentations. So tell me what does good look like then? So when you are engaging with a buyer or a seller who is really doing it right, what does that look like?
David Dulany Yeah, it’s kind of the opposite story of the overengineered robot led sales process that, I get it. I understand why people are trying to go to that, because human beings are very expensive and we’re kind of a pain in the neck. So why not replace us with robots? But on the flip side of that, if they, those companies, they don’t need my money, they got plenty of money. But if they just sort of had a five minute conversation, I probably would have spent tens of thousands of dollars on the media because I felt confident. So so on the flip side of that, I worked with a sales tech vendor called Copper and what I loved about Copper from day one is that they fit seamlessly into my workflow that I had already spent a lot of time setting up. I’m not a tech guy, but I can figure out Gmail, G calendar, and the GSuite stuff, and I had already spent a lot of money getting all that set up. So when they came along, their value proposition was we can plug right into your GSuite, you know, suck everything out and update a CRM, right? That pops out right on the side. If I had any questions, boom, their customer acquisition process was human based and in defense of the SDR and BDR, since that’s what our company does, I have a vested interest in their success. In defense, again, five minute conversation. How do I do this? What’s the benefit? Just having that and being able to hold my hand a little bit pays off in spades for these companies. So yeah.
Dan Cilley The SDR/BDR roll I feel it’s such an important factor because again, so much of that initial upfront contact occurs through those two roles. And, you know, like you said, you can throw a bot in and a bot is going to ask programmatic questions and based on your response, provide you a programmatic response. So it’s, I feel that you know, even the SDR or the BDR can take it from there as well and further qualify, but like you said, if it’s in their sales flow or in their sales process, it’s going to be far more effective. So many technologies today, like you mentioned, social, some of the social networks out there, they’re very good at distracting you. They’re very good at taking you out of your workflow and putting you onto another strategy. May or may not even have been your intention, but because you needed a piece of information that wasn’t delivered directly into your workflow, you had to go find it. And because of that, maybe it’s an hour, an hour and a half before you get back to what you were working on. And that’s far, far from effective. Right? So you make you make a great point is that when an organization is focused on your workflow and keeping you focused on the steps in your sales process, that you’re going to be far more effective. Have you? Tell me more about Copper? So what are the other insights that you surfaced from that type of resource?
David Dulany Yeah, I mean, again, what I love about Copper is that it sits right in my Gmail where I am all day anyways, and so it pops right out of Chrome and I can hover over any of the information that I need and it just sort of magically, I don’t know how it works, magically puts it in. And it’s very consistently updated. If I need to start an opportunity, if I need to put a reminder task, it’s all right there. And they also integrate seamlessly with Persist IQ, which is a way for a tiny company like ours. It’s got enough computing power to run your sales engagement on a basic level. So, you know, it’s not I. I hope someday we can grow to the point where we need more fancy equipment, but for now, it works great for a small company.
Dan Cilley Well, again, thank you for giving us perspective here today on what the buying experience should look like, and greatly appreciate it. If you don’t mind, Dave, could you take a second and tell us a little bit about Tenbound? I know it’s coming up later in August and, you know, and again, I want to make sure that everybody understands the value of that program and the value of that event and also what you’re bringing to the market.
David Dulany Yeah, absolutely thanks so Tenbound is really a research and advisory firm that focuses on that sales development world and we’re one hundred percent on the SDR, BDR strategy, and tactics. And so as part of that, we release research and have a lot of content and information, and then we run the sales development conference, which is kind of the center of the universe, now twice a year for the SDR, BDR world. And so that’s it’s coming up August 17th, obviously virtual this year since we can’t get together in San Francisco. But terrific lineup, terrific sponsors. And I hope everybody can make it.
Dan Cilley Absolutely. David, thank you so much. And again, if you haven’t checked out Tenbound, check them out and thank you for participating, David, in our Vender Neutral Zone podcast series, Best and Worst Buying Experiences. Really appreciate you taking the time today.
David Dulany Thank you.
Dan Cilley You’re welcome.
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