A Clear View of Sales
Vendor Neutral • Podcast
For Sales Technology Buyers A Customer Success Strategy is Key for a Successful Implementation
Chief Prospecting Officer, Blissful Prospecting
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For Sales Technology Buyers A Customer Success Strategy is Key for a Successful Implementation
Have you ever invested in sales technology and found that customer support wasn’t there for you? Listen as Jason Bay shares how important a customer success strategy is to sales technology buyers and some ways to determine the right sales technology for your organization before you buy.
Dan Cilley Hey, everybody, I’m here today with Jason Bay, the Chief Prospecting Officer and Co-founder of Blissful Prospecting. Great to have you today.
Jason Bay, I’m excited, man. I’ve been looking forward to this.
Dan Cilley Super to have you. And thanks for taking part in our Vendor Neutral Zone Podcast series, The Best and Worst Sales Technology Buying Experiences. Again, we’re here to help sales technology buyers really navigate this enterprise sales technology landscape and really find a path to success. So really, we’re going to kick this off. Jason, with just ask you a simple question is tell us a negative sales technology acquisition or buying experience that you had.
Jason Bay So this sticks out because, at the time when we started Blissful Prospecting, we were doing done for you appointment setting. So people are coming to us, and we wrote essentially sent cold emails and run LinkedIn campaigns, and we’d set appointments for them. So one of the things naturally that comes up with that, especially on the email side, is how do you? Like, imagine if you were doing outreach for like 20 companies? Right. There would be all these different kinds of companies and ICPs that you would have to know, like, hey, have we already reached out to these companies or at least pulled this data because we get charged for the email addresses? And do we organize all of these clients into one tool, etc.? So we’re running into all these problems with how do we find companies, how to find contact people, contact information, how do we make sure we’re not pulling the same stuff? How do we keep it organized if we are running a six to 12-month campaign? So I started looking for other tools to help us organize this and then also give us some really good triggers and things like that. What kind of sales technology are people using? What kind of things are going on with this company? So we’re looking for one of those kind of tools. And I talk to all the vendors in the space. And there was one I was actually really excited to talk to because I just love the experience with the salesperson. And they walked me through our use case and how other companies were using their products, using their product, how we could use it. We ran some sample data, all that stuff. And the sales experience was really good, actually, so. And that’s where it sort of stops, so as soon as we set up payment for this is like twenty-five hundred bucks a month or something. It wasn’t cheap for us as a small business, especially.
Dan Cilley That’s an investment.
Jason Bay Yeah. So it was a 12-month contract. But we’re like, hey, we’re growing like things are good, like we’re definitely going to need this data. There was never really any formal onboarding like they had promised. So that was the thing for me; I was like, oh, I thought we’re going to get help onboarding this because we have a team of people that we’re going to be doing this, getting a chance to document that is really, really important, right? So that right away kind of rubs me the wrong way. And I was talking to Sara, my wife and co-founder. I was like, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Like, let’s just start using it. Right. And what happened was the platform just didn’t do the things that they promised. It wouldn’t run some of the basic searches that we needed and wouldn’t help us tag or categorize things so that we could run 20 different types of searches for 20 different companies and then pull the data. And then it when we started looking a little bit further, a lot of the industries that we needed to get stuff in there was very limited data so I could get on LinkedIn and look at stuff, and it was there. But in this platform, it wasn’t there. So it was really underdelivered, and that was pretty disappointing. But the worst part of it for us was when we reached out to get help; we couldn’t get anyone on an actual call. The salesperson was out of town on vacation. The customer support team, like they would chat through us, like through email, but we couldn’t get them on an actual call to help us. And from our perspective, it’s like we don’t normally invest this much money into tooling and things like that, especially this early on in our business. And we just didn’t get any customer success support at all. And this this went on for like four to six weeks, us trying to get a hold of them, calling in, et cetera. And what I ended up having to actually do was, and we got this advice from a friend and the friend worked at Facebook, and she basically said, hey, one thing that companies like this hate is negative P.R. It’s their worst nightmare. So I don’t like doing stuff like this. But I went on another data platform that we were using, and I looked at up like, you know, who are the people on the marketing team, on the P.R. team? I looked at the all the way up to C level, including the CEO and their assistant. And I sent out group chain emails like 30 people basically saying, hey, here’s what’s going on. Like, here’s what we want. I don’t want to say anything bad. I really don’t, but we need support here. And that’s what it took to actually get a response and talk to someone. And then I talked to their executive assistant, and she was like, and I guess this was like the whatever it’s called for the CEO, it’s not an executive assistant. It’s like some other fancy title. I don’t know what it was, but she felt so bad and all this other stuff, and we ended up getting a refund. Well, actually, we didn’t get a refund. We were able to cut off our annual agreement to three or two months in; I guess it was. So that sucked.
Dan Cilley Yeah, that does; I think that defines “this sucks.” Yeah. I think that is a good definition for that type of experience because the sales rep, who again, I’m not sure if was SDR, BDR, account executive, or what who you were working with, but it sounds like they were well trained. It sounds like they were well trained to bring you through this process to answer your questions, probably validate your needs and what you were looking for in aligning with their solution, which was great, which is what they’re supposed to do. And they were able to close the deal. But the fact is, is the customer success strategy was not there, obviously. And for such an expensive solution, and it sounds like you didn’t say this, but it sounds like you probably would have had to pay more to get the level of service that you were probably looking for, which I’m not sure if that was the case. But a lot of technology, a lot of sales technology requires in advanced cost structure to have the support that you’re looking for, to get what you need, because, again, a lot of these companies, they develop resources online, a library of data. Right. A library of content that you can leverage to work through and figure it out for yourself. But sometimes, it’s not what you’re looking for, especially at that price point. I can’t imagine you would have expected that. I think you expected them to line up and help, especially after your experience with the sales rep.
Jason Bay, I can get a customer support person on for products that cost ten bucks a month. You know what I mean? So it’s like there’s to me, there’s just no excuse for that. And it was the last thing that we wanted to do. Like, I don’t. I don’t want to write something negative online about my experience with the company, I really don’t, but it took threatening that and basically saying, hey, we got a decent following on LinkedIn, and I’m just going to be pumping this stuff out every week until you do it. So I’m going to have something negative to say every week. And we can have screenshots, and it’s not going to look good. And it took doing that to actually get them to respond, which was crazy to me because that’s. For me, I mean, we don’t even take on a training or a coaching or consulting engagement unless we feel good about the results that we can get. It’s not just about getting the person’s money. It’s about what kind of transformation is going to happen here and what are they going to say about the work that we’re doing together. So.
Dan Cilley You wanted out, though, right? It sounded like you wanted out by the point you reached out to the senior team, is that correct?
Jason Bay Absolutely. Yeah.
Dan Cilley So you wanted out, and they were, at least they stepped up at that level to end your agreement, which you know as well as those agreements are very difficult to end, especially in this space, and they’re built that way. They don’t want you to leave what you come onboard.
Jason Bay Well, the other thing, one last comment on that is that. I was really worried about that because I was like, well, what’s the alternative? We decide not to pay, we’re going to get taken to court, and that’s going to cost money. And we could lose actually that. So that’s going to cost a ton of money. And not to mention the, you know, just the psychological aspect of not wanting to deal with that. But I think that what happened, I just told them that was really unfair. I was like, this is really unfair. We’re a small business. Like this is such a tiny account for you guys. This money means nothing but twenty-three hundred bucks a month at this point in our business. And still, right now, I don’t want to waste twenty-three. That’s like literally coming straight out of my pocket on a tool like that. So I just like, hey, this is the picture I’m going to paint is like how you pick on small business owners. And again, it’s just like the fact that I had to do that is just crazy.
Dan Cilley Well, let’s turn it around. So let’s talk about what good looks like. Let’s talk about what great looks like Jason because I know you’ve had good experiences as well and great experiences in buying sales technology. And I know buyers want to hear that, right? They want to hear what great and good looks like. So tell us what that looks like for you.
Jason Bay Yeah. So I will namedrop this company because I really like this company LeadSift and the sales technology buying experience. We actually didn’t purchase the tool, and it was for that because we didn’t like the tool. It didn’t really quite fit with the workflow that we needed for our clients, but we were very, very close. And they, I mean, there’s a couple of just really basic things that they did that stuck out. One, they sent me cold outreach. So this person looked at my LinkedIn profile and saw that, hey, you talk about the types of things we help with, triggers, cold outreach, all this other stuff. I think his name was Alex. I’m forgetting his name. So he mentioned that stuff. So it was really relevant. It wasn’t like this mass templated email. And basically, the pitch was, hey, I saw you talk about this stuff. I’d love to share with you what other companies like yours are doing to help their clients with this data so they can set more appointments like, oh, that definitely aligns with our value prop, and there was a promise of some sort of education involved. And when I did the demo, you know, most demos, even big, big companies, do this. It’s the typical pitch dump. You know product of the future dump. Excuse me. Yeah, it’s like, OK, cool. Now I’m going to walk you through step by step. Exactly. And I’m like, dude, I don’t need to see how to create an account. Like, I don’t need to see what the homepage looks like. There’s some specific things I need to know that if this does or not, and he went right to those things and figuring out. And it’s actually funny; I was giving this feedback to another salesperson who’s asking me for feedback on the call because he saw that we did sales training, which is funny. But I was like right at the beginning of the call, I was like, hey, why are we talking? Like, what’s the goal? Like, we’re going ahead, and what are you trying to figure out? And he made sure to connect their solution into that. Then along the way. Yeah, along the way, while we were doing it, what I loved is that there was this constant like bringing it back to because I was really apprehensive about customer success, right and what that looks like. Well, this person’s like showing me how to actually use the tools to get results, not how it works, but how to actually get results with it. You know, here’s how other companies leverage this trick or oh, by the way, when you sent a cold email to someone, and let’s say the trigger is that they’re hiring. You don’t just say, hey, saw you’re hiring like don’t open up the email like that. Don’t make it about the trigger. You know, put that in the P.S.. Like he was showing me specific examples of, like how they use the product, how other companies are using it. And that was just super cool. So I could get some education along the way that was just enough where he wasn’t like, hey, let’s write your cold email, Jason, that you’re going to use with this. But it’s just enough to see that. Oh, hey, like, if I use this tool, they’re actually going to help me, and they care about me getting good results from it. So that was just like an amazing, that’s probably the best sales call I’ve been on since I can remember. And unfortunately, like I said, it came down to the workflow, not working with the tools that we use for our particular clients that we were doing these campaigns for. But that was the best sales experience.
Dan Cilley Well, again, they took five minutes, maybe tops, to learn a little bit about what your objectives were, and align the sales technology solution specifically to those objectives, and only demonstrated what was needed. Probably far less of a presentation than you expected and probably gave you a lot more value than you were looking for.
Jason Bay Yeah, absolutely.
Dan Cilley That’s just great. And, you know, and LeadSift, I’m sure, will appreciate this greatly. They’re not currently on our Certified Vendor Landscape, but they’d be welcome. They sound like an organization that absolutely steps up to help buyers be successful in their sales process. So this is just been a great experience. Jason, we want to thank you so much for participating today in the Vendor Neutral Podcast series, Best and Worst Sales Technology Buying Experiences. The Vendor Neutral Zone is a resource on our website that is available to buyers at all levels. So feel free. Come check us out and watch podcasts like these and many others where you can learn a lot more about what good sales technology buying experiences look like. Thanks again, Jason. Great to have you.
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