Sales 2.0 Vendor Cold Call that Sucked!

Oh no don’t say it’s true! A sales person for a “Sales 2.0” vendor just called me and left me the following voice mail. Oh boy, this stings!

“Hi Nigel this is John Doe calling from Big Company. I wanted to talk to you about our ‘Cool Tool’ our new solution with relationship mapping. I understand you attended our webinar and I’d like to show you some more details on it and how it can be used with how you use social networks and social media on targets. Can you give me a call back at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thanks.”

[Note: this is transcribed exactly from the recording I have of the call. Of course I’ve changed the company, rep and tool name.]

OK then a few minutes later I got this email – nice follow up at least

“Hello Nigel,

Hope all is well. I was hoping to introduce our state-of-the-art social selling and trigger alerting offering that is called ‘Cool Tool’. We possess a patented Relationship Mapping, extract, and Alerting technology that no other provider can offer. It takes the users entire social capital via LinkedIn, Outlook, current and past employers, and other manual uploads, and maps them to over 13 million companies and 24 million executives to help you find connections. We can also help your sales team monitor their territories and identify opportunities within them via trigger alerts.

Would you happen to have 10-15 minutes this or next week to view a quick presentation? You would be surprised who you are connected too.


John Doe
XYZ Company
Business Development
Office: xxx-xxx-xxx”

OK where to begin? I’ll try:

1.    It kills me that this company actually has a pretty good tool that is VERY close to my social calling methodology and yet this sales person called me without any indication that they even looked at my LinkedIn profile. Their tool analyzes LinkedIn profiles! Killer. I’m actually shocked and I’ve seen plenty of sales mistakes.

2.    Everything is about them. Nothing is about me. The sales person has not included a single element of relationship or trigger events in their script or follow-up email. Not even a sniff. This is what their tool does for sales people for goodness sake! Eat your own dog food.

3.    Jargonville all around. I mean come on have you guys not read any recent sales or marketing books? Never heard of Jill Konrath, David Meerman Scott, Anneke Seley, Trish Bertuzzi, Jonathan Farrington, Mike Damphousse or Kendra Lee…Anyone at all who talks or writes about Sales 2.0? “I was hoping to introduce our state-of-the-art social selling and trigger alerting offering that is called Cool Tool. We possess a patented Relationship Mapping, crawl-and-extract, and Trigger Alerting technology” Gobbledygook meter through the roof!

Jill Konrath just made a right-on prediction in her blog that 2010 will be the year when sales leaders realize that their teams need to use Sales 2.0 tools to outperform. My take on Jill’s prediction is that 2010 is the year when we need to train sales people to actually use the Sales 2.0 tools they have.

This call may be the killer illustration of the fact that tools and technology are useless if people don’t use them effectively –or don’t use them at all! Here we have a (supposed) leader in the Sales 2.0 space letting their sales people call prospects without even using their own tools. If this sales person had used one ounce of the information available to them through their own tool this would have been a warm call. They turned any easy call into a stone cold call.

We still have a long way to go with Sales 2.0. Thanks for reminding me. I’ll set my alarm clock a little earlier tomorrow!

P.S. Dear John Doe, If you want to know my thoughts on prospecting. I have a webinar coming up next week hosted by my friends at Eyes on Sales about Social Calling (aka using relationship mapping and trigger alerts in prospecting). Just a thought…

P.P.S I’m updating this post with a link to Trish Bertuzzi’s blog. In that post, Trish tells how she heard from a marketing director friend who suffered much the same fate as I just did. It’s a marathon changing a whole profession. Sales 2.0 is still just crossing the Verazzano bridge (Trish that’s in NYC in case you Boston folk are wondering).

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