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Diary of a Cloud vs. Enterprise Software Salesperson – Day 983 of My Sales Cycle

It’s late on a Friday afternoon and I have some time to kill before my next appointment (nothing like dealing with West Coast clients when you live in the Eastern time zone.)  I came across a post from a friend of mine, Ramon Chen, that set me off chuckling.  I’ve spent a good chunk of this week working with technology sales executives helping them work through the woes of selling enterprise software in today’s tough market.  Ramon’s post, which you should read in its entirety here, was a fun way to cap off a long week.

The post recaps a hilarious dog vs. cat diary has made the rounds but it’s still pretty funny. If you haven’t seen it before enjoy.  It’s followed by my tongue-in-cheek adapted version, diary of a cloud salesperson vs. enterprise software salesperson.  I’ve excerpted a few bits of it below:

Dog vs. Cat diary original version

Diary of the dog…

  • 8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
  • 9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
  • 9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing
  • 10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!

 Diary of the cat…

 Day 983 of my captivity…

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.  They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.  Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

 The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.  In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Diary of the cloud salesperson …

  • Day 1 – Respond to RFP. The environment pre-req & config questions only refer to browser types supported. Life is good!
  • Day 7 – Respond to initial enquiry and provide 30 min demo to prospect without leaving my desk. Life is good!
  • Day 10 – Talking directly with business buyer, the end-users of my application and decision makers. Life is good!
  • Day 20 – Provide login to 30-day trial version to prospect. No install, no hardware procurement needed or dealing with IT. Life is good!
  • Day 40 – Prospect finished evaluation early, wants to talk customizations. A real sign of interest. Life is good!
  • Day 50 – Prospect comfortable with critical customizations, happy to defer others. They love, love the intuitive web browser UI. Life is good!
  • Day 60 – Informed that we are shortlisted. Wants details on performance and security guarantees which we have covered. Life is good!

Diary of the enterprise software salesperson …

Day 983 of the sales cycle …

My prospect continues to taunt me with bizarre customization ideas.  They laugh at the crappy non-browser UI that I have been given by engineering,  while the other salespeople and I are bombarded with requests for resources to help them install and get the product up and running for the 3rd POC in 6 months.  Although I make my contempt for the process perfectly clear, I nevertheless must comply in order to keep the deal going, as it is already flagged as winnable in salesforce.com.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of the large commission of this multi-million dollar deal.  In an attempt to move them along, I once again urge them to call my only reference who will talk.

Today I threatened to pull out of this never ending sales cycle.  I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of.  However, they merely made condescending comments about what a ‘good little negotiator’ I am.  Bastards.

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2 Responses to “Diary of a Cloud vs. Enterprise Software Salesperson – Day 983 of My Sales Cycle”

  1. sandhill heidi Says:

    Hmmm. Looks to me like neither rep is in control of their process – wasting both their time and that of their client’s.
    I see no commission coming for anybody – nor a customer that will see any personal or professional gain out of this exercise.

    More waste of probably excellent talent prohibited to providing real productivity for anyone.

    The story would be funny if it didn’t happen all to frequently. Quite a sad comment on the state of professional selling competency in the IT industry.

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