Let’s Say This Again, One More Time, With Feeling: Robo-selling Does Not Create A Relationship With The Customer

~rant on~
RobotIn a post earlier today, the usually-on-the-money Jim Berkowitz at the CRM Mastery blog had a post entitled “Turning Sales Into Science” that spotlighted a number of emerging technologies that are (according to Berkowtiz Inc.’s Alex Salkever) going to “launch your sales force into the future” and “turn a sales operation into a gleaming high-tech machine.”


First off…sales should be about the customer, not the technology.
Secondly…actually, there is no “secondly.” Sales should be about the customer, period.

Now, Salkever’s list has a number of points that require comment.

AS: “If you’ve already won a client’s trust, it ought to be relatively easy to sell him or her more stuff.”

Yes, indeed. If you can fake sincerity, you are golden. And that’s right…it’s not about helping the customer solve a problem, it’s about the stuff!

AS: “Now, for the first time, smaller businesses can afford to send automated phone messages to targeted clients. With these products , a salesperson or business owner calls a toll-free number and records a brief message with a sales pitch. The message is uploaded to the Internet and broadcast using a voice over Internet protocol system to anywhere from a dozen to thousands of customers.”

Greeeeeaaaat. I, for one, would like to welcome our robot overlords.

AS: “Make the buyers come to you.”

Yes, because I certainly know that I love it when vendors make me do things. I really do!

Gah, blech, ick, etcetera, etcetera. The rest of the post is all about the shiny tools that sales folks can use to automate tasks and further dehumanize the customer-vendor interaction. And so forth.
~rant off~

I need my moment of Zen. Ah, here’s one. And here’s another. And one more.

Update: As pointed out in the comments, apologies to Jim Berkowitz, who was excerpting this article by Alex Salkever in the above. The post above has been updated to reflect the correct attribution where necessary.

“We Were Well-Paid, Latte-Drinking Vassals”

Versai’s Greg Olsen hits another one out of the park: Software’s Glorious Revolution

A couple of weeks back, GregO coined the term “Going Bedouin” that got a bit of buzz going with Om Malik and Jackson West, Stowe Boyd, Kevin Burton, the Guardian UK and others around how the current (and future?) crop of technology companies were self-organizing and getting things done with a minimum of infrastructure investment.

Now he’s taken aim at IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Sun and the OMG, through the lens of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, equating the the aforementioned companies with the Powers that ran the systems of Europe in the late 17th century.

(On the subject of Stephenson, just remembered these graphs from Cryptonomicon. Heh.)


“Though I often griped, I learned to live within the structure provided by the ordained Powers. We made our treks to JavaOne, the Microsoft PDC, and other events to receive the word as written. We lived with a pace of new technology arrival dictated by the Powers and their committees of architects. We were sometimes forced to swear allegiance to one of the Powers and to purchase the requisite tools and literature from that Power in order to use their infrastructure. For the most part, we were well-paid, latte-drinking vassals.

Somewhere over the last five years or so something changed. Though I can’t think of a specific event to parallel to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, it is clear that some form of revolution did occur, and that a New System of the Software World is in the process of being established. The powers of the Old System are still around, but they no longer dictate what infrastructure and tool options are available to software developers. Today, new capabilities come into being because there is a demand and because there is someone willing to meet that demand – most often through the vehicle of an open source project, or through an Internet-based service.”

In the new software world, who is providing the illumination and Enlightenment? Salesforce’s AppExchange, Intuit’s QuickBase, JotSpot, Ning, Thingamy

Good stuff. Read the whole thing.

(disclosure: versai is a customer of cerado)