Shall We Play A Game?

wargames-for-sale-13apr10I am surprised that there are still companies that employ “the enterprise sales process” . We often see this employed when we evaluate new hardware vendors.

Here is how I recently described the process to a potential vendor (who thankfully promised to not do this):

  1. Vendor send quote.
  2. I gasp.
  3. I reply that I received the quote and that we will be evaluating it.
  4. Vendor calls and emails numerous times – to the point of excessive.
  5. I pretend to go on vacation or be “crazy busy”.
  6. Vendor eventually leaves a message and sends an email regarding how they value us a  partner (which actually means customer). Also, the message states that prices have temporarily dropped due to some random, arbitrary reason such as unicorns are currently in mating season. (This translates to it’s end of quarter.)
  7. Our team evaluates the product but worries about future pricing.

Sales is the first point in what could be a long term relationship for both parties. Setting the tempo and tone around this type of process seems to defeat this potential. It breaks down the trust and adds worry to us as a customer. For me, this defeats the purpose of a good vendor – make the customer’s life better. Period.

FWIW, I have to say that I am very grateful our vendors, such as Dell/EqualLogic, CDW, and many others, do not play these games. It allows us to get the best pricing and service, commit to them long term, and make our customers lives better.

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