We lost some pretty high profile customers who decided to simply walk away when they experienced serious disconnections between our marketing team’s online content and our sales rep’s offline versions. Not only were we not saying the same things, we also differed markedly in our language.
Our reps were unprepared for these super-informed buyers, who often contacted them out of the blue, ready to buy now. Trying to up-sell or cross-sell was a near impossibility. Buyers had simply come too far on their journey to be persuaded to go back over what they deemed was old ground. The buyers had done their research, found what they wanted and were now ready to buy. In the buyers’ eyes our reps were no longer adding value; they existed merely to either get out of the way or to complete the final transaction at the lowest price possible. The situation clearly eroded our margins and made our old go-to market model unsustainable. It also made for some very unhappy sales executives. As a knee-jerk reaction, sales reps were given more sales and were taught such things as sales closing techniques and objection handling. This had worked in the past and there was budget allocated to training, so it was an easy decision to make.