Real World Software Sales

As a former Enterprise Software Sales Executive who now recruits and consults for software companies, I have to say things haven’t changed a whole lot over the years.

Candidates call us virtually every day telling us horror stories about how they were misled by their current employer about what their technology/solution could do. Many are told they’re selling a SaaS solution, when that’s not the case at all.

Oftentimes it’s not until after they’ve been hired do they learn during training,  “…oh, did they tell you it could do that…no, it can’t and they shouldn’t have said that…”

Even when confronting their hiring manager and/or CTO who’d made these false claims, they hear, “I never said that…”

Did the candidate not ask the right questions during the hiring process? Oftentimes that’s not the case it all, rather they were misled. Ultimately, that individual, along with many of their colleagues start contacting us and other recruiters in droves in need of an option out.

In other instances it’s a very complicated matter of different C or V level managers really not understanding 1) what the product can do at a very baseline level…leading to 2) varying levels of management claiming the product can do X,Y, and Z, when it’s really only capable of performing X kinda-sorta well, wherein Y and Z are vaporware in need of a costly custom build.

Now, how does this mass of confusion ultimately aid in the successful growth of these organization? It doesn’t! And as venture funds continue to dry-up, there won’t be a whole lot of time left for turnarounds.

So, what needs to change?

At a very remedial level, everyone in management, marketing, and other sales support staff, including SDR’s need to be on the same page. Sounds simple enough, right?

Also high on the list here, though overlooked more than I can recall, developers, project management, and the Professional Services group should be made available to openly answer questions about what the solution/product can actually do, what the development path is moving forward, and how best to explain this to prospective clients/customers. These sessions should be mandatory at the very least on a quarterly basis…IMHO.

One would think at the very least success is driven by everyone pulling in the same direction (this goes to the image above), unfortunately competing agendas and egos are a roadblock to a fully functioning organization.