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Am I the Asshole? A Megathread

A thread to discuss scenarios and get a sanity check as to whether you're the asshole or the other party. You can also ask for suggested solutions or not - that's up to you.


I'll post my own situation below as a comment.

๐Ÿฑ Off-Topic
10
pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
My company sells an array of products, one of which is implemented by a consultancy team. Typically after close, the buyer wants to jump in right away because their pain needs solving (perhaps a great salesperson helped them see this, lol.)

I've had issues over the past few weeks/months where I close a deal, make introductions to the implementation team and then ... crickets. Sometimes it's just a day or two, sometimes half a week or more goes by before implementation sends out an acknowledgement email to the buyer.

It's one thing if it's a clean hand-off and it essentially becomes someone else's problem, but I've also had situations where I'm simultaneously trying to sell another product to the buyer as well. It looks bad when I sell them one product and we're stalling out on implementation, while I also try to sell them something else.

My workflow after close: Iย shoot a quick Slack message as a heads up that a deal is closing/has closed, so I can give as much lead time as possible for implementation. I send out an email to intro the buyer to the implementation. I send out a separate email to implementation with a link to the CRM (I make sure my notes are clean and organized first), and I include a quick 1-2 minute summary video on the situation.ย 

The implementation team is quite small and I do get Slack message responses back about who's going to respond, so I don't think it's that they're unclear about next steps.

The implementation team has other, more time consuming stuff they deal with as well, but really the first response from them just needs to be an acknowledgement and an excited hello, and getting a next meeting set.ย 


tldr: Implementation team is lagging by days, sometimes almost a week, in sending out a simple email response to new buyers.

Am I being unreasonable that I want a same day or next day response from implementation after I hand off a buyer to them? Suggestions on solving, without tattling to management?
YoungGoat
Opinionated
+2
Surgical Technology Specialist
Not unreasonable atย  all. I have a similar situation where I sell a repair/replacement program to some of my customers on gear that needs semi frequent repairs/replacements. In a perfect world something breaks and the customer emails our service team with the SN of the broken unit and a PO to send the replacement in on and the service team responds within 24 hours with an eta on the replacement. After selling almost a dozen of these agreements, totalling about 100K. I started getting emails from customers saying they were waiting a week or more to hear from the service team, if at all. We had to go to the manager of the service team and agree on some benchmarks that they were expected to reach because it was not acceptable. We also made a dedicated email that customers could send repair requests to that automatically cc'ed myself, the service rep, his manager, and my manager so that we were all aware how long customers were waiting on replies and it created more visibility. After even more pressure they also hired an additional member for the service team which has improved things even more. I'd suggest starting with setting up a meeting between yourself, your manager, and the implementation manager to agree on expected benchmarks. Then you can reference those for accountability. If they still aren't meeting them you can look at if the team is being mismanaged or just needs more help.
pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
Thanks for the thoughtful response. I hate to be running to management/leadership with problems like this, but Iย suspect you're right that this is something I can't just deal with on an individual contributor to individual contributor basis.

Much of the workflow I describe above were my attempt to try to make the handoff easier... I actually wonder if I'm adding to the overload by sending three separate messages (Slack, email to implementation, email to connect buyer to implementation). Sigh.
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
You mention that there's a consultancy team but is there any other option (getting internal resources trained, going to another consultancy)? Even if it's just an option you can mention, a clear conversation of "look, I'm going to another route if your team doesn't step up its game" can make quite a difference.ย 

Also, how hard have you worked on building the relationship? I work in a space that requires us to partner constantly and I'd take a call at 2:00am on a Saturday if the right person asked me to. It might be worth doing whatever you can to make a connection with them so they're fighting for you. That's more challenging during COVID times but I've had some care packages sent to me by partners, we do wine nights with partners, etc.ย 
pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
Ah, maybe it wasn't clear in my post - it's an internal team, so going for another provider is not an option and as to building the relationship, I'd frankly much rather go to management than go out of pocket to send care packages to my coworkers to encourage them to do their job.
fr
fred
Valued Contributor
+4
salesperson
ok, so for the extra ยฃยฃ leading up to post covid world (to buy flights to Greece and Barcelona) im helping some local business with their social media marketing - they had this girl start as a manager who likes 'marketing' and came in and ridiculed the time i post - i post offered for a restaurants' takeaway on a Thursday - she argued that it should be on a Monday morning - we disagreed and i compromised to post on Tuesday - which is fucking bullshit tbh but she IS my 'manager' so whatever.ย 



I scheduled a post at1am instead of 1 pm by accident - to which she sent this message in the group chat - I replied to her privately that i didn't appreciate her tone, she is referring to my argument that things should not be posted on mondays - of course its not a good time to post...and it's a mistakeย 


QUESTION - Am i being a dick here or is she? be honestย  ย 









pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
IMO you're feeling put off because you've misunderstood the relationship.ย 


You're an outside vendor and you messed up work you did for your client. They're within their rights to be displeased. They're also within their rights to take your advice or not - customers often don't know best, but that's on them.

Edit: Similarly, as an outside vendor, you have absolutely no right to feel wronged that you're being "managed" by someone with less experience than you. That's the whole point of the relationship - you're helping the in house people because you have expertise (hopefully). It's up to them how they implement based on your advice.
fr
fred
Valued Contributor
+4
salesperson
don't mind the advice and being given ordersย  it's her passive aggressiveness, is the screenshot showing up on this thread at allย 
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bigtuna
Good Citizen
Enterprise Account Executive
@pitchandputtย Have you considered brokering introductions between a customer and your Implementation Team ahead of getting the deal closed? For instance, if you have a signature on your Agreement and are just waiting for a PO to formally book the deal; schedule a call with the customer and your Implementation Team to get the ball rolling. Caveat the conversation that you want to ensure a smooth transition, but cannot actually start implementation work until the PO is received.ย 

Or, if you are unable to introduce them ahead of closing the deal - force your Implementation Team to join a customer intro CALL with you. Not an email hand off, an actual meeting where everyone get introduced and discusses an implementation plan/schedule/whatever.ย 


Hold your Implementation Team accountable for getting your customer up and running in a timely manner once a deal is closed.ย 
pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
Great idea - I've definitely done this with other products, especially bigger ticket items. The problem is that this implementation team's attention is stretched thin with other projects - I can't realistically ask them to devote time on sales calls.

I think what's more realistic is that I'm actually gonna step a bit into the implementation side myself, post closing - I've floated the idea by leadership and they're into it. Not ideal but I think that's the best way to reduce churn/clawback.
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
Iโ€™ve worked with a similar implementation team in the past and they just never could get their act together. What I ended up doing is setting expectations with the clients so they knew it was going to be 1 to 2 weeks before someone from my implementation team made anything happen. Not ideal but nothing else I could do. My management was no help.ย 
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