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Liars, Lying and Delusion

When you coach your salespeople that it's okay for them to tell a prospect that you're not trying to sell them something (when, in fact, you are) or you coach them to say, "I only need 15 minutes of your time" (when, in fact, you want your salespeople keep the prospect on the phone for as long as it takes to persuade them to grant an appointment) you're participating in the same "lie-fest" as the sales candidate who tells you, "Just get me in the door and I can close anybody!" And you deserve the inevitable consequences of delusion.

Hand-in-hand with the bill-of-goods being sold to B2B companies by the inbound marketing folks (i.e. "If you post it they will come") these lies leave a gap in the sales process for most B2B companies so wide you could drive a truck through it.

We talk here, here, here, and here, among other places, about how inbound marketing is a fool's game for B2B companies. And we talk here, here and here about some of the other snake oil being peddled out there.

But the greatest delusion of all is the belief that all you have to do is get your salesperson in the door and the sale is virtually guaranteed.

The Sting

Quite literally, hundreds of thousands of so-called marketing experts populate B2B companies with no more expertise in marketing than you could get from taking an Introduction to Marketing Communications course in college. Typically hired with the goal of "getting the word out" - because that's what the Inbound Marketing vendors have told them to do - they spend money like a drunken sailor, until there's nothing left, and then they move on to their next job, claiming their experience with you as a resounding success. But you're left holding the bag.

Their natural partner-in-crime, of course, is the salesperson who shows up with a lot more enthusiasm than experience, and a lot less real sales training than either. He'll take every lead your marketing department will give him though, for about a week - until he realizes that all they're producing is junk. He'll say, of course, that he expected the leads to be better, because you bragged about your great marketing program (see above) in the interview. But he's already floated his resume, because the quicker he moves on, the less he'll have to show a gap in employment.

Greed Makes You a Victim

Everyone accepts that building a successful business takes hard work and a lot of money. But because funds are always limited, there's still a natural tendency to shop price for things like lead generation. Thinking that you already know it all, especially with all the free advice available on the Internets, prevents you from hiring a consultant who actually does. And because time is always limited, there's also a natural tendency to seek out easy answers, or see a particular sales candidate as "the one." But that's all it takes to fall victim to the scam.

If It Starts with a Lie, It Always Ends Badly

The biggest problem with "Just get me in the door and I can close them," though, is that you will always be the last one to know that it wasn't true.

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