Hot Takes

I bet you don’t know you have a Sales Prevention Department

Revenue Sales

So I was recently at the Forrester B2B summit in Austin and had a blast! It was an excellent opportunity to focus on new thinking in the B2B space, check out the latest and greatest vendors, and reconnect with old friends. 

However, it was also an eye-opening experience as I experienced the sales prevention department of several companies in action.

If you can call it that, the good news is that this is not a phenomenon only in the B2B world. 

I was trying to book a meeting room at the hotel I was staying in for a meeting with my sales team. This experience took several days, several transferred calls to some black hole, and numerous people pointing me in the direction of other people. Alas, I finally booked a meeting room due to sheer determination. 

However, I experienced similar behavior at the Forrester conference. On several occasions, I walked up to booths where staff huddled together, backs to attendees screaming, “don’t bother us.” 

On several other occasions, despite explicitly stating I was looking for a solution like this and wanting to buy soon! No demo was offered, no notes were taken, and no meeting was booked. Instead, I had my badge scanned and was added to the pile of “event leads” to be followed up with one day, hopefully.

The Forrester event made this behavior impossible to ignore.

Still, upon reflection, I started to remember the myriad of lead gen forms with too many questions, sales conversations where terms or forms of payment were non-negotiable, vendor relationships where upgrading was not a self-serve option or required getting passed around from rep to rep until I stumbled upon the right one. 

The list of sales prevention techniques goes on and on.

We are obsessed with new customers, and rightfully so! We spend hours and hours agonizing over messaging, conducting A/B experiments on email campaigns, ensuring that we call leads promptly, etc. 

However, are we missing out on low-hanging fruit with archaic processes/policies that exist “just because?” 

Perhaps conducting regular sales prevention audits is a worthwhile investment.