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In Part 1 of this post, I’d pointed out how B2B technology vendors risk losing a deal by belaboring business value all the time. In this post, let me illustrate this warning with the example of a vendor that failed to heed it and lost the deal – and more – as a result.

I was recently helping a customer hire some sales people. Around this time, I heard of this new job portal that sourced candidates who’ve already resigned their existing jobs. With its focus on JIT hiring, the startup differentiated itself from the run-of-the-mill recruitment agencies who cold call to seek out requirements from the ground up.

Potential employers face a major pain area, namely, candidates not joining after accepting a job offer because they use it to negotiate a better package in their existing jobs. By staging a pool of job aspirants who’re already serving their notice periods, this startup seemed to provide a solution to this widespread pain point. Therefore, I headed straight to its website.

On its homepage, I found “sales” to be a trending skill. I was pleased to see this since many job portals contain only techie profiles. I immediately clicked the sales hyperlink and was presented with a screenful of job seekers in sales.


Based on the summary provided against each entry on this page, the third candidate seemed most suitable for my needs. When I clicked it, I was promised additional details by completing a form:


I wasn’t very happy that I had to provide my contact info at this stage. Nevertheless, the form looked clean. Besides, I could empathize with the marketing manager’s lead generation target! So, I entered my coordinates and submitted the form.

I then expected to see more details of the selected candidate on the next page or receive an email immediately with his or her resume.

However, neither of that happened.

Instead, the following day, I got a call from someone from the startup, wanting to “understand my business needs and my specific requirements”. I told him, duh, why doesn’t he first send me the additional details as promised by the lead form and we’ll talk later? The guy didn’t know what I was talking about – he evidently didn’t know the steps I’d taken on his website before contacting him.

In other words, the startup didn’t recognize that I’d already traversed the top and middle funnel stages by myself and was now at the bottom of the funnel, anxious to push the hiring process forward by interviewing the candidate and discussing fees and other engagement details.

By belaboring business value at the wrong time, the vendor not only lost my immediate business but also wiped out my initial positive impression of it.

Ketharaman Swaminathan On March - 6 - 2015


IT Marketing, Uncategorized


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