May the Best Product Lose: Why Sales and Marketing Execution Means Everything

It’s close to Thanksgiving (time has flown) and I’ve promised myself I will start posting weekly again. When I first started the blog, I was actually writing two posts a week. Recently, though, I went weeks without posts, struggling to create a post per week. Time is a factor, of course, but one thing that I was really diligent about was keeping a notebook close by and writing down the experiences I was having in my day-to-day life in the world of B2B lead generation. Net–net, I have started to do that again, and the result has been 25 topics sitting in my notebook.

I wasn’t sure how to present this topic–its not my usual “6 Ways to …”.  I was at the CMO Club in San Francisco in  a session on “How to be a Startup CMO.” (By the way, this session also triggered a conversation I started on Focus which got some traction: Marketing for startups: What comes first demand or brand). Anyway, this session was cool because a bunch of marketing leaders were just sitting in a room chatting. One of the smart guys in the room (I wish I could attribute, but I can’t remember his name) reminded me of something important: “It is well known in Silicon Valley that the best technology (or product) never wins.”

His quote reminded me of a story from 2002 when I was consulting at a startup in the city. The company hired a big, swinging sales consultant to act as the VP of sales. On his first day, he was just “giving it” to the sales team.  Cursing, belittling, etc. He said something I will never forget: “We sold a billion dollars worth of Oracle financials, and the s—t didn’t even work.”

No lists today or any profound commentary; I just wanted to leave everyone with that. Happy Thanksgiving, and see you next week.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • Bryant

    A little disconcerting, I think. I hope times have changed since 2002.