Well, yes. But not necessarily in a used-car salesperson way.
I get that you don’t like the used car salesy approach, the high pressure approach, or even just the feeling that when you talk to a salesperson, her only goal is to get you to buy, buy, buy something at a rip-off price you may not even want.
Some things that suck about buying software:
-Vendors selling you software you never use or deploy
-Salespeople pushing for multi-year contracts you don’t want
-Being told software does things it doesn’t do
-Having to go through a BDR
-No trial or pilot
— SaaStr (@saastr) December 5, 2018
I have a few thoughts on how to improve that experience here: It’s Time To Start Getting an Uber/Lyft Rating for Sales Reps. And Paying Them Based On It. | SaaStr
But two things to think about:
- If you don’t have traditional salespeople, you close less business. I know you like “happiness” officers, and they have their place. But if you aren’t trained in closing … stuff doesn’t close. More on that here: Curse of the ‘Middlers’: Why Happiness Officers Can’t Stand In for True Sales Professionals | SaaStr
- In bigger / enterprise deals, salesprofessionals are the ally of the buyer. It’s hard to understand this if you haven’t lived it. But if you are say a mid-level manager at a Global 2000 company going out to choose a new vendor, the sales reps do your work for you! They put together the demos, the case studies, the pitch for you. They do webinars just tailored for you and your team. They engage in bake-offs for you so you can compare vendors. They build a custom ROI case study for you and help you make the internal case for budget. And they run pilots and proof-of-concepts for you, often for free or cheap. That is a ton of help for buyers in the enterprise. Enterprise buyers are very loyal to the best sales reps that really help them. Ask the best enterprise reps for 2–3 customer references in fact. The best ones can always give them to you.
So yes, try to root out bad salesperson behavior. See the link on giving them an Uber/Lyft score above.
But unless you have a self-service product, you probably need them. It’s the way the world works.
Even Slack has them now.