The Incompetence Tax

27 Oct

At a company I worked for, we (the sales reps) called bringing in the CxO level people to our accounts the “Incompetence Tax.”  It was a small technology company and we sold to the Fortune 1000.  Yet the CEO, CFO, CTO and Chief Legal Officer invariably thought that these big companies would bend over backwards to buy our stuff.  The rep would have the deal almost closed when Legal would insist on red-lining the customer’s contract with so many changes that the resulting contract looked like ours.  Or the CEO would talk down to a young Managing Director who controlled a bigger budget than our annual sales.  Or the CTO would tell the customer that their existing architecture was “…not well thought out.”  Or the CFO would insist on “value-based” pricing when our competitors’ products were marginally inferior to ours but priced 2-5 times less.  The sales reps learned to put deals thru our partners so that the deal was on someone else’s paper with someone else’s pricing.  Of course, we then got less money on the deal but it was better than losing the deal all together.  Thus, the Incompetence Tax!


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