The Exceedingly High Costs of Interfacing Companies

client_services

This week we have our New York's colleagues responsible for client services visiting us. Yesterday they presented to their engineering and product counterparts in the Ljubljana office the intricacies of their post sales activities and white-glove treatment of our advertisers. While I greatly admire all the great work our client services do to make our clients happy, my engineering mind couldn't help itself thinking what a waste the whole manual sales process really is. There are literally hundreds of millions of salespeople spending their days trying to do what could in a perfect world be done automatically by machines. (Un)fortunately the world is not perfect and the sales process is in most cases too complex to be amenable to complete automation. I recently took on the role of a product lead of our efforts to start selling our content ad inventory programmatically and as I'm slowly grasping the limits of people and organizations involved the pattern I observe is that "the technology is willing, but the flesh is weak" (to paraphrase the Bible). The people involved in Business-2-Business commerce are so busy achieving their sales target that they have little patience for anything more complex than an excel spreadsheet, an ad-tag, or an insertion order. And in most cases, rightfully so. Most of the deals don't come through and even if they do, they rarely fulfill expectations of parties involved.  Investing upfront into automation of relationships that may not happen or hold doesn't make much sense, so the net effect is that any new thing must be squeezed into old standards. A sad preposition indeed for technology inclined mind fully aware of what's (technologically) possible.

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