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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Monday, October 01, 2018

Are You Avoiding Having Leads Crash and Burn on the Front Lines?








Are you able to see what happens to the leads your organization generates when they get to the live-engagement stage? Many marketing organizations have literally zero visibility of what happens on the front lines in sales; yet this is where the greatest attrition in your pipeline can occur when it isn't managed with some deliberate design.

It's relatively easy to monitor a prospect's journey with their digital interactions; you'll see their score change/rise, you see them more frequently (or not) or responding to the things you would expect them to. You can gauge the topics they are interested in based on their behavior, and then feed them more of the things they are interested in. You can measure and assign a value to most actions prospects do with your content, and you can create messages designed for a very precise response. That is the part you do with more of a hands-off approach.

The breakdown is when it goes to the live engagement phase of the journey. You team(s) may be distributed, segmented by geography, industry, company size, etc.

The challenge is that the moment it goes to a rep, 5 things happen:
  • Independent decisions made by reps, some may be inexperienced, on how to handle the prospect
  • Individual interpretation of the opportunity/non-opportunity
  • Individual practices to engage. This is where management scratches their heads asking "why does Tracy connect with so many prospects and Brenda is at a 50% lower conversion rate?" or "Why do we never have issues with Tom closing business but Mike is constantly complaining about the leads?"
  • Understanding the prospect is only as good as the knowledge base the rep has personally developed
  • Follow-up is based on the workload of the rep and understanding of prospect behavior

Your best reps understand how to manage these intuitively, you will see that in their results. But all reps don't have these areas mastered or even understand what is going on from a "buyer psychology" standpoint and what their mindset should be at an early engagement stage. 
What this looks like in real-life:
  • Many different approaches with what to say, how to engage, overall attitude about the prospect, understanding and interpretation of the prospect's responses and behavior. Example: One rep may research a prospect, look at their company, get some background on them, and prepare some very specific crisp soundbites to open a dialog. OR, the rep calls and says "I saw you were on the site, I wanted to see if you are looking for something specific" and within 5 minutes ask if they have a budget.
  • Depending on the skills and confidence of the rep, the viability of the opportunity can appear more positive or negative. Example: A prospect says  they will bake something into their budget for your solution the following quarter, they want to have a brainstorm session, and see how to work together the following quarter. One rep may work hard to make something happen ASAP to get in there and add value and lock it up. OR, a rep would say "nothing is going on in here for months, I am not spending time on this." 
  • Engagement can be everything from sending a few emails, to a consistent effective approach that engages a very high percentage of prospects. Example: I didn't reach the prospect, they aren't interested. When asked "what did you do?" the answer is they called once, and sent 2 emails 3 weeks ago. The emails were pasted sections of older emails, and when the prospect opens it, it looks like a ransom note of fonts and colors. OR, a rep can understand people are super busy and it really does take a persistent effort that may entail 5-8 attempts to reach them.
  • Some opportunities need a well-informed resource that can quickly understand their environment and map the problems to the solution within their own environment.  Inability to do that, can leave a vendor out in the cold. Example: One rep may know specific challenges certain industries face, and can speak to those very fluently. OR, a rep can use the one-size-fits-all deck to present, and miss out on key areas to build confidence with the prospect. 
  • Workload of active deals, or late stage deals, has a direct impact on developing newer relationships with prospects. Example: If a rep has numerous active deals at late stages or deals closing that are demanding, new prospects are neglected just because of bandwidth.  

This is just a slice of what is happening out there.  Conversations aren't documented, engagement varies depending on who does it, depending on the reps personal approach or assessment, they may or may not get priority. These major decisions are left to a stage of the journey that can be a total black box, that no one has visibility into.
So what can YOU do?
  1. Find out what is actually happening. Get a sample of results from each team member using an apples to apples comparisons. The records, the discussions, the end dispositions--then compare.
  2. Have a true skills assessment of engagement and make sure everyone is equipped to have a high level of skills to engage. This includes understanding prospect behavior, what it takes to reach prospects, how to interpret responses, how prospects are mentally responding when they do certain things, etc. 
  3. Address the behavioral aspects of sales formally vs. product knowledge and more mechanical content. The real success comes from being able to real-time navigate what is happening during conversations and reading between the lines of what prospects say. Those are the skills that progress leads, not knowing how to explain a widget. 
  4. Equip your team with resources that help them understand the background of leads they get, i.e., what were they responding to, who was targeted, the content the prospects saw, the source list, etc. That helps them to have a vantage point of what they get.

There's much more to do in order to completely fine-tune this; but once reps understand the small things they do along the way make a difference is the first step.  Behavioral perception make zan enormous impact on results. I don't mean how to act right in a social setting, but understanding what is happening on the sales landscape, what kinds of thought responses to prospects have to certain actions, etc. 

This goes far beyond "social selling" in the sense it isn't just understanding how to mine data in the public domain, but really becoming a professional at the undercurrents of engagement and rising about the noise of the high number of approaches prospects get daily. When you equip your teams to really understand how to read between the lines of engagement, then you will maximize return on all of your programs across the board and see increased ROI with all of your efforts.

The REAL Alignment Between Sales and Marketing...Podcast Interview With Diane Updyke

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

10 Things You Should Know About Social Selling

Social Selling is still a developing skill for many organizations.  Despite the abundance of content available, it's still something sales teams are looking to crack the code on and struggle to implement internally.

You might ask "What exactly IS Social Selling?" and if it even applies to you at all.  Many sales professionals think it is for tech sales reps, or "millennials" in sales, or for people that have Twitter accounts with many followers, or somehow "power users" of social media.  But that's not the case...the principles behind it have been around a lot longer than LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

The principles behind Social Selling can be summed up by transferring the in-person skills you have to remote skills. Your ability to engage as a peer that is informed and prepared to engage.  It's all about effective engagement, active engagement

When you add value by learning about your prospects, they are able to reciprocate because you invested in having a quality interaction.

Here's an example, 15 years ago you would meet with a prospect in their office and what did you see around their office...awards, degrees, pictures of their family, vacations, accomplishments, books on a shelf....maybe they collect artifacts, have an antique sword hanging on the wall, a plethora of other things that told you about them as a professional and as a person.  Did you sometimes look at those and think..."Hey I went to that school too" or "I've read that book" or obtained some insight into their interests based on what they surround themselves with.  Did you then make connections with things and people you knew to connect the dots for a better understanding of how to work with them?  If you were actively engaged at that time, you were Social Selling 1.0 

Conversely, 15 years ago people that only cared about closing the deal and couldn't care less about their prospects went into a meeting, ignored the 25 items in the room around them they could mention and missed out on connecting on a whole new level. The equivalent today of calling a prospect without a clue of who they are and spending some time researching and keeping track of their activity.

Today meetings and calls are remote, we often aren't in their offices.  But that "virtual personal space" is all around us.  Did you look your prospect up on LinkedIn before the call?  Did you look at other social networks to see what you could learn about them?  Did you put some thought into what you discovered to paint a bigger picture of who they are and what their vantage point may be?  Have they done reviews, belong to industry groups, interact with peers online?  

Just like the rep that was in the same room with a prospect and picked up on the rich source of information all around them, reps today have even more access to information about their prospects and don't want to miss out on that. 

10 Things You Should Know About Social Selling:
  1. You don't need to be a power user of social networks to be effective with social selling, you just need to know how to find the right information.
  2. Social Selling prep doesn't need to be more than 15 minutes.
  3. You can automate information in the public domain to be served to you, tools like Squirro, data.com, Google Alerts, InsideView all have features to send updates to you.
  4. What your prospects disclose is valuable, what they don't also has meaning. Are they conservative? Late adopters? Is risk mitigation more important than being the first one on the block to have something?
  5. Connect with your prospects on LinkedIn and share valuable content with them--stay engaged.
  6. Do mention industry accolades your prospects have received, they worked hard for those--let them know you took the time to discover them.
  7. Don't wait for your company to put a process in place, learn this--it's your income and career that is impacted.
  8. Social Selling is not the job of Marketing, it improves front line communication with prospects and sales needs to have these skills.
  9. Social Selling starts before the first call, and extends into the Account Management stage of the relationship vs. after the call to decide they are worth investing in.
  10. Social Selling isn't just for sales, anyone dealing with prospects and clients (Marketing, Exec Management, etc.)  should take a pulse on what is happening with them if they are meeting with them.  It makes for stronger relationships at every stage.
Happy selling!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Would You Take a Call From YOU?



"What are the tricks you use to get people to talk to you?"
I get asked this question a lot; people struggle to find the answer on how they can engage and get people to talk to them. There must be a well-kept secret people are using that are successful at this.
"The secret to success in cold calling is actually the most well-known, transparent fact about sales there is. Prospects don't like to take sales calls....but they are constantly on business calls"
How is THAT a secret of success?
Because executives DO take business calls. That being the case, sales reps need to steer clear of the many things that people think of when they hear the term "sales rep." That means no tricks, no manipulating, no untruths, no forcing people to commit, no strong-arming, no word switcho-chango tactics, no insincere flattery, no cheesy gimmicks to get people to talk, etc. (the list goes on....)  That isn't executive behavior, that isn't "business call" behavior. 
Can you imagine the CFO of a F500 company calling the CFO of another F500 company and saying "I know you're very busy, I promise I won't waste your time, if you like what you hear in the next 20 seconds, can you give me 60 more seconds?"  Needless to say the one receiving the call would be like "Who the heck is this??? Weirdo..."
One of our clients recently said they could never cold call. I asked if they call people they don't know and have a business discussion...they said "of course, all the time."  That IS the quintessential cold call!  
It can be surprising because when you think of a "sales call," it conjures up scenarios of rejection, push back, getting screened, refusals, trying to get the appointment, barriers, and many other negative experiences associated with having to break through many obstacles to get to a "decision maker." There is a system of screening to block sales calls, but the screening is not designed to block normal business calls.
Executives call executives and have substantial conversations all the time without any trepidation. The key is to distance your methods from the typical "tricks of the trade."
When I am training teams, I often ask them to think about what they do as part of their engagement, and ask... "Would you talk to YOU if you called? Would you listen to a voicemail from YOU? Would you respond to the questions YOU ask?"
The answers are surprising after some reflection. And having them listen to their voicemails often surfaces they sound more "sales" than they think.  This includes being impatient. People are very difficult to reach in general, and often the difficulty in reaching people is interpreted as no interest or they need to turn up the volume to press their prospects into action, which comes across as pressure and makes them withdraw even more.
An example of what not to do, is recently I received an email from a rep I have known for years from a company I have worked with for almost 15 years. I already said we will renew closer to the renewal date. But a couple of weeks before that time, I get this:
"If it isn’t your intent to renew please let me know and I will stand down and direct my attentions elsewhere."
Of course this annoyed me a great deal and I said I didn't appreciated that, especially after so many years and especially after I already said I would renew. They realized how bad it sounded and apologized, all is good now (for a sales relationship.) But many people wouldn't have pushed back, they would have went away. There are many options for this solution today and companies need to be awesome at every stage to retain their customers.
More and more we have been working with companies on the process breakdowns around relationship management because it is the reason so many deals and long-time customer relationships fall apart. It is poor communication, taking customers for granted, trying to "sell" when really you need to "talk." 
"Relationships with customers and prospects fall apart from poor communication, taking customers for granted, trying to "sell" when really you need to "talk." 
I'm interested to hear how you have addressed continuous improvement with your teams!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

I Get The WORST Telemarketing Calls.....

The interesting thing about being in my role, is I'm CEO of a firm that does Tele-based B2B Lead Generation. AND, I am also a CEO of a company everyone wants to sell stuff to....which means I get a LOT of sales calls. And because sales reps often do searches on LinkedIn to pull a bunch of names but not really look at who came up, I also get outreach from companies I wouldn't be a prospect for under the best of circumstances...like buying uniforms. I get at least 20 requests for meetings, calls, coffee, lunch, blah blah blah...each week.  I am a typical executive B2B prospect, and I have the same distaste for bad outreach...BUT, I have a unique vantage point from working in this space and can provide some insight to sales leadership to get the results they want and identify where there may be failure points in the engagement model.
Tip, if you want to wreck a possible connection on LinkedIn,   connect and then turn around and ask for a meeting to "learn more" about their company.... 
Last week, I got a call from a company that has called me 4x this year already. I told them two calls ago I will talk to them end of Q4, then another person called a few weeks later that had access to that note in their CRM. I said "Do you have the notes from the last call I had with you guys and when it said we would reconnect?" They said yes, but just wanted to call and see if they could talk to me sooner. I reminded them that I told them I would call them if anything changed, but otherwise they should create a "task" in SF to call me the end of Q4....like I said last time.

I get an overabundance of "You haven't responded, let us know if you have been abducted by aliens" or "if you have fallen and can't get up" or the latest, "giving me one more chance before they give up." Gee thanks, I am so glad you gave me this final chance...and you provided your calendar access so I can do the work to make it happen.... how thoughtful. Asking a prospect to schedule their own sales call is a perfect example of what it's all come to.

But the live calls are really a perfect example of what is going on out there in the B2B space, most of them are pretty bad....and I mean really bad. And this is what makes people think calling people doesn't work, because most calls they get are like these. And no one is going to respond to calls that are a complete waste of time.

Today, I get a call on my direct line and the person asks if I am Mari Anne "Vanelli"... (I have no clue why people can't get that right.) I asked who the caller is, and they choose instead to push if I am me.... okay it's me. I like to see what other organizations are doing with their outreach, I'll bite.

The call went something like this:

"That's great. Did I catch you at a bad time?" 
What can I do for you?
"Is this a good time then?"
{{UGH}} 
"Well Mari....I'm calling" 
"I go by Mari Anne "
"Oh okay sorry....well what we do, is we are a B2B marketing agency that can get you in front of more customers and set appointments for you. Do you want to get in front of more customers?"
"Did you look us up on the internet before you called?"
"Yes"
"Then tell me what we do..."
.....long pause..."You provide services for B2B Businesses that do business with businesses. Do you want to get more customers? We are a marketing agency that does lead generation and can get appointments for you."
I asked "Do you work for this company or are you a 3rd party that does appointments for these guys?"
"I work for them directly! Do you want more customers?"
"Okay so tell me again, what you think we do after you researched us before you called? When you look at our website, what do WE do?"
"You are a consulting business?"
"Okay... well we work with organizations and identify sales cycles for them, so we aren't going to outsource what we do."
"That's fine because all I want to do is set up a free strategy session with one of our executives! Wouldn't that be great?? When are you available to schedule this..."
"I'm not.." She was very disappointed actually....

I looked up their website, they offer "High Performance CSR's" to "get the business!" Obviously the call I got today is what companies would be paying for, and I know calls like that only diminishes a prospect base and further reinforces the belief that tele-based outreach is a bad idea.

A lot of my articles are along these lines of what is happening on the front lines because so much effort is spent on buying more applications, investing in data, marketing automation, CRM add-ons, so many enhancements that are digital...but those aren't the fix when the human connection thats in place is a train-wreck and no one even knows. 

I'm sure the CEO of this company that called me today thinks they have something great going on, they are looking at their dashboards and seeing dials and think "wow it takes a lot of dials to get a meeting, good thing we bought that bingo-bango dialer!" But the actual truth is they are alienating tons of prospects and wasting their data investment.

The only way you will know what is happening, is by being involved. But you have to know what your prospects are experiencing to really troubleshoot the problem. If you hire inexperienced people, you are going to get the above calls happening. People with zero people skills are calling executives and blowing calls all day long, and really that isn't fixable because the problem isn't training or a script...it is the hiring profile, or lack of one. 

If you want to engage with executives, you have to have a peer call them. The hiring profile should be based on a person's ability to engage as more of a peer or colleague vs. a sales rep.

The sales organization has been lagging in modernization if you compare it to other parts of the business. Marketing has had to become much more tech savvy, IT has become more digital and transparent, leadership in general has become much more in-tune to the actual human dynamics involved in being a solid leader....but sales....sales is still sticking to the tactics that has earned the car salesman reputation it has. Reps are hired based on their ability to manipulate or fast talk, front line CSR's are hired because they are inexpensive and can read a script, certain agencies are picked because they are cheap. Prospects refuse to engage because it is a bad experience.

Doing an overhaul of sales to put real business and executive fluency on the front lines does nothing but lift results across the board. Companies could hire less people for 2-3x the results.

It really is going to take a massive transformation for executive sales leadership to say this needs to stop.

The truth is, it will stop as individuals take control of their own organizations. There will not be an "Age of Enlightenment" for sales because there will continue to be those that enable bad engagement for the sake of closing a deal, saving a buck, or what they believe salesmanship is. But the reality is that for your company to really get the most out of your potential prospect base, you have to know what is happening when they get a call from you.

So what can you do?


• Look at the actual notes from calls the team had with prospects. Ask what happened, what was the conversation like? See where there may be some breakdowns.
• Have your newer team members leave YOU a voicemail they would leave for prospects...ask yourself if would you delete it? Would YOU talk to them?
• Look at the data sources, and what happens to the data? Do you have large patches of records not getting coverage? Do you have a data governance model for prospect data?
• How do you know when deals are coming up? Is the team only focused on near-term or are you actively factoring in deals that will become active in future quarters?

It sounds basic but you'd be surprised how many organization don't have the above in place.

I'll look forward to your comments!

Some additional reading on this topic:

Monday, June 19, 2017

Are Scripted Calls a Bad Idea?


When you gain access to a key stakeholder, it’s important that you're as effective as possible and maximize every stage of that conversation. Ask yourself, how many times have you hung up the phone after a conversation and thought to yourself “I forgot to ask about…” or “I wish I would have mentioned…”

Whether you’re speaking live or on a voicemail it’s important to project the most precise, accurate, and confident message you can to make this engagement matter.

The way to make sure that you’re doing that on every call is to script it. I’m not talking about the scripts that cause salespeople to get hung-up on, I’m talking about the very best version of YOU. By making sure you have all your key statements in front of you all the time, you’ll ensure all of your communication is accomplishing what you want. 

The thing about my role, The Vanella Group, Inc. does outbound/sales development—but I’m also a CEO that a lot of companies want to sell “stuff” to….so I get tons of sales calls. I get at least 5 a day, most of them are pretty bad. Just last week, someone called and I gave them a minute to explain what they were doing but it took almost 10 minutes of dialog before it was even clear, it still isn’t 100% clear. That’s because the rep jumped around, wasn’t prepared for my questions, introduced the company in a very “cloudy” way that wasn’t concise. In the end, it was a waste of time on both ends and they are no closer to having me as a prospect. Had that rep known exactly what they would say, how to clearly state their value, who they are and what they do—the outcome could have been totally different.

A script shouldn’t be something you would never say, it should be EXACTLY what you would say on a perfect call. 

When you write your script—write what YOU would say on that perfect call. This is your script..not a one-size-fits-all canned pitch but a carefully constructed discussion model that will make your engagements effective. Keep it in front of you so if the conversation goes off topic, if the prospect asks a question, whatever may happen you are always ON and will be able to steer it right back on course instead of hanging up and wishing it went different.

The more preparation you invest into optimizing your engagements, the more success you'll have! 

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Whose Responsibility Is It To Fix B2B Engagement?






There are two ways to look at engagement:
  1. From an organizational standpoint of culture, systems, processes, compliance, and transformation. Sales and Marketing partner to achieve success. Here is where thought leadership, shift in mindset, and a metamorphosis of going from "how we have always done it" to "this is how we fixed this issue."
  2. Individually understanding what is needed and taking action, teaching yourself how to navigate a complex domain of platforms, opinions, and practices to arrive at what works. Here is where one can take steps without the above (#1 option) all being in place and make a difference, immediately.
While there is merit in both, and I really enjoy helping organizations align with what they need to do, the time between making a decision to change at a leadership level and actually implementing that change is much longer than a lot of reps have to demonstrate a difference in their own activity. For that reason, this is more geared to the latter option of what YOU can do right now to make a difference in YOUR results.
There is a ton of sales training for B2B reps available today. It's everything from tried-and-true proven and effective old-school methodologies to newer models that include "Social Selling" and incorporating precise automated low-touch communication into the conversation with prospects to nurture it along or even drive inbound traffic.
Regardless of what systems or sales processes organizations have, on the front lines of a sales team it's engagement that is still one of the most challenging areas to master. I hear a lot of sales execs say if they can get in front of prospects they are great, but they just can't easily get in front of them. It has been a concern of reps for the 2 1/2 decades I have been in B2B sales, and there's no miracle solution on the horizon that is a fix-all for everyone. I knew of one company that had to schedule 600 meetings to close 30 <$150K deals, these were not huge deals...the challenge was immense.
Some of the fix has been offered through solutions integrated with CRM platforms. There's a crowded market of applications to increase engagement, provide insight, and fast-track connecting with prospects. Social Selling is often interpreted differently depending on the team, and there's still a lot of fuzzy areas about what it really requires to be effective (some execs aren't buying into anything with "social" in the title.) While having a solid data solution is important, buying more software isn't necessarily the fix for engagement. What is really needed is depth of understanding about what is happening on the prospect's side of the fence now, today, in 2017...what is really happening.
I've observed a lot of sales reps follow a model they have used for years, 2 calls 2 emails...or personal rules like "I don't leave voicemails, it's a waste..." Or thinking like "if they were interested they would call me back.." This is so common, every B2B team has some representation of this going on. Thinking like that leaves revenue on the table and can result in a starved pipeline. Prospects enter and leave a pipeline and don't even know it happened. It's important to recognize that a lack of reciprocity on the part of the prospect isn't an indicator of a lack of interest. It's just an indicator that more or something different is needed.
It's important to know that a lack of reciprocity on the part of the prospect isn't an indicator of a lack of interest. 
So who's job is it to fix it? The vexed relationship that sometimes exists between sales and marketing is sometimes rooted in perceptions that the leads they get don't turn into anything. Some organizations throw their hands up and just give into it and seek out services that sell appointments. Now the rep just has to show up, can they just do that?
Engagement is the reason a lot of companies just buy "appointments," but appointments only fill a calendar, not a pipeline. 
First you have to understand the problem to plug in a fix. The problem is a misalignment of steps to connect with a prospect. The first steps are easy, find out who the prospect is. From there, that's when very deliberate and calculated actions are needed to make sure you aren't wasting moments that can make a difference.
The problem of engagement isn't something that can be distilled into a single fix, but it is combining very deliberate actions that eliminate cracks in the system (which is a much longer answer than I can address here.) But from a sales rep perspective--there are at least 4 tools that are underutilized that can improve engagement.
  1. Understanding their prospects' role and persona. Sometimes people overlay their own thinking onto their prospects, and that actually creates a blind spot for a fix. Honestly, most people don't manage their messages really well. And thinking you left a voicemail that made a difference in reality is your prospect doesn't even remember it. Usually it takes 7+ attempts to connect with stakeholders in deals, sometimes more. It is more important to factor that into outreach than assume they are ignoring you.
  2. Data available in the public domain and within your platforms. You likely have a lot of insight available through your internal systems, data points like they have been hitting your site, or announcements/press releases that give insight into their current state. Someone asked me recently what social selling tools do reps use most, and they started rattling off all these data platforms--I stopped them and said I find many reps aren't even using LinkedIn, let alone another platform. This is by no means an ad for LinkedIn, but it is a fact that it is a HUGE repository of prospect-generated data that reveals a lot about your prospects, to ignore that before reaching out puts you at a disadvantage. The other side of this pancake is that it's important to log each attempt and detail each discussion so you aren't covering topics you already did while missing opportunities to do something meaningful. Capturing what you learn and putting it in their record is key. A rep might do this the first time, and forget what they learned on later calls or even waste cycles looking up the same information over and over again needlessly--capture what you learn about prospects so when you look in their record, you know what you need to know.
  3. Email and voicemail. Just a normal note and voicemail goes a long way. I often coach teams to think of how they would talk to someone they know? You are interacting with these people every day in your normal life, you just don't know it. You are sitting next to CIO's at the movies, standing next to VP's at the bank, etc. Would you say to them some of the stuff that goes out in an email? People respond to people, not to sales pitches, "break up" emails (I get at least 5 a week,) or "pick a time on my calendar so I can sell you something" emails.
  4. Critical thinking. This is by far the most important. Each prospect is different, each industry and company has their own culture. What works with one doesn't necessarily work with all...so it's important to be mentally engaged. It's easy to get in a rut and just do the same thing over and over--but if you really want to connect with people you have to be engaged yourself. Push through the fake obstacles and figure out what you need to do. For example, if you aren't reaching someone have you hit "0" and asked if they are even around this week? Did you look them up and see where there may be overlap with your existing customers or people you know you can mention? Have you reached out to their peers and spoke to them or asked if they are around? Real life is real life...and what is interpreted as someone being a jerk and blowing you off can often be someone is sick, out of town, working against a tight deadline, putting out some internal fire, etc. In more cases than not, losing interest in your solution is not the reason you aren't reaching them.
All of the above also is a reason I am a huge advocate to putting your best reps in front of prospects on the front lines vs. putting junior people that hope to grow up into sales reps down the road. The junior folks have good intentions, but that isn't going to bring the insight and fluency to read between the lines during discussions and progress conversations as a peer while neutralizing sales resistance. Times have changed enough that putting inexperienced people in front of prospects as their first experience with your company is going to cost you deals.
I'll look forward to your comments about what you have done to realign with what it takes to connect!
Additional Articles About B2B Sales and Relationship Management: