The rise of social media has turned us into a nation of public grumblers.
Ten years ago, when we received a bad service, the brands involved could rest easy in the knowledge that it was nearly impossible for us to share our frustrations with more than a few friends and relatives.
But now when a coat we've ordered doesn't arrive on time, or we are kept on hold for 20 minutes to sort out a gas bill, we instantly have the ability to tell the whole world on Facebook or Twitter.
But these public call-outs also now seem to be gathering pace on LinkedIn, the business equivalent of Facebook, with IT suppliers often the source.
I've been alerted to two angry posts in the past month from CISOs publicly calling out an IT supplier for what they saw as nuisance behaviour. In the first post, from the CISO of a high-profile media firm, that IT supplier was named.
On both occasions, cold calling or cold emailing was at the root of the frustration.
The second of the two posts has gone viral, having so far elicited 160 comments, with responses split evenly between those expressing sympathy with the CISO and the IT supplier, which was after all just trying to earn a crust.
It is a tough issue with no easy answer, but the fact this debate is now being had in such a very public forum as LinkedIn does up the stakes for IT suppliers that rely heavily on traditional sales techniques.
As we explored in our recent Top VARs report, end users are increasingly hostile towards cold calls from sales staff who have failed to carry out basic research on the firms they are phoning. IT directors are savvier and better-informed than they were a decade ago, and now often see suppliers as no more than a fulfilment house, meaning resellers must seek to influence them in more imaginative or subtle ways, the research found.
Cold calling and emailing will remain part of the IT reseller's kitbag, but the rise of supplier bashing on LinkedIn highlights the dangers of taking a scattergun approach.
I talked to a couple of industry sales and marketing experts to get their thoughts on the issue.
Antony Young, a channel veteran and managing partner of Demuto, said that the sales staff at the centre of the LinkedIn posts were "only doing their jobs" but felt that an out-and-out telesales approach no longer works.
"For enterprise sales, you have to build a relationship, and doing a free assessment or some other kind of 'give-to-get' is a good way of doing it," he said.
"We are doing work with someone who is offering a free business continuity assessment report, and the prospect gets a five-page report at the end of it.
"When I'm busy and I've got my head down, I don't want to pick up a sales call. You have to do something to add value; don't just ring up and get the name wrong."
Alisha Dattani, founder of integrated marketing agency FMXA, said that naming and shaming on social media had been a trend for about three years but agreed that it is getting worse.
"Back in the day, end users used to value speaking to salespeople," she said. "It's how I started off. I was in telesales, working for a security reseller, cold calling, and customers wanted to understand what tools they require. There was far less knowledge of IT and cybersecurity, and far fewer suppliers.
"Now they are absolutely bombarded with telesales and frankly they are sick of it. They are tired of being harassed."
Dattani said appointment agencies that sometimes employ sneaky sales tactics, such as making out the prospect had already agreed to a meeting, or that their CEO is in town, are partly to blame.
She advised resellers to instead assume a combination of social selling, improving SEO, having advocacy within the organisation and ensuring the business actually offers something valuable to its prospects that sales staff can actually talk to clients about.
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