49 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2014 10:33 AM by clubjuggle

    Pet Peeve

    jeffnorton

      Just wanted to bring up some thing that is kind of a pet peeve of mine.  When ever I download a trial of one of the Solarwinds products, I get bombarded for the next two weeks by calls and emails from the sales staff.  This usually starts within 30 min of the download.  Now I know that times are tough with the economy being what it is but this kind of bombardment is at the very least irritating.  It's gotten to the point that almost hate to download any thing from the site.  To make matters worse I never, ever, ever get calls from the same sales person twice.  It's like there's this constant churn of sales contacts.  I'm old school in the networking business, I want a consistent relationship with the companies I do business with.  I don't want to be treated like the next cold call victim.

       

      Now I really hope that management in Solarwinds pays attention to Thwack and this feed back.

        • Re: Pet Peeve
          chris.lapoint

          Thanks Jeff, we pride ourselves on our customer-centric and transparent approach to delivering products. So, we definitely appreciate any/all candid feedback on what we can do better to improve. In general, we really do try to handle existing customers differently than brand new prospects. We have account managers for each region that call/email into existing customers and work with them to understand out how to map our products to their needs. If they find you have needs for particular product(s), they can send you direct download links to avoid inclusion into the marketing funnel you described. Unfortunately, the challenge we face is it's difficult to sort out existing versus new customer as leads come in through our website, but it's definitely something we're working on. In the meantime, I'll plan on working with you offline to connect you with an appropriate rep for your area.

            • Re: Pet Peeve
              mdriskell

              Simple solution Chris, which I have suggested several times before as this used to come up for me quite often as a MSP.  Place trials within the customer portal so existing customers don't have to go through this.

               

              The original poster is correct it is very frustrating when this happens.  I used to do demos for clients before signing them up and we would install NPM for a trial and I would get bombarded by these calls (to make matters worse we were a reseller and this happened).

                • Re: Pet Peeve
                  chris.lapoint

                  Yes, that's definitely one of the ideas on the table. Please stay tuned.

                  • Re: Pet Peeve
                    jeffnorton

                    I agree with Mike on placing the demos in the customer portal, but beyond that, how hard is to provide your sales people with a database of existing customers.  Beyond that your sales people step all over each other.  I get cold calls from sales people that know I'm an existing customer and probably have an assigned sales person.  That's either cut throat or lack of knowledge.  I like your products but I'll be frank, pushy sales people will sour a customer on any product.

                      • Re: Pet Peeve
                        mdriskell

                        This very issue happened to me again yesterday.  I had downloaded the trial of WPM (we own it) so I could test it out before applying to production.  This time the guy had pulled our account and still bypassed our sales rep and asked about a product that we had already evaluated and identified would not work for our company.  I had provided all of that feedback to my account rep.

                         

                        For the record I have been a customer for 7 years and this is not new and it happens way too often.  The fact that this time the guy pulled our account proves he knew we already had an account rep but still bypassed him.  If I'm the account rep I wouldn't be happy about that either.

                      • Re: Pet Peeve
                        byrona

                        We are an MSP so this is also a huge frustration for me.  I think mdriskell's idea is great!

                         

                        As far as sales people for specific regions are concerned, it seems like every time I get called it's by a different sales person.  This makes me think that either the sales folks for each region change very frequently or you have sales folks jumping on top of each other to get at a possible opportunity.  Either way, it's very frustrating for us customers.

                         

                        That all being said, I agree with haroldrelm that the SolarWinds products are top notch as well as the community!

                    • Re: Pet Peeve
                      pyro13g

                      This is a constant annoyance for us also.  I no longer try any new products to avoid the calls and the person that calls is almost always different every time.

                      • Re: Pet Peeve
                        jeffnorton

                        Ok this keeps happening.  I just got an unsoliced email from someone identifying themselves as the Regional Director of Sales for the Midwest and Southeast.  Here is part of the content.

                         

                        I am the regional sales manager of the Southeast/Midwest region and I know that you are working closely with one of my reps to get Solarwinds implemented within your organization. It appears that, for whatever reason, we are a little ways off from finalizing an order- be it approvals, budget, or simply timeframe.

                         

                        This is a prime example of a sales staff not even bothering to look up the records on it`s own customers.   We`ve had Solarwinds products for over 5 years now and let`s face his verbage is ridiculous, since the product is not Solarwinds.  This follows a solicitation email from a Sales person last week that was on medical leave when I returned the email and had been for a while.  This makes me think these are canned emails from the Sales staff.

                         

                        Don`t get me wrong I don`t mind informed and helpful contact from the sales staff.  However, this kind of contact is useless.  I want my sales contact to know what I have before contacting me and not be just a cold call shot in the dark.  I keep escalating this and it keeps happening as well as the fact that it`s a different person and escalation every time.  Solarwinds must turn over their sales staff on a weekly basis.  If Solarwinds wants to sell to me, try establishing a relationship


                          • Re: Pet Peeve
                            mdriskell

                            Relationship??  Know your customers???  That's crazy talk...no one is going to go for that.  Sorry for the snide comments but as a user of this product for 7 years I too have been regularly frustrated by this.

                          • Re: Pet Peeve
                            jeffnorton

                            So I'm curious what it's going to take to get Solarwinds' attention.  Right now I'm scouring the internet for email or snail mail addresses for the Executives  of Solarwinds.  I'm pissed

                              • Re: Pet Peeve
                                stephen.black


                                In the same boat here. Hate to admit it but after having the same experience I found it was easier to use my Roboforms to submit bogus info each time I had to download a free tool. when you think about it, I imagine many other folks do the same. Enter bogus info after they are burnt. So this means the staff at SolarWinds probably end up tracking down false users who have no interest and actually don't even know someone submitted their phone number by chance. Possible Win Win for everyone here.

                                  • Re: Pet Peeve
                                    mdriskell

                                    meech MTorok

                                     

                                    I don't expect either of you to respond to this thread...not really in your realm of responsibility...However I'm tagging you so hopefully this can make it's way up the chain.  This may be frowned upon and if it is I apologize but the new site gave us the ability to tag users so that's what I'm doing.

                                      • Re: Pet Peeve
                                        Kellie Mecham

                                        Hi Mike,

                                         

                                        it's not frowned upon to let us know anything that's a PIA about your SolarWinds experience. Forums should be about transparency for everything: the good, the bad and the ugly (and now I feel like watching a Clint Eastwood movie!). Tag me anytime and I'll do my best to make sure comments make their way up. I know Chris LaPoint is aware of this and is working on it.  You can also feel free to message me privately with more information, but out here in the open is good, too.

                                        • Re: Pet Peeve
                                          MTorok

                                          Hi Mike,

                                          It is definitely in my realm to make people aware of our community's pain and our larger customer's pain, so you can expect that I will forward this up the chain. I have spoken with some people already and will brings more attention to this thread.

                                           

                                          Thanks for reaching out and know I will get eyes on this. Sorry all.

                                           

                                          Michael

                                          haroldrelm byrona

                                          jeffnorton stephen.black

                                          nikki.jennings  chris.lapoint

                                      • Re: Pet Peeve
                                        dgardiner

                                        Mike/Harold/Jeff and others,

                                         

                                        First and foremost, my sincere apologies if your sales experience with SolarWinds has not lived up to expectations.  We strive, across all aspects of our business, to provide our customers with the absolute best experience possible and it disappoints me to hear we've missed the mark in this case.  As Chris pointed out, we are actively working on new ways to better interface with our customers.  Many of your suggestions on how we might improve the customer experience have already been discussed amongst our entire executive team and action is being taken as we speak.  I hope to be able to provide you more details on that front in the near future.  In the meantime, if you are having issues with any part of our sales process, please feel free to reach out directly to me and I'll be happy to help.

                                         

                                        Regards,

                                        David Gardiner - VP, Sales

                                        david.gardiner@solarwinds.com

                                      • Re: Pet Peeve
                                        mdriskell

                                        Every product/company has it's flaws it's how they deal with them that makes them stand out....Thank you both for your involvement in this...hopefully we can see some change in the future.

                                          • Re: Pet Peeve
                                            dgardiner

                                            Mike,

                                             

                                            And thank you for your continued support and feedback.  We will keep you posted on the developments on the customer engagement side as they become public.

                                             

                                            dg

                                            • Re: Pet Peeve
                                              nikki.jennings

                                              Mike, et al.

                                               

                                              I wanted to provide another point of contact that you all can reach out to in the future should you have any concerns, questions, comments, etc.  As David mentioned, we take this very seriously and are actively working to improve customer interaction. Feel free to contact me at anytime if there's absolutely anything that I can do to assist moving forward.

                                               

                                              Thank you,

                                              Nikki Jennings

                                              VP, WW Sales Engineering

                                              O: 512.682.9544

                                              nikki.jennings@solarwinds.com

                                            • Re: Pet Peeve
                                              bsharding1982

                                              The amount of sales calls I receive as a current customer are ridiculous.  I really don't have time to keep fighting them off at the beginning and end of every month and from multiple sale people.  Its really begun to put a dark shadow over Solarwinds products for us.  I really don't need to receive a call followed up by an email every time there is a new promotion or product from 3 different people and they continue calling daily until I respond.  On top of those calls, we also receive constant calls about upgrading licensing.  I've never been so harassed by a company!

                                              • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                Kellie Mecham

                                                Hi all,

                                                 

                                                over the next few days I'd love to chat with any of you who are interested.  I'm curious to see if the problem has gotten better, stayed the same, gotten worse.  If you have 5-10 minutes to be on a quick call with me this week only, (week of September 23, 2013), can you please email me privately and we can find a time which works to talk?  I am available at kellie.mecham@solarwinds.com.  Thank you as always for your honesty. 

                                                  • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                    jeffnorton

                                                    It's gotten some what better.  They still hit us at the speed of lite with a phone call the minute we download a trial but the follow up calls have definitely lessened.  My biggest problem right now has shifted to the tech side.  The last few releases have been very buggy.  We've had to engage at the developer level for about 20% of the issues we've had over the last 6 months.  From a corporate standpoint that is poor use of developers time.  From a customer standpoint, I don't like to hear the statement, That will be fixed in the next release.  I'd rather you extend the beta testing time to catch those bugs.  While it's great that each new release has all sorts of new features, I really have better things to do with my time than sit on the phone with developers that should have coded right to begin with.  I've got one problem right now that is still not fixed and we've had goto meetings with developers 5 times in the last 45 days and they in fact have made the problem worse

                                                    • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                      masonstryker

                                                      I just forward the emails to my account manager and let him deal with them. I also forward them multiple times to him. That has helped quite a bit, but I do get contacted every single time, even when I own the product and am just downloading a new release.

                                                      • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                        planglois

                                                        Thanks for taking the time to better understand my love-hate relationship with Solarwinds.  

                                                        I hope I was clear enough and did not offended anyone with a bad translation .  I really recommend that everyone takes a little 15 min to vent and express how your customer relationship is!

                                                      • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                        Aaron Denning

                                                        i do the same thing as masonstryker i just talk to our account manager and tell them what the deal is and they keep the phone calls away and all we do is get an email like once or twice a week asking if we are going forward or not.

                                                        • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                          scottmccoy

                                                          What's funny about this thread is I'm actually TRYING to contact Sales to get a demo of the Web Help Desk product I keep getting a "Blocked Content" email back from sales@solarwinds.com that says this:

                                                          SolarWinds would like to thank you for your interest in SolarWinds software. Unfortunately, the recent email sent to a solarwinds.com address contained a credit card number, or data that our automated system interpreted to be credit card information. To ensure the integrity of your information and compliance with the appropriate regulations and SolarWinds corporate policies, SolarWinds does not accept credit card information via email.  If you would like to place a credit card order, please contact your sales representative or the SolarWinds Sales Department at sales@solarwinds.com.  If you have any other questions in regard to SolarWinds or its products, please visit http://www.solarwinds.com.   

                                                           

                                                          There is no content in my message that is a credit card or even resembles a credit card. We've been an existing customer of for 5+ years but we don't have a goto sales rep.  I just want a demo!

                                                          • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                            jeffnorton

                                                            I'm circling back again on this because the sales staff is degenerating into the same old familiar patterns that stated this thread.  I hesitate to download anything from the Solarwinds web site for fear of getting bombarded by sales calls.  Let me add to this the second part of my pet peeve.  Solarwinds changes sales reps like I change pants.  What is particularly frustrating is that they change so much we can expect we won't have the same sales person we started a purchase process with at the end of the process.  Here's a suggestion, once the process has started, take it away from the sales person and give to a staff person that's going to be there till the end.  Even better yet, assign dedicated service managers to customers.  For example assign a service manager to customers that are in the media business.  That way your company will be closer in tune to that line of business and can address pre-sales, sales assistance and product needs.  Having been a service manager for a couple of large communications companies, I know this process works.

                                                             

                                                            Your company is now too big to be operating like a small startup in the sales arena.

                                                              • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                katieb

                                                                Hi jeffnorton,

                                                                 

                                                                I know this doesn't solve all the problems mentioned above, but we do now offer customers the opportunity to download trials from the portal.There is no need to fill out a download form and you will only be contacted by our customer sales group. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you again for the feedback. It is important for us to hear where we have room to make some important improvements for our customers.

                                                              • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                rbanse

                                                                Dang, these annoying phone calls and constant emails just don't stop, do they? We get a new rep every 2 weeks. Here was my email to our latest rep today:

                                                                 

                                                                I just got a call last week from our new “account rep”. We get
                                                                new account reps once every 2 weeks it seems. What is up with that? These
                                                                constant emails and phone calls are so very annoying. Please stop. We will
                                                                contact you once we are ready for new things, not the other way around. Pretty
                                                                soon we will be dropping Solarwinds completely if these emails and calls don’t
                                                                stop.

                                                                 

                                                                ===============================

                                                                As your new internal account executive, it’s been a while since we have synced up
                                                                regarding your SolarWinds account. Are you and your colleagues available this
                                                                week for brief call?

                                                                  

                                                                Just
                                                                a few things we will discuss:

                                                                   -
                                                                Health check of your current deployment and license size

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                -
                                                                Our newly launched Virtual Classrooms and other free training resources

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                -
                                                                Features of the latest versions for your current products – e.g. NPM v11 and
                                                                deep         packet inspection

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                -
                                                                Modules addressing Security, Servers, Storage, Databases, Virtualization,
                                                                Network, etc.

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                -
                                                                Open question forum

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                FYI
                                                                if you have any immediate sales needs, July is quickly coming to a close and
                                                                there are multiple discount codes I can leverage to provide significant savings
                                                                on an order this week.

                                                                   

                                                                When
                                                                would you like to schedule a call?

                                                                      

                                                                Regards,

                                                                 

                                                                Abel Tenorio

                                                                 

                                                                National Account
                                                                Representative –
                                                                SolarWinds – Unexpected Simplicity

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Office: 385-374-7713 Cell: 512.563.3189 Fax: 866.563.1427

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Our Products: network | systems and applications | virtualization | storage | SEUM

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Network Performance Monitor

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Powerful
                                                                Network Fault & Availability Management

                                                                  • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                    solaradmin

                                                                    my response to Abel:

                                                                     

                                                                    [quote] 

                                                                    Good Morning Abel-

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    Please detail on your health check process, we would love to have someone check over our install and see if it done to best  practices. I would expect this to be a member of your engineering team, or multiple as we own several SolarWinds products.

                                                                     

                                                                    Health Check Items:

                                                                     

                                                                    VNQM

                                                                     

                                                                    Storage Manager

                                                                     

                                                                    Virtualization Manager

                                                                     

                                                                    NPM

                                                                     

                                                                    SAM

                                                                     

                                                                    NTA

                                                                     

                                                                    IPAM

                                                                     

                                                                    Patch Manager

                                                                     

                                                                    Web Help Desk

                                                                     

                                                                    Mobile Admin

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    Can you also see what you can do about providing us with free licensing for a DEV/Test environment? 

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    Please let me know when you have the available resources to review our current installation environment, hopefully they can show us how we can better utilize your products to troubleshoot our IT infrastructure.

                                                                     

                                                                    Thank you and I look forward to speaking with you and your engineers regarding our vast array of SolarWinds products.

                                                                    [/quote]

                                                                    • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                      jeffnorton

                                                                      Solarwinds keep saying they’re going to fix this issue with sales staff and nothing changes

                                                                        • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                          extrands

                                                                          I'm going through that now.  Downloaded a copy of the TFTP server, which generated a flurry of sales activity, and got a quote for an additional poller- which has generated its own storm.  Actually ordered the poller, unfortunately the discounts expire so quickly that its difficult to get them through our procurement system fast enough, so I cancelled the order and will start again next month. Not SolarWinds fault on that, but the daily emails demanding, yes demanding, status on the PO really sours me on dealing with SolarWinds. Long time user and advocate, but I weigh every interaction that might involve sales to see if its worth the hassle. Makes me wonder if the salespeople come from or have a future in collections- i wish I were joking on that.

                                                                          • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                            masonstryker

                                                                            Just had a salesperson call me asking if we were interested in purchasing NPM. We've been running NPM SLX and 6 other X class products for over 18 months.

                                                                          • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                            DanielleH

                                                                            rbanse solaradmin jeffnorton

                                                                             

                                                                            We have added a direct line to our Senior Sales Management team.  If you would, please follow up with your feedback via phone (+1 512.498.6510) or email (salesexecs@solarwinds.com).  All messages will route directly to SolarWinds sales VPs, SVPs, and EVPs and you can expect a response from a VP within 48 hours. 

                                                                                • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                                  DanielleH

                                                                                  planglois Please forward to salesexecs..  I've updated the blog you referenced with this contact information.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

                                                                                    • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                                      planglois

                                                                                      Done! Thanks. We'll see the outcome. Having a gun to the head is not a respectable way to do business in 2014. Requesting an update on a PO every 2 hours is excessive, especially when you, end user/sysadmin, are at the bottom of the procurement food chain, and have no impact on the workflow. Our PO process can be either real fast or real slow as some decisions are made overseas, and a lot of people are on vacation. Why put the pressure on us? It's good on the numbers for your shareholders, but slacking the pressure can be as good. I would not hesitate to request a quote if it wasn't for that. And me buying now or a few days after the Q, is the same amount of money in SW pocket at the end of the year... (and I'm not even talking about the "elastic" price list...)..

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Damn... it feels good to say it out loud once in a while

                                                                                        • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                                          extrands


                                                                                          Elastic price list.  Love it. I just sent off a lenghty e-mail to the sales execs and that was one of my points.  Every other vendor I deal with- every single one- offers me a discount, typically 20-50%.  Why be different?  Why do this monthly we are "running a sale" dance? I'm a long term customer, I know SolarWinds offers discounts and I won't make a purchase at list price. Offer me a consistent, non expiring discount, and I'll likely have less difficulty getting included in my budget, because I can show what we will acutally pay, not the higher and less likley to be approved list price. I make my purchases based on my companies needs, not based on what makes somebodys sales numbers look good that month.

                                                                                • Re: Pet Peeve
                                                                                  clubjuggle

                                                                                  I just got the following today from an account executive whose name I don't recognize...

                                                                                   

                                                                                  As the Account Executive for the North East, I am reaching out in regards to the network monitoring project I show in our system.  The notes have this flagged as “Delayed”, but it is unclear why? 

                                                                                  We have recently released a new version of our Network Performance Monitor product that you were evaluating.

                                                                                  I thought I would see if there was a lack of functionality that we might now be able to provide? 

                                                                                   

                                                                                  NPM v11 includes Deep Packet Inspection which will help you determine whether a performance issue stems from application server slowness or an issue with the underlying network.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  If pricing was a determining factor, our new release promotions are on the table and I can help get this to a price that makes it an easy decision for you.

                                                                                  Please just reply to this email if you would like for me to set up some time to discuss.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  ... which is odd since we've been running NPM since about 2009.