Marius Ionel Toma, Senior Business Development Analyst Manager at WiseTech Global, encourages you to take control of your own buying cycle. 

When you’re in the market for new software, look for a solution to solve your current pain points, support efficient business continuity, and guide you to the future you envision for your company. Don’t be pushed into buying for the wrong reasons. 

As a buyer, it can be hard enough keeping focus on getting exactly what you need, let alone partnering with a supplier that actually listens to you. You’ll be under pressure from many internal and external forces driving you to find the right software solution, yet at the lowest cost and as soon as possible. Whether you have failing systems, board demands, compliance changes, or even having to commit your best and most highly paid resources to the solution selection process, you don’t want an overbearing supplier and their selling process adding to the pressure.    

The Quality vs. Speed Dilemma

Sadly, buyers tend to go one way or the other, or they accept a bad compromise. In so doing, they often fail to find the best solution for their business and they miss their budgeted overall cost.

Should you chase fast-track functionality even at the risk of leaving solution quality assurance behind? Is it better to spend the extra time and resources obtaining a solid, reliable solution, or try your luck and wind up with one that may not work for you, perhaps just to save on one time cost? I wouldn’t want to risk my business on speed alone. 

Let’s say that the buyer goes the “quality” path, to reduce the risk of taking this crucial step. To achieve this, it’s common to spend a lot of time and effort digging into the proposed software. What’s not considered is how much gathering all your people into one room with suppliers, for so many days, weeks, or months just keeps adding to the end cost. Even so, is the quality so sought after really there?

Controlling Your Own Buying Cycle

I often hear from buyers that they feel they’re just part of the supplier’s selling cycle and that the sales people determine what they think you need from a short phone call, usually about your number of users and offices. Is that enough for the supplier to really know what you’re going through? Will the supplier deliver real solutions that specifically address your unique business issues?

Without really listening to you first, the chances are slim.

It’s a common gamble, and it’s a common reason behind so many of the failed software implementations out there. And, even if it miraculously succeeds, without building that fundamental understanding of your operations, how can a supplier truly know how best to support you into the future?

Avoid Information Overload

The deeper a buyer digs into a product, the more detailed the information they will uncover. This treasure hunt may seem good for a buyer, but it could just be a supplier tossing out an overabundance of fool’s gold to attract as many prospects as possible. Why spend so much time with each and every process for a system you haven’t purchased? I know your reason. Trying to minimize risk and build trust the solution will work. You know most suppliers try to flood you with words and pitches, hoping to impress with quantity because often they know their quality can’t. 

Even though buyers examine every tech spec and pick apart every PowerPoint, how can they remember every promise made - and which vendor made them - during their buying cycle? How much of that knowledge will they really retain, if they ever reach implementation anyway?

Stay focused. Stick to expressing exactly what you want every step of the way, and you can stay above the flood of details that don’t concern your company’s needs.

A Better, Faster Way to Quality Results

Can you have both quality and speed without compromise, or let’s call it “quality speed”?

You’ll know a supplier is serious about solving your problems if your first encounter is simply a discovery meeting about your business, determining your pain points and priorities. You’ll know they’re really listening if you agree on precisely what needs to be fixed and what needs to be supported, before you agree to move forward. This prevents a lot of potential miscommunication that could have stalled the various steps through to go live, the real end of your buying cycle, not only to the contract signing stage which is commonly the end of their selling cycle.

And what if you could use content - ranging from videos to documents - that directly showed how your specific pain points are resolved and goals achieved? Now you have the trust you were listened to, understood, and that this solution will work. Your implementation will run all the more smoothly when you can better anticipate the surprises no one expects.

Wouldn’t these make your entire buying cycle clearer and faster? Wouldn’t they help you find the higher quality solution? Quality speed is what I would go for.

But it should be all about you, about your needs, about your buying process. Don’t let yourself be pulled into a supplier selling cycle for the wrong reasons. Buy smart, don’t be sold!

Marius Toma is Senior Business Development Analyst Manager at WiseTech Global


Media Contact: Lisa Tree, lisa.tree@wisetechglobal.com