Marius Ionel Toma, Senior Business Development Analyst
Manager at WiseTech Global, encourages you to take control of your own buying
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
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
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?
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org