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Avoid undue sales pressure from ERP vendors during selection by using an expert

Cutthroat Tactics in ERP Selection: How to Avoid Getting Duped

Some Reflections on a Recent Selection Process

ERP software is a cutthroat business, and it is not uncommon for software companies to employ tactics that are, let’s be kind, unscrupulous. This happened yet again on a recent selection project, and my client was put under unnecessary and severe pressure to change their mind. This occurred when the vendor that came second in the selection was notified of the decision my client had taken. (That’s kind of obvious, I understand.)

Unfortunately, as the independent in these transactions and the one charged with delivering the news, I get the blame when vendors lose the opportunity to a competitor. I was called all sorts of names, as you can imagine, but fortunately, the quality of my work with the client was evident to them, and they took no notice. The vendor however, did some significant damage to their own reputation in the process.

The lesson for you here is that when dealing with these software vendors, you need to be ready and on the lookout for all sorts of sales pressure and, in some cases, lies. Dealing with this is my bread and butter.

The activities involved in the selection process are generally new to all involved from your side. The process is full of uncertainty and requires processing a lot of information in a short period. There is often a strong desire to shortcut the process because of the effort involved. I’ve had executives recently say to me, “Surely there is a way we don’t need to speak with that many vendors.”

It’s like expecting to lose 25kg in weight but only wanting to do one day a week training and eating what you want.

When moving forward with a project of this nature, it’s important to be prepared to do what it takes to do it properly and allow the process to unfold and reveal what it reveals.

I am always impressed in post-selection discussions and reviews how much value my clients get from sticking to the process. “I didn’t realise…” is a common comment post project. This is why you engage experts; they know and will lead you down the path to success.

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© David Ogilvie

best practices for ERP selection, ERP implementation, ERP ROI, tactics in ERP sales

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