Thursday, October 28, 2010

Selling the RIGHT ERP solution

A recent article from Pete Zimmerman, Manufacturing Segment Manager for Vormittag Associates (VAI), based in Long Island, NY talks about the responsibilities of the sales side of Enterprise Software (ERP).

It is the responsibility of the sales person to discover the true reasons, motivations, or pains for new software.  Too often sales reps look only at the surface and think about their commissions and do not take the time to dig deeper.  An incorrect match between challenge and solution is not going to help anyone.

Changing or implementing a new ERP system does not generate comfortable feelings.  There is extra work for overburdened staff, new steps to learn, up front costs that affect the bottom line.  If the match is a good one, six months later management will wonder why the did not change earlier.  They cannot imagine their operations running any other way. 

If the wrong choice is made the Company, Management, Users, ERP provider, in fact everyone will start pointing fingers and an otherwise beneficial relationship will dissolve leaving everyone frustrated.

Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are integral components of any ERP solution, but Pain - Solution pairing is critical.  Questions, questions, question are needed to dig deeper than surface issues.  Real pain conversation, like the type of:  If we do not fix this I am out of a job and we are out of business will lead to proper matching of challenge to solution.

If there is not a good match, better than 90%, then the sales rep should be looking to make a referral to another solution, even one that is a competitors.  Like in the movie, "Miracle on 34th Street", where the Santa Claus character's only motivation was to help a desperate mother find the proper present.  At first this seems counter intuitive, but ultimately led to better relationships and better profits and most importantly, happy customers.

The two page PDF article can be found by clicking here.

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