Check Your Blind Spot with a 360-Degree Review

We’ve already determined there is no such thing as a truly unbiased opinion. Given that, the pivotal determining factor to finding the right solution provider rests with one thing – you, and your ability to see your own strengths and weaknesses.

One of the greatest known truths is to never assume. When we assume we know, we make mistakes. When we assume they know, we also make mistakes. So if you think your provider will know and understand exactly what you need, without asking a pile of questions, think again.

Buyers have been known to avoid what they perceive to be a “bias trap” by sidestepping the solution provider altogether. This can be a very costly exercise. It’s never a good idea to self-prescribe. Doctors know this. Engineers know this. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but you’ve got to know there are big risks associated – like losing money, or worse yet, consumer confidence.

Software Selection Criteria Changes With Experience

A well-regarded 2005 study by Deloitte & Touche demonstrates exactly how buyers altered their thought process between making their first ERP/CRM decision, to making their next one.

The study asked companies to rank their top 10 software selection criteria. After reviewing the decision-making process of more than 1,500 companies who had to undergo making a new purchase over a 24-month period, the study revealed a complete reversal of the No. 1 factor.

In the first instance, the companies rated “price” and “ease of implementation” as the key factors. Second time around, those top-two spots went to “level of support from the solution provider” and “vendor’s track record of performance”. Clearly, what may have been a buyer’s attempt to maintain objectivity and thereby avoid perceived bias in the first case became a situation of valuing expertise in the second.

Good People Mean Good Results

As for the bottom of the list, experience taught buyers that “(the new) software working with existing hardware” is really a last consideration. The first time round they thought the last consideration was the vendor’s track record. Seriously.

What’s important to learn from this is that if you want to get good results, do business with good people. That only stands to reason. Check them out. You’ll save yourself a ton of angst, and might even get a round of applause come budget time.

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