I recently checked back with my champion at a prospect company, a sale which I lost about four months ago. The selected upgraded software is purchased; the annual plan locked in; funds are spent for implementation, consulting, travel expenses, and training. All that’s left is “free” online training. The key employee that drove the decision has dug his heels in to defend the implementation.
But the truth is, they aren’t live.
Some part of the installation is damaged and they can’t even access their prototype, and when they do get into the prototype, even the decision-maker says he’s confused with the numerous inquiry windows and can’t find data that he needs quickly.
What happened? After starting the evaluation with six products, the final decision quickly came down to
- Upgrading their ten-year-old product would be easier on them with a shorter learning curve.
- Remote training and support was adequate.
- The consultant who would come on site for a week knew the product well so a fixed bid implementation was adequate and attractive.
- The turmoil the contender was undergoing due to the recent acquisition of the software product was immaterial. The product had continued to live on after numerous mergers and acquisitions, so there was no reason not to have confidence in the implementation.
6 Lessons Learned
- Beware of sales executives who fly in just to close a sale. Sounds a little like the sales manager behind the closed doors at the car dealer, doesn’t it? Tactics are sales-centered; they do not represent concern for your company’s well-being.
- Seek a software developer who is stable. If the management, support, and future development aren’t in place, the product is doomed for the long term.
- Just because support was okay with your old product, it doesn’t mean that the new owner of the software will run their operations the same way…especially after three product ownership changes in ten years.
- The new version doesn’t work or look anything like the ten-year-old version of the product.
- Alternative training methods and implementation support are always needed to meet various learning styles.
- An implementation plan must provide a process for the consultant to get familiar with your company and personnel. Plus, they should already know your industry and their product.
Dynamics GP and SalesPad would have been live by now for this company. I know that because I’ve done it hundreds of times. The reaction to SalesPad’s flexibility is always, “Wow! This is a great tool!” And that reaction would have extended with every user during and after the Go Live.
We would have been there for this company; whatever it takes. That’s how we do implementations. You may say, “Yeah. Great. More hours and money for you.” However, 10-20 hours more time can make or break an implementation of $150,000. The point is, if you need it, it’s available. We are sincerely interested in your success.