This week we will look at more aggressive ERP sales tactics used to manipulate you into signing over your checkbook to these ERP system integrators. Moving through the process the tactics used are starting to get more interesting–, we’ve gone from manipulation (Overcome SAP-ERP System Integrator Sales Tactics 2) to more aggressive tactics.
Often software vendors with inferior products resort to many underhanded or dirty tactics and scams. And if you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense. When business software vendors are up against a competitor with a superior product they can only hope to prevent you from making an objective comparison of their product to the competitors. When you add in the massive payday; tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or in large sales millions of dollars on the line it should be expected. And don’t get me wrong, it only gets more intense when it comes to the services offerings. At least you have a greater chance to gain a more objective evaluation of the software than you do vendor service claims. Tactics can get downright nasty, but always with a smiling patina that the sales person is just “trying to help.”
Once you know the tactics you can identify them and discount their effectiveness. Always remember the sales person’s goal is to sell to you. Your goal is to make sure you get benefit for your company and see a return on your SAP investment.
Deep into the SAP-ERP System Integrator Sales Cycle
- Introduction of doubt
- “Try to discredit your competition without being obvious – pointing out bad press (where it may not be warranted, although at times it is), providing “rumors” or “special insight” that they really don’t have, anything that distracts from a practical / objective decision on the ACTUAL functionality should be viewed with suspicion.
- The “Survey Demo”
- Need + Feature = Benefit. They will try to “discover” requirements not in the RFP to show you “cool” things you didn’t request. It’s all about trying to create an impression with you. Counteract this by simply asking, “what RFP section does this address?”
- My manager must meet your manager
- IBM study…
- Sales person with the most “face time” wins
- IBM study…
- Unload the bus – a “mob” shows up to “work” the room and every client or ERP RFP participant. Resolve this by restricting the number of on-site vendor participants.
- Crocodile salesmen – All mouth and no ears. They are too busy telling you everything they think you want to hear, whether it is true or not, so they can make you their next meal.
- The magic number game – We saved your competitor $$$… You can gain up to x% market / revenue / margin / cost reduction… You name it. They throw numbers around as if they are the masters of entire markets and industries. They baffle you with statistics and financial claims. Or they might ask you where you “need to be” to make a deal.
Want to change it? EVERY TIME they make some claim ask them if they can put that claim in their contract with the penalty clause! WATCH THEM SLITHER AWAY FROM THE CLAIMS!
Deep into the Sales Cycle – Product Demos
In the previous section the focus was on the sales approach used by the sales people themselves. This section is an overview of product demos and the various tactics and strategies used here.
- Provide your data for demonstrations
- Create “day in the life” scripts
- Give the supplier time to prepare
- Differences in prep time could indicate complexity
- Hold-back some exceptions
- See if the vendor says “No” or makes excuses for why the exception can’t be done
- Test flexibility in the solution and in their skill by asking them to demonstrate these exceptions in their solution. Let them know at the beginning of the demo what they are and ask them to have it prepared by the end.
- Make sure they include sample implementation plans, templates, resources, tools, etc.
- If your supplier does well, tell them but DO NOT commit (at this point a decent sales person will “move in” for the close).
There is one last sales type to consider here, that is the effective sales person. Notice I didn’t say “good” sales person but effective. They have been carefully trained, they know how to “work” the room, and they know how to move you along in the process. They are polished, understand listening skills, and they will relay back to you exactly what you want to hear. These are the “vaporware” aficionados – they will slyly sell you on something that does not exist. They will sell you on their “A” team when the best they can provide is a “B” team. They will sell you on how well their software or solution fits your needs without actually showing you any proof it does.
These sales people want you to fall in love with their amazing “story” about how they will somehow produce amazing results for you. Like a magician with their smoke and mirrors to hide their real actions they carefully find out what you want to hear and tell it to you whether it is true or not. What proof do they have that they can deliver these results for you?
They sell you a vacation with the intention of delivering you a bucket of sand for the full vacation price. They sell you a vacation home but after you sign the contract they hand you a doll house box full of parts and a hot glue gun.
They will convince you that using them will cost you less without committing to anything that might actually put a real limit or box around their fees. The will promise you will get the results you want without actually providing any way of achieving them. These are the dangerous sales people.
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