Buying software is no easy task. Whether you’re in the service sector or any industry for that matter. Implementing a service management software means you’re committing to something that could really make a difference to your business but it’s a significant investment. Do it wrong and it could really affect your entire operation…
That’s why when I speak to potential customers it baffles me, how little trust there is. Speaking as Head of Sales for a software solutions provider, you might think I’m biased but bear with me because I’m not ashamed to say we are the experts, it’s what we do day in day out. I’ve done more implementations than even large clients’ most experienced people. That aside, there’s no vested interest for any software provider to try to miss-sell, because when you purchase a new system it means we’re going to be working together for a couple of years minimum. That’s the way most SaaS or IaaS systems are delivered. It’s not like you’re buying a used car and the salesman is just going to disappear when you have a problem. Purchasing a service management software solution means we’re going to be implementing the system for your business and providing ongoing support and upgrades. We’re going to be talking to you and sending you at least two Christmas cards, ideally more, so we want to get to know you and that starts with understanding your business so we can ensure we can deliver an ROI. Ensuring the project is successful from the start isn’t just your goal, it’s ours too.
If you’re still thinking what a load of sales crap…you’re probably too arrogant for your own good!
Not trusting your software salesperson and refusing to follow our advice is a bit like going to the doctors and continuing to self-diagnose your problems. You just wouldn’t do it, would you?
…Or maybe you’re too scared to commit, so you choose to keep your salesperson at arm’s length.
The problem with this is, the people buying service management software (you) usually only scope and implement a new system once every 5 years, maybe once every 10 years if you’re lucky. Whereas we do this day in day out. So how can you still be reluctant to taking advice from potential suppliers? I care about this and it means I’ve refused to sell to potential customers in the past because if we can’t have a conversation about how we measure and improve productivity and show ROI then I’m really only showing you a shiny bit of new tech. If a prospect is only interested in the benefits and ‘nice to haves’ for service delivery (usually wanting a quick 1-hour demo) without telling us the nitty-gritty of the business’s objectives or getting the right stakeholders involved, we simply can’t help you. That’s the beauty of knowing you have a good salesperson because let me tell you, not many would turn down an opportunity to sell.
Working in the service industry for some time now has led me to discover that the companies who fail to see a positive return from their service software are the ones that don’t have a clear set of requirements from the start, don’t involve the right stakeholders in the process and base decisions on irrelevant items that wow at a demo and look great but don’t make a tangible difference commercially. So, if your software specialist isn’t asking you some challenging questions about your long-term goals, then maybe it’s time you looked elsewhere and when you find one that does, step out of your comfort zone and trust them as you would a new colleague because chances are you’ll get a better system, a better implementation, proven results and hopefully they’ll also end up being on your Christmas card list too!