As most of you know, I'm passionate about customers making the right choices for their business & technology needs. So much resources are being wasted everyday because we fail to ask the right questions at the right time. I want to gather few thoughts that will help the buyers to become smarter which will automatically lift the game from the supply side. Please feel free to provide feedback if you are a buyer or seller that would want to see all of us lift our game.
These are some of my thoughts so far
1. Strong Seller
Vendor organizations invest lot of time and money training their salespeople. So I have seen number of situations of buying organization making a poor choice because of a well-trained predator persuading the buyer he/she making the right choice. It's common to see customers buying sldgehamers to crack a nut which is an absolute waste. On the other end of the scale, the sales guy rushes through the sale and the seller organization ends up losing money to deliver the job.
2. Blindly following the buying process.
While its important to have a defined procurement process and vendor selection criteria, I have seen many situations where the buyer has followed the process but still ending up with the wrong choice. This happens because of the evaluation team fails to understand the end result, which is selecting a solution that’s going to fulfil the business need. So customers must make an effort to lift the bonnet on suppler side rather than purely depending on the tender evaluation scorecards.
3. Reward structure for Sales People
Sales guys are rewarded for selling, most of them don’t care about the end result. So the mindset of the sales guy is "winning the deal" because of financial pressures or ego i.e. If I don’t win the sale, then I’m (or my company) in serious trouble or I want to beat EDS, Unisys, IBM or who ever the competition may be.
So its common to see where a sales guy has made a sale, and the vendor implementation team get their arse kicked by the customer for poor delivery.
The vendors should change how they reward their sales guys so they have a skin in the game and take some responsibility for the outcome. Smart buyers will make sure they eyeball guys from vendor side who has the ultimate delivery responsibility.
4. Poor request from the buyer side
The buyers need to lift their game to ensure they do their homework properly before going to market. We all make the mistake of thinking about the solution before properly defining the problem which ends up with a poor buying choice.
5. Not enough questions from the seller side.
Its sad to see enormous amount of resources go waste from vendor side preparing proposals without understanding the full picture of what the buyer is trying to achieve.