Many of us have (hopefully) experienced a client working through the process with you in selecting a solution that they believe is the right fit for their organization. Then, its implementation only brings more powerful results and elation. As a sales consultant, it is extremely gratifying.
However, what about the other end of the spectrum? You work with a client for months to identify a solution, develop a business case, provide demos, give estimates and complete a great deal of paperwork only for them to decide to “go with a cheaper solution.” The prospective clients even admit that they know it won’t fit their long-term needs. Now, this scenario is downright frustrating!
It appears that in the grand scheme of things, organization opt for those “free, or nearly free,” out-of-the-box solutions that seem easy to implement and support.
At the same time, they are purchased without the proper guidance and analysis from trusted stakeholders who review the organization, its challenges, needs and desired outcomes. And, most importantly, they will not deliver a ROI in the long term.
Such an investment of time, energy, resources and even money are often wasted on a system that provides only pieces of a solution that is clearly not sustainable. In essence, it is wasting time and money – for all parties. It weighs on the organization and its personnel. It weighs on the vendor, or other external stakeholders in the process. And, it weighs heavily on the end user, as they are the ones that are the biggest losers in this process. Not only do they have access to a less-than-ideal system, but they also know that it will be replaced once again, soon enough. So, what is the allure?
The allure of these solutions is that they are cheap and easy, as organizations are in a perpetual cycle of a cost savings mode. But are they cheap and easy? They may not be if you examine the time spent to implement, customize and roll out a less than robust product, along with the endless qualifiers by its administrators that this system was “not quite what we wanted.” At the same time, you are risking your own personal capital. So, is there really a cost savings?
As a sales professional, I recently witnessed this same situation. I saw a prospective client trying to continue to work through the bugs in the organization’s current system. I could tell it was costing them time and personnel resources alone that could not be recouped because it was a system that was outdated, not dynamic and ultimately not supported, as they knew they didn’t want it. Still, they persevere with what they have vs. bringing their (rather strong) case to the powers that be.
The culture was about cost savings – but, to what degree does it make sense?
Bottom line, it is difficult to understand that organizations would want to “throw money away” because those in the trenches are afraid to go to top management to discuss a long-term investment that provides the desired results and outcomes. Most leaders, I believe, would (or should) welcome their people spearheading long-term, cost saving investments that further the organization – that provide real ROI.
I’d love for us to work together to build that case … I am happy to go to the mats, along with you and for you and for your users. The opportunities are too great and you deserve to shine.