Last time we looked at the research phase of choosing a new business software solution, this time we get to meet the suppliers.

As a supplier of any business software solution:

business software solutionWhen we meet our customers for an initial consultation, we are very much in listening mode. This is your opportunity to tell us about yourselves and your company.

We want to hear about the reasons why you have decided to shop around for a new solution, what your problems are, as you see them, and what plans you might have for the future.
We want to hear whether you are looking for a product straight out of the box or whether you need specific enhancements. Perhaps you would like us to integrate our business software solution with something you are already running?

It is very important that the vendor gets a feel for your company and your requirements at this early stage. But you will also want to get a hands on idea of the actual product. So after this first meeting and once you have received the initial proposal, it would be best to book a demonstration.

As a vendor, we try to make this as realistic as possible so we will set up the demos using your products and with your specific needs very much in mind.
If you need a second demonstration to allow you to involve members of your board, you should not hesitate to ask for one.

Top Tip

This is a great time to start thinking about your key people – you need to identify individuals from across all your business areas to make sure their side of the business is represented, e.g. someone from marketing, finance, supply chain etc. These people need to be brought in fairly early on in the process so that nothing is missed and will go on to form your side of the implementation team.

The next step following the demos is where you are provided with a statement of work. This is a detailed document containing a summary of all our discussions so far. It will include an outline of the solutions you have chosen and a breakdown of the costs based on: the monthly costs for the software (this is now the common model for cloud based products), the fixed costs based on the number of users and the cost of implementation.

Having gathered this information it is now up to you to compare proposals and make a decision on how you wish to proceed.

Next time – Project Kick-off!

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