Customers want to enjoy great digital experiences. People use technology as part of their everyday lives, and they expect the same experience when they go to work. Technology should make every job easier, faster, and fun to use. Making a difference starts in the procurement process. Why should the CIO, CEO, or decision maker in the respective business line NOT enjoy the software procurement sales cycle? There is no justification for that, software procurement should be engaging and address what business outcomes the prospect can expect, and what limitations may be.
Know what value you can expect
The beauty of purchasing enterprise software is the long sales cycle – at least from a customers point of view. Customers get a whole team of experts to evaluate a possible project together. The account manager arranges meetings with an armada of experts; consultants, digital strategists, industry veterans, and solution architects. This is a great opportunity to discuss strategy, exchange on trends and innovation, and assess potential value. These experts cost the software company a lot of money, because a lot of people and travel costs are involved. A sales cycle can easily reach $100,000+. The customer gets these experts for free, has a lot of time – in demos and discussions – to convince himself of the solution. Only if the customer sees the value, he shall proceed. This is in the best interest of the software vendor, because the good ones see themselves as strategic technology partners who are in for the long run.
Pay for what you need as you go
The traditional payment model was that the customer buys licenses, which he then writes off over the estimated lifetime. In addition to the license costs, the customer had to invest in hardware, because the software ran on their premises. In the SaaS model, you pay an ongoing subscription fee to use the software as a service. This rent-versus-buy payment schedule means that costs incur slower than it used to, which is very cashflow-friendly and much easier to budget. Moreover, customers can scale up or down – depending on usage.
Focus on your core business
Few companies see investing in more pieces of hardware as a strategic business decision. They have a strategy in place and all they care about is executing this strategy and being successful. They just want to use software that helps them achieve their goals. They need their troops to focus on the strategic mission. Where is the added benefit in keeping resources busy with maintaining server rooms? There is none. Buying new servers does not improve the way a company operates. This paradigm change drives customers into the cloud. It allows them to be secure and protected against cyberattacks. They enjoy better sleep at night and a more focused organization.