Selling Analytics – Top 5 Tips (Client POV)
A lot of you reading this blog either sell and/or buy various analytical software and services. Today I asked some of our client side experts from the Useful Business Analytics Summit what advice they would give to vendors who want their business?
- Provide some full service (even small DIY teams don’t mind getting finished PowerPoints)
- Be transparent upfront (tell me all about competitors, price etc.) Provide the competitive benchmarks (be honest)
- Understand me. Prove why you’re the best choice (for me). Understand me (my abilities, needs, initiatives, and cost allowances)
- Show commitment, and level of service. What will you do to make sure this works?
- Good case studies do matter
While I think the tips above and more specific commentary below are good I wonder what a supplier generated list would look like. Are there any of these you would disagree with, or any tips you would add?
Q. What advice would you give to vendors who want your business?
Don’t bother to telephone me, and when you e-mail, don’t ask for a meeting or call until after you’ve spelled out the business value of your product in terms that are jargon-free and relevant to my job function. List your main competitors and describe exactly how your product differs from theirs, including its deficiencies which I’m going to find out about anyway when I talk to them.
Come right out with my total cost of ownership. No lines about how you “need to know a lot more about my business needs.” Make any necessary assumptions and then spit out a number. If you’re in the wrong cost universe then it’s better (for me, at least) that we not waste each other’s’ time.
I need vendors who are able to show, through structured reporting or business case models how their tool is working. It’s not good enough for a lean organization to have access to some dashboard where I can pull my own reporting – at least at the beginning I need you to feed me some PPT slides with data proving out how well your solution is working. Then, once we get past that we can build in the data to our CRM database and get much deeper.
Understand my abilities, tactical needs, immediate cost allowance and strategic direction/initiatives.
Show us the case studies. Nothing is more powerful than seeing how things work in real-life. Also show that you are completely committed to make it work on our platform.
In the next post I put our client experts on the other side of the fence. I ask them what kind of business they would start and what they would sell if they were to start their own companies.
[Full Disclosure: Tom H. C. Anderson is Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, developers of patented Next Generation Text Analytics™ software platform OdinText. For more information and to inquire about software licensing visit ODINTEXT INFO REQUEST]
[Above also posted on the Next Gen Market Research blog]