Are you looking for a transactional relationship or something deeper? There are plenty of ‘plug & play’ systems or ‘big pond’ providers out there where some people feel happy being amongst the ‘shoal’, but if you want a facility that fits your needs rather than your needs having to fit the facility, then get to know the people not the sales spiel.
Power-point and Photoshop are wonderful tools – and for sure, compiling a demonstration that answers questions succinctly with perfectly formed screenshots ensures meetings keep to time. But if you’re looking for a real system, ensure the person in front of you can talk from a place of experience and intimate system/capability knowledge rather than purely what they may have gleaned from some sales training.
If something you’re being told doesn’t ring true, then be sure to get it qualified with real life examples. On the spot. You work in recruitment, so you know what a candidate ‘stretching the truth’ looks like – just use that fine-tuned sixth sense with software salespeople.
Everyone’s busy, but if you’re not willing (or indeed in some instances able – we appreciate that with the best will in the world some organisations have their hands tied by highly formal purchasing policies) to invest some time upfront to get a feel for who you will end up speaking to, then standby to run the very real risk of the horrible reality that what you get, might not be what you were sure you were sold.
Starting any project can prove to be incredibly challenging. But time spent assigning the right stakeholder group, is time well spent. These key people are kept up to speed the whole way through and you and your business avoid any nasty surprises throughout the project.
Before choosing who should partner you for any software solution, why not ask to speak to current clients of the organisation you are potentially going to spend an awful lot of time with? And spend a lot of your money with? Look at their client list and ask them if you can speak to any one of them. Of your choosing. It’s very easy for a company to wheel out the ‘champion’ client, but ask to speak to a range of clients and you’ll most definitely get the ‘warts and all’ answers you are looking for.