Selecting a new tech solution? Don't skip the most important steps!

Looking for a new tech solutions to automate your sales, marketing or support process can feel like looking for a grain of sand in a crowd. Value is crucial when selecting a solution vendor. And value goes far beyond product features and number of mouse clicks. When it comes to vendor selection, having deep knowledge of the users themselves, understanding business process, and the relationship with your vendor can make or break your experience.

Does this sound familiar? You just ended up with a new tech solution, and discover significant road blocks once you go into implementation: They cannot fulfill critical business requirements. You do not understand how they play within their given tech space. You are unable to compare features, functionality and process with apples to apples comparisons. It turns out, they do not make the best partner for your business.  

We see companies who select new tech solutions every day, and often they go about their searches in a number of ways:

1.      Blind search

2.      Same old, same old

3.      Word of mouth

4.      Formal selection

- Blind searches provide you with some of the information you need to make an educated decision. You can view web demos, learn about product features, and view a few of the brand’s top customers. What you miss with this approach alone, is product and partner, customer reviews, and a true sense of the total package value.  

- Using the same vendor that you have a current relationship with to solve a new problem can result in a win. After all, you probably have built a trusted relationship and have proven success around existing programs. However, without doing your homework, success on your new program is usually obtained by luck, and often results in disappointment. What is true for one solution, is not always true for another.

- Word of mouth also provides you with part of the “story”, including excellent feedback and personal experience, and should be applied to any vendor selection process.

How can you be sure that you’ve made the right choice before you sign on the dotted line and pay the big bucks? Invest your energy and dollars in a formal vendor selection process, aligning your business processes, needs and objectives to the most competent product and partner.

1.      Clarify your organization needs

2.      Know your challenges (so you don’t repeat them)

3.      Understand your long term objectives

4.      Review tech solutions with YOUR requirements in mind

5.      Compare solution vendors based on the same criteria

6.      Chose a good solutions AND a good partner

7.      Compare

8.      Make a Decision and negotiate terms that suit your needs

Seems simple, right? In our experience, this process is often skipped. Companies choose vendors based on price or word of mouth alone. We talk to people every day who complain that the product they thought they was going to be a great solution, just doesn’t cut it. Others believe that they purchased the right solution, but didn’t deploy in a way that was useful to THEIR business. These are expensive and exhausting mistakes to make. The cost and time to rip out a solution and re-architect is 4-6 times greater than had they done it right in the first place.

Making a value based decision isn’t just one that is based on price, or an inventory of product features. It includes the whole package. Process, customization, data management, security, ease of use, and partnership attributes, to name just a few attributes.

Our approach at Kredo is to help you understand your true needs when choosing a solution:

1.  We don’t just look at end user needs. We consider how your program will impact customers, centers of excellence and shared services, leadership perspectives, your pocketbook, and more. This analysis becomes your requirements framework and guiding principles.

2. We look at the top tech solution vendors in the space of interest. From leaders, to innovators, we want to see how their technology, culture and structure stacks up against your requirements.

3. The next step is demonstrate capabilities based on your specific use cases, needs, language and approach, negotiate, and deliver the final recommendations to you. YOU make the final decision.

4. Finally, we will help you and your new partner find the right terms to "marry" and set you up for a successful relationship by overseeing the initial engagement. We ensure that what you said you wanted is delivered, and that what you saw in your demo is what you receive on day 1 with your new vendor-partner.

These steps are critical to the successful selection of a new tech solutions. For example, if you skip to step 4, as many companies do, you are setting yourself up for a poor experience, and a potentially expensive mistake.

Following the right path to select a new tech solution will help ensure that you identify the best vendor to fulfill critical business requirements, gain an understanding the key players within a given tech space, compare features, functionality and process with apples to apples comparison, and end up with an excellent partner who can evolve with your business.