It’s 1:58pm and you’re waiting for your 2pm ERP demo to begin. Once it starts, you sit back and watch as the demonstrator – who may be following a generic script – quickly moves through system features and functionality. This is somewhat impressive, but not necessarily relevant to you or your team. At the end of the demonstration, the presenter asks if there are any questions and then promises to “follow up” with detailed pricing and additional information. The meeting ends. You wonder - Is the system actually a good fit? Should I continue my search?
Does this scenario sound familiar?
Often the demonstration is the sales rep’s gig. You may assume he fully understands your current and desired future state based on whatever work done to this point. This is unfair to you, and even unfair to him. Sales rep’s need to SELL – it’s their job. Perhaps they accomplish this by presenting EVERY PIECE of functionality in their product – hoping that something will resonate with a particular pain point or business need. While it may be interesting, it won’t provide enough context for you to decide. In fact, it could well be a complete waste of time.
Get context. Why not prepare for the demo with specific questions and requirements? Ensure you are getting the most from everyone’s precious time. Below are few items to consider prior to agreeing to an ERP demonstration:
- Current State ERP Functions and How You Got There
Has your organization executed a similar ERP project? If not, why? Do you understand the complexities an ERP project entails? What are your “must haves” from your existing system? What could you do without? What’s your ERP missing to meet your business needs/requirements? Are these “must haves” too?
- Common Tasks that Make You Cringe
Are there blatant inefficiencies in your organization? What exactly slows you down in your core business process? Be specific in listing your pain points. Consider this: Are problems process, software, people related or some combination? Be clear – and realistic - on what you want the next ERP system to fix.
- Your IDEAL Solution
If you could hand pick the features and functionality of your ideal software solution, what would you include? Why? How would these features be beneficial to you / your team? Concentrate on a vital few.
- Future Business Goals
Will the ERP provide flexibility to accommodate growth? Do you foresee adding features / functionality to your solution in the future? Develop specific questions or scenarios that you want the software to address as it relates to growth or changes.
Demonstrations are never perfect, but you should drive the agenda. The more information you are willing to provide, the easier it will be for the presenter to address specific needs and requirements versus simply “selling.”
Would you like some assistance with ERP and demo prep? Contact Acuity Consulting Group. Give us a call at 401. 243. 8480