You might have heard the phrase, “the problem the prospect brings you is never the real problem”, and it’s no surprise – this phrase was coined by Sandler Training, one of the most popular sales training methodologies in use by high-tech companies around the world. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the teachings of Sandler, this phrase is important as a salesperson and customer when searching for new enterprise software. The philosophy encourages salespeople to dig a bit deeper when evaluating a company’s pain points and reasons for shopping to uncover more details about the search, however, as a business starting the software search, there are benefits to reflecting on the above as well. By spending the time determining a detailed list of reasons for your software search before you speak with vendors, you will be able to prioritize what matters most in deciding on a solution to help narrow down options. Below are a couple of pain points we often uncover during the sales process to help get you thinking.
Pain Point #1: Our existing software is outdated.
Although legacy software itself can be an issue in terms of system aesthetics, the real issues with an outdated solution go much farther than that. Legacy software implies a system built on old, outdated technology which itself leads to various other problems. Working with outdated technology (such as Windows XP) means your software is no longer compatible with modern solutions. This makes it impossible to update hardware, it restricts your company’s ability to integrate with other applications (such as eCommerce platforms) and it makes training new employees more difficult. What happens if you need to replace a computer? Or if one of your suppliers requires EDI? Legacy software restricts your ability to perform your day-to-day tasks and grow the business.
Pain Point #2: Our existing software is no longer supported.
When your software is no longer supported, this leads to a myriad of other issues. Not only will you not be able to fix any issues or bugs in the software, but software that is no longer supported means it is also no longer getting updates. As a result, your business will miss out on any new features or technology advances. Trying to use software that is no longer supported can result in creating manual processes and workarounds when you do run into a bug issue – exactly the types of processes that software is designed to eliminate. Software that is no longer supported also puts your business at risk of losing sensitive business data, not to mention the risk of the system crashing. If your software goes down without support during normal business hours, it can leave your employees stuck – or worse – it can leave your customers and suppliers in the dark.
Pain Point #3: Our system does not have any inventory management functionality.
Many introductory software systems do not include functionality for inventory management. Even if they do, it is for very small businesses with a low volume of SKUs and transactions. However, that’s the point. Introductory software is designed to be the first solution in use to get your business up and running. Then, once your business grows and order volume increases, you can begin to look at more advanced inventory management and accounting software. Without the right inventory management features, your business is stuck managing manual processes, entering data across multiple, standalone solutions and creating workarounds to manage orders. Lack of proper inventory management features can lead a business to hire additional staff just to keep track of inventory and organize the warehouse – a much more expensive solution than implementing the right software when you factor in salary costs, benefits, training and employee satisfaction. A lack of sophisticated inventory management software leaves your business at risk of selling product you don’t have, losing money associated with the holding costs of stocking products that you can’t sell, a high number of RMAs due to shipping errors and ultimately, unhappy customers.
Paint Point #4: Our software does not have good, customizable reporting features.
Reporting functionality is more than just making stakeholders and management happy. It’s getting an understanding of business health, threats and opportunities in real-time. Although most businesses can benefit from standard reports in terms of profit and loss statements, top-selling products etc. every business will have unique needs when it comes to reporting. Getting access to information in real-time allows your business to quickly and easily make decisions about purchasing, sales, pricing and more. Without the ability to get insight into the operations of your business, you could be leaving money on the table. Are you purchasing and holding inventory that is costing you money? Are your salespeople meeting their quotas? Which products do not have high enough margins to make it worth your while?
Pain Point #5: Our software is not integrated with our website.
Even if your business is set-up to sell online and you have a high-performing website, this is only one piece of the puzzle. Without proper integration to back-end inventory and accounting systems, time and resources are wasted manually entering data, checking for inventory and updating multiple, standalone systems. Complete, 2-way integration means information flows bi-directionally, and you only ever need to update and manage one database of information. Inventory and pricing are accurate across all sales channels and orders are managed from a single solution to help optimize the picking, packing and shipping process.