10 Questions to Consider Before Signing an Enterprise Software Deal, Part 1
Before signing on the dotted line, consider these 10 issues to help you make the right decision for your business.
1. Is the Solution Flexible Enough to Evolve with Your Business?
Technology solutions should be designed to be adaptable to new business models, processes. and market growth. As many companies have discovered over the past decade, there is a major difference between configurability and customization.
It’s important to ask: does a change in how you use the solution or to your key business processes require customization (e.g. meaning resource-heavy technology work that someone will need to perform)? Will there be major costs involved with said changes? And can the technology be configured to accommodate expansion, changes to processes, new sales, or operational (e.g. recruiting and staffing) models, and other evolutions of your business?
2. Does it Help You Manage and Grow Your Business with Better Results?
Take a moment for a final assessment about the degree to which the solution will help you manage your business more effectively. Some technology solutions will provide you with the ability to streamline and automate tasks, while others go far beyond that — enabling you to transform the way you do business and improve efficiency and productivity.
As such, it’s crucial to know: do you have the ability to gain immediate insight into your business and productivity? Is the software configurable — allowing you to set up workflows necessary to meet your business needs (combined with notifications, alerts, goal tracking, dashboards and reporting), and help you and your team get the job done more efficiently? Can you manage activity and results based upon your organizational structure, with roll-up reporting by department, line of business, etc.? Does the solution enable you to oversee performance and manage your business, as well provide visibility into your operations and data when you need it?
3. Will the Company be a True Partner?
Any company can be on its best behavior during the sales process. When you make the decision to purchase an enterprise solution, you need a provider that stays focused on you and takes a true, lasting partnership approach with its customers.
Take note of the following: what are you learning during the sales process? Are there major delays when you ask for information? What is the attitude of the team when you want more detail or raise a concern? Are they collaborative when challenges or questions arise? How accessible are leaders during the process? Do their values and culture match yours?
4. Does the Company Really Know Your Business?
During the sales process, you may meet some of the provider’s team members that have knowledge of your industry. Within the world of enterprise staffing software, the provider’s team should have a strong understanding of your business challenges as an enterprise-level customer, what it takes to compete effectively, and what is important to your customers. The more a provider understands you and your environment, the better their solution and services will be for your business.
Make sure to consider these questions: how pervasive is the experience throughout the company and leadership, how extensive is the background, and what is the experience of the team involved after the deal is signed? Does the company demonstrate their knowledge of your business and your industry on a deep level—beyond a person or two during the sales process? Does the team understand and have experience with your key staffing verticals?
5. Is Complexity Right Up Their Alley?
A provider’s software and support model should be able to meet the demands for a company of your size and complexity (i.e. it should be designed and built for an enterprise-level staffing company environment with multiple verticals and services).
To get a better picture of this, it’s important to delve further into the provider’s history: do they have experience with complex environments (e.g. at your level or even more complex)? What is their average customer size? When they learn about the complexity of your needs, do they respond immediately with examples from experience and solutions? Do your questions pertaining to the complexity of your environment, needs, or desires seem to throw off talks? Are your questions greeted with hesitation, information delays, or incomplete responses?
Check back next week for “10 Topics to Consider Before You Sign and Enterprise Software Deal, Part 2”!