Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Customers’ Checklist for Purchasing Software

A recent article in the January 2010 edition of Purchasing offered a checklist for customers of contract management software – and is a good general list for a range of software offerings. Items 1 and 2 are particularly interesting and map extremely well to Great Demo! concepts. Here’s the list:

1. Identify your company’s goals, needs and pain points around contract management. Where are the inefficiencies?
2. Identify what reports you would like to have.
3. Check internally across all departments and business units to see if any contract management systems or processes are already in place.
4. Determine how many people will use the contract management software and how much training they will require.
5. Research and narrow down a potential list of providers that meet your needs.
6. Confirm what pricing from providers includes – service, training, etc.
7. Check your internal IT capabilities before finalizing on a product.

Item number 2, “Identify what reports you would like to have”, speaks directly to a core Great Demo! idea – seeking to understand what end deliverables are desired from the software by the customer. Interestingly, this is one of the first times I’ve ever seen “reports” specifically called out.

In traditional demos, reports and reporting would be the last thing demonstrated – and would likely be missed by high-level members of the customer, who may have already left the demo meeting.

With Great Demo!, if reports are key, we would work to understand exactly what reports are desired and what they should look like – and then we’d present these right up front at the beginning of the demo.

The article is entitled, “On the Hunt for Contract Management Software Under $100,000”, in Purchasing from January 2010.

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