Demand for spend management/procurement solutions is at an all time high. Organizations are looking to automate processes and implement controls that allow administrators to ensure there isn’t any rogue spend. Organizations across the globe spent roughly $1B in 2019 and are projected to spend $4B in 2023 on spend management systems. If you’re reading this you are most likely in the market to identify a system that best fits your needs. Consider this the next step in your company’s lifecycle to automate Procurement, Accounts Payable, Expense Reimbursements, Corporate Card issuance and payments.
It can be scary purchasing software, though.
What if the project flops?
What if the implementation takes too long?
What if the system doesn’t have the functionality you need?
Over the past 3.5 years with Accrualify, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with thousands of prospective buyers just like you and wanted to jot down a few pointers on the approach that the most successful prospective buyers take.
#1 – They’re looking for a partner. This is the most important aspect, by far, when purchasing any type of software. The sales process is indicative of how you will be treated as a customer. Ask yourself:
Is the salesperson actually listening to me?
Does it feel like they’re trying to help or just make the sale?
How quick are they to follow up and respond to my questions?
Are they telling me things without actually showing them to me?
If and when you run into issues, you want a vendor who will advocate for you and work with you to make sure you are successful.
#2 – They’re looking for a scalable system. Everyone wants a system that could scale with them as they grow, or as the other offerings evolve. The last thing you want to do is buy a product that works now, then have to rip it out and transition to a new product 1-3 years later. To help uncover whether a system is scalable and innovative, you can ask the vendor:
What’s on your product roadmap?
Tell me about this history of your company.
How quickly does the team release new features/functionality?
Are you able to integrate with other external systems?
Chances are if the rep doesn’t know or isn’t excited about the product roadmap, company history, rate of innovation, or integration capabilities, then the product is not poised to keep up with the competition in the near future.
#3 – They’re looking to satisfy >90% of their requirements. Document your pain points/requirements and communicate these to the rep. This helps the buying process run efficiently and allows you to quickly uncover if the solution will work for you. In addition to covering your requirements, chances are you haven’t thought of everything. To further develop your requirements, you can ask:
What are some best practices of your customers?
What are common issues your customers run into?
What are common feature requests?
How are requests prioritized?
If the rep doesn’t know the answers to these questions, it means they’re out of touch with the customers, which is not a good sign.
If you have any comments or other best practices, please share them. I wish you the best of luck in your buying process and know it’s okay to give these salespeople a run for their money!
Contact Accrualify if your interested in hearing about our spend solution: