SoftResources’ software selection methodology includes the use of a “scripted” demonstration with the short listed vendors. A demo script allows the client to control what is being demonstrated and helps to ensure that it is relevant to the business. Lately, we have facilitated several of these demos and have found an interesting pattern:

The success of the demonstration can be influenced by the people demonstrating the software.

No matter how well prepared the vendors are, the reality is that they are being judged from the moment they walk in the door (before they even crack open the laptop). We have seen several instances where the numbers of demonstrators, the demonstrators’ positions in the company, their personalities, their attire, etc. have played a significant role in whether the client perceives that the software can handle their requirements. What’s even more interesting is that those perceptions generally do not change throughout the demonstration. What the client is judging in this case is “Vendor Compatibility.” This is where a client asks, “Is this a vendor that I can work closely and have an ongoing relationship with?”

Of course vendor compatibility is just one of the data points that should be used to make the final vendor decision. It’s important to focus on the functionality of the product to make sure that the software is a good technical and functional match; after all, that’s why you took all that time and effort to produce a script. But once you are comfortable with the vendors’ ability to meet the basic requirements, vendor compatibility just might serve as a very important tie-breaker!

Posted By: Cherish Cruz

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