One of the challenges of ERP software is not just finding leads but also successful implementation. Even though you’ve already made a sale, a failed implementation project is still obviously a bad thing. The customer is not fully satisfied, money and time have been wasted, and there’s a lot of disappointment all around.
Now there are many complicated reasons why this happens but still, there’s no harm starting with the basic problems. One of them is simply the fact that the vendor and the client don’t always see eye-to-eye. If you’re wondering why, despite your many attempts to reach out and connect with countless prospects, only few people respond with interest, then it’s probably because they’ve ‘heard it all before’. They may have read your email, read your website, or heard your call. However, the truth is all the content barely registered in their heads because none of it really addressed their specific needs. There’s so much information for them to digest but they don’t have the time to read or listen until they get to the part that hits closest to home with them.
Before you qualify ERP leads, before you start appointment setting, or before you start assuming sales, the prospects’ needs will always come before everything else. Knowing those needs can provide you with all kinds of insights such as:
- Problems that need solving – It helps you identify specific areas in which a prospect’s ERP significantly suffers, whether it’s uninformative CRM or a buggy payroll system.
- Budget limits – Needs can also be financial in nature can help you determine the right time to set an appointment or do a follow up.
- Approval of the whole company – Just because you’ve called the right decision maker doesn’t mean you’ve gained the approval of the entire organization. And given the coverage of ERP, you might have to make several calls before you have confidence in the whole business’ interest.
- Time to implement – Implementation can take a while so it’s best to know what kind of plans a prospect might have. This will keep you from accidentally getting in everyone’s way during the course of the project.
This doesn’t automatically mean you should tailor every message and website to any one specific prospect company. (Although, that can be good idea for email and telemarketing.) It simply means you should focus on finding out their needs as soon as possible. Missing out on the above insights is dangerous because not knowing them means not knowing what exactly to offer your prospect. It’s this lack of knowledge and communication that will indeed lead to a failed implementation because you and your client weren’t always very clear with each other. (Sometimes you might even have to discover the need of a prospect before they do!)
The source of your information won’t matter in the long run too. You can outsource a lead generation company or you can plan the campaign yourself. But if you don’t put priority on knowing the needs, then you won’t know which lead generation firm to choose or which direction to take your own campaign in. It’s a basic rule of thumb to always have needs come before everything else!