I am looking for some software tools to help our team. After listening to about 4 suppliers, I’m about to give up, it’s probably easier, cheaper to do nothing.

As I reflect on our conversations:

  1. We’ve talked about our needs, what we are looking for, and what we hope to achieve. Sales people seem to be nodding their heads in the right direction, I take this for understanding.
  2. I’ve sat through endless corporate glamor presentations. You know the one’s that show logos of huge companies and talk about how great their companies are. Those logos are meaningless to me, those companies are very different from mine. I suspected the companies were OK, we did our homework in narrowing to those 4 companies.
  3. I’ve been victim of endless pitches about, “here are the features and functions of our product.”
  4. I’ve sat through 4 demos of what they wanted to show me, not what we think we’d like to do with these solutions.
  5. I’ve asked, “What do these things mean for what we want to do?” The responses are about what the product does, not how we use the product for what we want to do.
  6. My team sits after these meetings trying to figure out if these solutions enable us to achieve what we want to do. We go back to the sales people with questions, they tell us about their products?
  7. I ask, “What can we expect the business impact will be if we implement the your solution? How much time should we be able to save? How much can it improve the quality of our work?” The sales people tell me what their product does.
  8. Each of the sales people have suggested I could get a discount if I make the decision this month, but I still don’t know what results the solution will help us produce. My team is trying to figure it out.

It’s not my job to figure out how I get the results I want from something a sales person is trying to sell me. But somehow, sales people are making it my job.

I wonder if they will give me a discount because I’m doing so much of their work for them. Maybe I should send them a consulting bill?