Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Vendor demo implosion

What a day! I shall marshall my thoughts and write something more considered for CMS Watch later in the week. But sufice it to say that I witnessed the worst vendor demo to a prospective buyer I have ever seen. It was a disaster, and yet it should not have been....

The vendor (who shall remain nameless) has the tools and the skills to set a very high bar in this particular product selection process. Yet they missed the boat by a mile. For some reason they arrived with 7 people (why?) and one or two of them clearly were not as briefed as the others. Unfortunately the weakest link in the team, was also the most important part of the demo puzzle today.

Just a tip or two to any vendors out there

Firstly, never ever under any circumstances (ever) display scripting during a demo. That is suicide, the only time the buyer should ever see it is when they ask to.

Second tip, listen to your audience - if they pep up and show interest build on it - don't drag them back to the stuff that glazed their eyes.

Third tip, people want to see real demonstrations that at least approximate their working environment and the issues they detailed in the RFP

Fourth tip, it is ok to show examples you made earlier. Yes we want a real live demo, but we understand you cannot build the empire state building in a day - its ok to show us a few examples of outstanding interfaces, processes whatever - alongside the real demo which by definition will always be limiting and limited

Not a good day - two more demo's to come, they left in a huff - we all felt bad. But with two days to go, they can't be any worse - can they?

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