Selling Customers On ERP

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Jeffrey Goldstein, ERP

SHOW ROI: Typically, [the sales cycle] can be as short as three months or as long as two years. To shorten it, we try to show an ROI and show them how they will make money by spending money. If we can we do an ROI, if we can show that the total cost of the solution is, say, $100,000, they can lease it over four years at $4,000 a month and I can show ROI that's greater than the cost per month; they're stupid if they don't move.

TRY CROSS-MARKETING: The best way to get leads—and I don't want to sound trite—is through structured networking. We incentivize people to provide us with leads. If there's a payroll company I work with, I tell them if they'll tell their customer base about my services, I'll do the same for them. I'll feature them in my newsletter, if they do the same for me. It's cross-marketing or reciprocal marketing and gives us access to other clients and possible leads.

THE BIGGEST FEAR: The fear is that is that [the implementation] won't be successful so we have to prove to them through case studies, references, through work we performed before that we are experienced, that we have done this before in similar situations in industries similar to theirs.

DEMOS WORK: To get in the door, everyone wants to see a demo—it's like watching a movie. That's the carrot we dangle. We'll do a demo, but you, the customer, have to let me meet with you [and] answer some questions about your business.

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WHAT TO LEAD WITH: Producing the financial reports. Nine times out of 10, they are doing this manually. It all stems from poor data entry, a lack of a centralized place for data and having duplicate data. The bottom line is they need to produce financial reports fast.

FINDING PAIN POINTS: The complete novices, without any automation, are the easiest. They have no system to throw out. That's a win-win situation for us. The most widely used accounting system in the world is still Excel. So at our first meeting my first question is: 'What are the problems you have with the existing system?' Anytime someone tells you there are no problems, that should be a red flag.