Archive for September, 2010

Some more negotiation top tips

September 27th, 2010

It’s been a while since my last batch of top tips for negotiating better software deals. So here are a few more:

1/ Take your time. Don’t be rushed into any decision. A few extra days now to make sure things are right can save you months of wrangling later when things go wrong.

2/ Concede only slowly and in small increments.

3/ Trade off stuff; if I give you X will you give me Y.

4/It’s not just about the price; look for other value that might be worth more.

5/ Listen more effectively. Listen for nuggets and nuances; they all count.

6/ Communicate clearly and confirm everything in writing.

7/ Set the Agenda for every supplier meeting

8/ Know when to stop negotiating

9/ Never negotiate when you’re tired

10/ Enjoy it. Negotiating is fun!

THE BIG PICTURE: Tech companies are making money again

September 13th, 2010

While the overall economy has offered mixed signals lately, many tech companies are reporting a rebound in corporate technology spending. But canny buyers are making best use of more cost effective SaaS solutions. More companies are looking to save money by signing up for cloud computing services like those offered by Salesforce.com, in which the company hosts client software on its servers and makes it accessible over the Web. That saves companies from having to invest in major server and disk equipment as well as the associated in-house support staff. 

There is value in being a Reference site

September 6th, 2010

Taking up customre references and getting comfort from the fact that someone else has ‘been there done that’ plays a significant role in the decision-making process of software  buyers. As a result, most software suppliers are keen to add new names to their reference lists. Whether the software vendor is a new start-up or global giant they are all especially keen to get advocates for new products , new software releases or when moving in to a new vertical markets.

By offering to serve as a reference you can often use this a leverage to negotiate yourself a better deal. And the amount of the extra discount will depend on what you are prepared to do as a reference. Taking a few phone calls in a year doesn’t take up too much time, but the logistics of having potential clients come on site can be quite time consuming and can significantly interupt your day-to-day job. You should insist your software suppliers reward you well for the time spent helping them sell their products to other potential users. Extra discount is one option. Free stuff is another, ie training, education, consultancy etc.

And finally, beware the software contract that already includes a clause that states you will be a reference site. Some vendors hide these clauses in their contracts as if it is a standard element of every deal; it’s not, it has value and it’s totally negotiable!