All the large and well developed companies in the market have adopted the best technologies (as ERP, for example) for their business environment so far. At present the vendors have to make their way towards the small and medium companies in order to sell their product. Taking into account that all these small or medium companies are in a continuously development this vendors’ strategy is perfectly logical. Taking into account that these SMB (small and medium business customers) are growing, they need software like ERP able to automate their business process and to improve their employees’ productivity.
When it comes about selling ERP solutions we can say that this is one of the most challenging tasks for the vendors. The ERP sales cycle is very large if we compare it with other products sale cycle. Selling ERP applications involves many processes and details especially when it is about small and medium customers. The ERP sale process is not an easy one, at all. Many times a sale person must spend much time at the client place to be initiated in the customer business environment.
Most of the times, the decision is made by the business owner in medium and small companies. Selling ERP depends a lot on the sales man ability to persuade the business owner that his company really needs an ERP application. The sales persons usually go to meet and discuss the problem with the IT manager but this one hasn’t the power to decide if the new product will be procured or not. Taking into account that ERP software is an expensive product for SMB the only person that can take the decision is the business owner. So, the sales person must meet face to face with the company owner in order to have any chance to sell ERP software for his business process.
Most of the times, the owner of the small or medium companies asks for an external consultant’s help when it comes about the process of ERP software evaluation. So, we can say that the external consultants have the greatest influence in selecting an ERP vendor. Business owners often let the external consultant to deal with the entire selection and evaluation of the ERP software. Consequently a meeting with the business owner and the external consultant in the same time is a vital step in ERP software sale process.
ERP sales are not an overnight process. A minimum ERP sale cycle lasts for at least three-four months. Even if the sale person is very skillful and succeeds to persuade the client to buy the product immediately, the customer’s analyzes are a very steady and slow process. All a vendor can do is to try to push his client to the further step and to establish another face to face meeting with him. During this meeting the client must be offered other detailed information on the product so that to be persuaded that buying an ERP application is a great opportunity for his business process.
Once the client has bought the product a steady and extremely slow process will follow.