One of the blogs I keep an eye on is the one produced by the GP product management and marketing team http://blogs.msdn.com/gp/. This is the team that are passionate about making GP better for customers and helping partners sell more solutions.
One of the recent blog entries from the marketing team was an interesting article about how to compete with and beat Sage Mas 90 and Mas 200 customers. The compete sheet is a really good resource and you can read it here.
To expand on this I have one sales tactic that I want to share with you all. CHANGE THE GAME. Do not play the same game as Sage, Accpac, Navision, Epicor etc. Change the rules, change the prospects/customers expectations. Teach, coach and insist that your prospect expect more from an ERP system. Explain how accounting functionality is simply not enough and if they are not solving XXX problem they are wasting their money.
The next few paragraphs are a direct plug for the eOne tools, but the reason we developed these tools was to help our VAR business (and yours) to smash the competition by playing a different game. How do you do it?
1: Use eXtender to change the scope/breadth of the implementation. Find the hard thing that usually gets left out of the project, and make it part of the project. Find the little things and bring them into the project scope. If the customer owns the building, show them how to manage the building using an eXtender building management example. If the prospect has loan equipment, show them the value of tracking this with eXtender. Show how tracking investor or donor relationships in eXtender – means they do not need CRM? Create three custom screens for GP that they may need, and then change the screens on the fly during the demo?
Now the stake holder has seen a system that handles building management, and can be changed easily – he now expects this from all the other software he see’s. You have changed the game.
2: Enter Journals, purchase orders, inventory adjustments into Excel and have them update GP real-time. Accpac cannot do that. Explain how it is essential that the inventory manager can update GP real-time from his laptop – without spending 80K on a complex warehouse management system. Can Accpac accept direct PO entry in Excel? Once a prospect sees it they suddenly expect it.
3. Automate using SmartConnect. Automate anything in the demo. It does not matter what. Seeing automation will get them thinking about other things that can be automated. By the end of the demo you will have found 3 things you can automate with SmartConnect. Explain how if that function is not automated in their solution they would be taking a backward step.
4. Use eXtender and SmartConnect together. Think about it. Capture any custom data, in a custom screen and then have it create any record type in GP based upon user defined rules. No other ERP can compete with that – including NAV, AX, SAP, Oracle.
5. Use Custom SmartLists, and the shortcut bar to drive workflow. Show transactions jumping from one persons SmartList to another persons SmartList as a transaction moves through a companies workflow.
It is not just eOne products that make your demo sing there are other things that are must show differentiators:
1. FRX report books and report manager. (a must on every demo)
2. Excel Reports in Outlook
3. Navigation Lists for searching multiple records
4. Business Alerts (they are still cool)
5. Business Portal – even if they never use it, it is a great differentiator
6. .Net development environment in the toolkit.
6. All the ISV’s out there with great products. Don’t talk about ISV’s like they are add-on’s but that they are a core part of the Microsoft solution.
There is no reason why GP is not the leading ERP in the market. It should be, and we at eOne will do our bit to ensure it competes and beats all comers.