Recommending tools and software to a customer is one of the most sensitive jobs a consultant. First, because you need to be able to detect which solution is best suited to your customer's needs.
Second, because sometimes the customer himself does not know that he really has this need. And third, because sometimes the customer already has a tool that should be meeting this need, but does not.
How, then, to indicate a new tool, without causing problems for the customer, but instead adding value to the organization? We'll help you with the following 5 steps.
1. Understand your customer's problem
If you want to point out a solution, you must first be able to pinpoint the problem so that your customer can see things the same way you are seeing.
It is therefore appropriate to interview all users of the current system or anyone who would benefit from deploying a new tool. These users - or future users - will be able to identify what is inefficient and boring in their current processes.
Having defined the problem, it is important that you calculate the costs that these problem areas generate. Because inefficiency often results in unnecessary expenses or lost revenue, which can serve as an argumentative basis for your recommendation.
The information you find out about your customer's problem (s) will also serve as a basis for determining which software will be most appropriate for that customer.
2. Define tool and / or software prerequisites
There are the most diverse products on the market, with solutions designed to meet almost any need.
So for define project scopeYou should first ask yourself if the problem is limited to a specific function of an existing system or a general problem in the processes of the organization.
You will be able to answer this question by looking at the data compiled in diagnosis previously performed.
If you determine that the problems are, in fact, confined to a single area and that you do not need to touch the others, then it might be a good idea to look for software or applications that address this one-off issue, leaving the rest intact.
If, on the contrary, it is a broader issue that involves the entire current system or several concurrent processes, then it is important to have a single toolkit that solves the problem in a unified and centralized manner.
You will then prepare a project scope to be presented to the client for approval. It scope should ensure that you will be offering the customer something that meet your expectations and needs.
3. Evaluate options available in the market
In addition to identifying system prerequisites that meet the needs and provide the essential resources for your customer, you will also need to gather information about the context in which the new tool should be inserted.
For example, are there other current systems with which new software will need to be integrated? How many users should have access to the system? Will data be stored locally or in the cloud?
These are all determining factors that eventually restrict the appropriate options. You will need a tool that meets the previous prerequisites while meeting your customer's business environment.
With this data in hand, start by evaluating the product literature in the market. Many of them are module based, for example, and you may only need to indicate one or two modules and not the full application.
Another idea is to give software vendors the scope of the project and let them demonstrate their alternatives and how they meet the identified prerequisites.
Then evaluate which provider has the best ability to provide solutions for the company as well as the best cost-effective proposals.
4. Take customer recommendation
Most likely your customer will want to see a demo of the tool before making the final choice. Then sort it out and choose something like top 3 or top 5 from the software you find most appropriate for the situation.
Then take this selection to the customer, explaining further why these packages were chosen, what features they add, what benefits they offer over the previous system, or how they solve the current problem.
Remember: the consultant's job is to feed the client all the information they need by offering advice and suggestion. The consultant never tells the client what to do. The final choice is up to the customer only.
5. Determine Your Implementation Role
Your advisory role in implementing our tool depends greatly on the agreement reached with the client early in the project.
Some consultants take care of software configuration, others engage in hardware configuration as well, if necessary; Some are responsible for integrating with other systems, others are responsible for training all users who will have to access it.
The fact is that, during implementation, there are several ways to position yourself to offer services to your customer and generate revenue. It all depends on what was hired.
Proper advice to your clients about hiring software solutions is important to your client's organization as much as it is to your career in consulting, because the greater the optimization in business management and administration, the better the service response. that you can provide.