Buy Logistics Technology by Controlling the Sales Conversation to Get What You Really Need
TLDR; Be your own advocate, self-educate, and don’t let sales people control the conversation.
I am writing this with humility as a former logistics technology sales person (and not a good one at that).
Evaluating logistics technology requires good people skills – every bit as much as it does knowing your business. But of course knowing what you need from your logistics technology is important too.
Just as important is that every logistics technology buyer needs to know how to control the conversation with sales people. This is where the people skills come in. You need to be your own advocate and not let sales people lead you down a path. Despite what they say – and they are trained to say it – sales people are not your advocate.
I am not saying logistics technology companies are evil, it’s simply that they have their own agenda and are not experts at your business. Sadly, most are probably not even that experienced with their own software, much less how you operate.
Trust yourself to know what you need.
This starts by taking accountability for educating yourself, and the other people at your company who will influence the buying decision, on what your problems are and what solutions are available. There is no lack of content and information out there to help you do just that.
It starts by understanding the challenges and limitations in your own logistics operation and learning about all the possible solutions. Be your own advocate.
Also, trust your gut. A small contradiction or inconsistency in a sales rep’s story is not something to take lightly. Neither is getting a bad feeling about someone. If this happens in an hour long meeting, it will be magnified 10X during the critical implementation and go-live phases.
In the past, the typical sales process would be based on buyers solely using sales people to help them learn about possible solutions. That’s not how it works anymore. Buyers need to take ownership of understanding the solutions that are available to them and make decisions based on what they decide is best for their company, not what they are led to believe by a sales person.