Confirmed Fit Sales Strategy
A sales strategy that can be employed in certain circumstances and one I have used on several occasions is what is commonly called a Confirmed Fit engagement. In a Confirmed Fit we combine the steps of internal requirements gathering, vendor demonstration surveys, proof of concept, and implementation surveys into a single pass through the organization. The Vendor organization would deliver a fully staffed team of experts to work on-site through the Confirmed Fit process.
The deliverables for the Confirm Fit are:
- Detailed Implementation Proposal
- Project Plan & Timeline
- Software/Hardware Configuration
- License and/or On Demand Proposal
- Business Case Analysis (if necessary)
The deliverables are not altogether different from what would be delivered in a more traditional evaluation that includes an RFP, RFI, RFQ or others. It’s really the process and benefits that are different which include:
- Discount: The vendor would typically match any previously negotiated customer discount percentage. This process can take weeks to work through with a new vendor.
- Terms & Conditions: The vendor will match previously negotiated business terms for the contract.
- Compressed Timeline: The Vendor is typically prepared to deliver a test environment for the customer’s implementation team within a compressed time frame.
- Resource Commitment: will deliver a full team on-site at no cost to work through the Confirm Fit. (See below proposed team)
In exchange for the above, the prospect agrees to not issue an RFP or bring in competitive vendor solutions while engaged with the subject Vendor. If the prospect determines through the Confirmed Fit engagement that the vendor is not the right solution than clearly, the parties dis-engage and part ways as friends. However, commitment to this process from the prospect’s management and executive staff is required. Additionally, there is no legal involvement or binding contracts. It is typically a ‘handshake’ agreement with pre-defined timeframes, responsibilities, and milestones.
Matt Teahan, PEI