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Preparing to Negotiate
Preparing for a cloud procurement negotiation is a simple exercise, but it's incredible how many people do this poorly. 9 out of 10 people start their first negotiation meeting with no directional compass. Usually, everyone views this first meeting as purely exploratory. Picture dogs sniffing each other; both are trying to assess how far they can push their gain limits.
Unfortunately, in this example, the more experienced negotiator always benefits from your poor preparation. 98% of folks are never entirely ready for any negotiation.
Before we get too deep, I want to clarify that this is not about preparing the environment, such as proper web meeting credentials, necessary documents ready, water, coffee, etc. This post is specifically about preparing negotiation information you require in advance of a successful meeting.
So what do you prepare for a negotiation? Start by asking the following questions:
Do we understand the value of the partnership for us and the cloud service provider?
What does the vendor gain from partnering with us? It's not only monetary, so do your homework on the benefits you bring to your cloud vendor?
What are we giving up if we buy from this vendor?
This question, more than any, is always overlooked.
"if I choose Intacct over NetSuite, I won't be able to use Suiteapp.com or SuiteSuccess"
"Intacct may be a cheaper entry point but is Sage (parent) investing in Intacct to help service-based ERP businesses beyond 2021?"
To understand the question, you have to know the vendor's business model effectively. Are you the new frontier for your vendor to expand their offerings geographically? Maybe your account is a beachhead into a new vertical or industry for your cloud vendor. How much should that be worth to them?
Do the work and gain the rewards from properly preparing to negotiate effectively.
Be great by being prepared :)
Hot Tip - Ask your cloud negotiator for her/his Vendor "pitfalls and parachutes" template for your negotiation.