Shepherd sales staff train every week on the product. They attend post-release feature briefings every second week as well as training sessions on each new release every other second week. They also build their own demonstration data sets, which Shepherd considers mini proofs of concept as discussed in a recent blog post.
Working with the product, not just talking about it
Shepherd sales staff are capable of providing level 1 customer support and even implementation. A typical Shepherd sales rep will spend 20% of the week training. Shepherd demands so much technical knowledge of its sales staff because what use is a sales rep whose answer to every technical question is “I’ll get back to you after I speak to someone more technical.”?
Your Shepherd sales rep is, therefore, very well suited to the task of understanding your particular business’ needs. On the first discovery call, your sales rep will ask you first to detail your requirements and, in particular, to focus on your pain points. In most cases you will find that your sales rep has encountered your particular requests and knows which feature or module will best solve them for you.
Specialty input when if the need arises
When requirements are more advanced than normal, your sales rep may bring an implementer or even a developer to attend a call. Different staff at Shepherd, of course, have different specialties so you may meet several such specialists as your sales rep works to identify the configuration that best suits your business.
SAP once ran an ad campaign with this message: There is nothing special about your business. The marketing insight in that message was brilliant. Whatever the problem, you wish to find a team and a product who have solved it before. If you are on a call with a sales rep who begins proposing heavy development or customization, end the call and find another team… even if you are speaking to Shepherd, 😉. Don’t turn your business into another company’s R&D project.
I write this because I wish you to hold your Shepherd sale rep to that same standard. Be sure that they recommend native, existing functionality that requires little to no customization. Eschew customization; embrace personalization!
Solutions with a reason purpose
The goal of discovery and solutioning is to do just that: configure the product in such a way that you may use it with the least amount of implementation effort while also cutting no corners. The simplest solutions are always the most elegant and superior hence the stress on a low implementation hour count, which, of course, also suits your budget best.
When reviewing your proposed statement of work, be critical. Is there any excess? Are there any modules or features present you do not need? Can you see your own business described in the document? Will your staff embrace the solution? Call your sales rep to task. He knows the product well and can defend each recommendation that he has made.
If you want to experience this level of input from our sales reps for yourself, contact us and book your discovery call.