The best part of House Hunters is the fact that none of the couples come to the realtor with the same requirements for their new home. Never.
One always wants to be in the city while the other in the country. One wants a large yard while the other wants nothing to do with yard work. One wants a fixer-upper while the other wants turnkey. The only thing they always agree on is crown molding. Every. Single. Time.
It’s easy to laugh at these couples, but they underscore a big problem with the buying process: Getting people to agree on requirements for large purposes is really, really tough.
The larger a corporate purchase is, the more people weigh in. And cloud-based telco and CX purchases can be gigantic undertakings for your company. This means that people from Finance, Operations, IT, and Security might all be a part of the buying committee. Every person on a buying committee brings a new list of what they value and what they need out of a new solution. If we continue with the House Hunters analogy, each new person is bringing a new checklist of what they want from their dream house.
Sometimes, this isn’t a problem! When everyone is aligned on what you need, you’re able to buy with confidence, and make a lot of people happy.
But when your team isn’t aligned, it can get messy.
What causes a lack of alignment when building requirements?
Too many competing interests: Different teams want different things. Operations might want the best CCaaS tech to keep employees happy. Security might insist that security trumps all. Finance might tell the others that whatever they want, it’s too expensive.
Lack of leadership on the buying committee: When there isn’t a clear leader taking charge, different people pull in different directions. Having someone to document, validate, and prioritize requirements is key.
Unclear what problem you’re trying to solve: If you haven’t defined the problem you’re trying to solve, you’re not going to know what to buy. A lack of preparation in the previous stages of the buying process leads to a lack of alignment when it comes time to actually articulate your new solution.
Lack of technical understanding: If teams don’t understand the technology they’re buying, then they don’t understand what it can do. When people don’t understand the function of a new solution, they can start adding requirements that don’t fit the technology.
Confusing vendor reps: You may be clear on what you want. But vendor reps may try to bundle in new products, sell you on new functionality, or share confusing cost models. This vendor-created confusion leads to a lack of alignment when designing your solution.
Unclear buying process: Who really needs to sign off on a purchase? How many times do different directors need to review technical designs? When does procurement need to get involved? Do they need to get involved at all? If you’re uncertain about what needs to happen when you buy new tech, it can lead to you overvaluing or undervaluing the wrong opinions.
A Third Party can be your Real Estate Agent.
No matter how conflicting their requirements, the people on House Hunters always find a home that they love and that works for them. And they do that with the help of their real estate agent, someone who’s had to deal with this exact problem a dozen times before. Which might mean that the real estate agent will include an option that seems to be out of left field, and that’s the one the couple goes for. A good agent knows how to balance conflicting requirements, validating the good and filtering out the bad.
A third party like CXponent is like your real estate agent. We help you validate the right requirements for your company and turn those requirements into technical solutions.
We listen to your requirements, we identify the problems that need to be solved and we present you with the best options. Sometimes you think you know what you need, but after we come in and assess the situation from the outside looking in, we might show you options that we see as best fit that may not match your original criteria.
We add clarity to the buying process: If you’re uncertain what to do next, we can share insight and best practices to make sure you don’t miss any crucial steps.
We act as your advocate to the vendors: If you’re feeling uncertainty or like you’re being pushed into something, we make sure the vendor is acting in good faith.
We can tell you which requirements are realistic, and which ones aren’t: Some requirements make sense. Others don’t fit the solution you’re shopping for or are just plain unrealistic. We use your expertise to help you spot the difference.
We understand the technology: We’ve done this before. It’s our job to know the ins and outs of cutting-edge IT solutions. Turning your requirements into tangible solutions is what we do.