Deciphering “The Playbook” – What your ERP vendor doesn’t want you to know



Are you considering the daunting task of obtaining a new ERP system? If so, the following is a must read to get you started, and to help you weed out the fluff and focus on the functionality and fit that matters the most to YOU not to your ERP Vendor.

It is important to understand that every ERP and EHR vendor has a “Playbook” that they will try to follow to make every sale. This does not necessarily mean they will take a cookie-cutter approach. Nevertheless, rest assured, they will always try to steer conversations, requirements assessments, and software demonstrations to align with their Playbook and not your company needs

So what does that look like and why wouldn’t this manipulation be easily detected? Consider the following example, taken from The Playbook of a large ERP vendor: “The Rule of 3 No’s”ThreeFingers

This playbook dictates that the ERP sales team does not say “YES” to everything. I mean really, what credible ERP salesperson can look you in the eye and tell you their system can meet 100% of your requirements?  Common sense would tell most of us that no ERP package could meet every need every time (although there are some ERP vendors that still try to convince you otherwise). However, here is where the subtlety of the vendor playbook really kicks in and is clandestinely executed upon the unsuspecting audience.

So while this playbook teaches its sellers not to say “yes” to everything, it also teaches that, while it is acceptable (and even encouraged) to say “no” once in a while, that the answer “no” is not to be given more than three times… “The Rule of 3 No’s”. In fact, knowing how and when to answer “no” to a prospective customer is a whole subsection of the playbook in itself, which I will address in a future blog. “The Rule of 3 No’s” is just one example of how an ERP vendor can try to steer you toward the desired outcome both for its short-term objectives, as well as, to its obvious long-term hopes.

A crucial short-term objective of ERP vendors is to establish themselves as a “trusted advisor” to you in your decision process. From their perspective, the sooner they can gain your trust, the better. The example above taken straight from a playbook is one way they do this.

In future blogs, I will expand on more from the playbook and specifically how it is used to try to help the ERP vendors gain the coveted role of trusted advisor.

Click through to learn more about Prescott Solutions IT and ERP staffing and consulting services. And, if you need assistance with your ERP project, check out our ERP expertise and how we can help your team.

About the Author

avatar About Ashley Peterson

Ashley Peterson is currently a full time MBA student at the University of Denver, Daniels School of Business, studying marketing and sustainability. A Colorado native, in Ashley graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine in 2010 with a double BA degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish. She returned to Colorado and worked for the Colorado Governor's Energy Office. Vail Resorts lured her away to work in their corporate Environmental Public Affairs department at their Broomfield, Colorado headquarters. This position is where Ashley found her true passion working in the marketing and public affairs side of sustainability and business in general. Ashley is extremely experienced with technology and a vast array of social media platforms and has brought these proficiencies and passions to Prescott Solutions. A former NCAA college athlete, Ashley applies the same characteristics to her professional career that made her a two-time NCAA National Champion (2007 & 2008 Field Hockey): energy, focus, enthusiasm, drive, and team oriented. Ashley's passions extend outside the business world where you can find her cooking, scuba diving, outdoors on a bike, coaching lacrosse or traveling.

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