How Good Is Your Sales Team?

To be honest, I never used to pay much attention to the quality of a vendor’s representative. As long as they weren’t offensive, I was willing to ignore them and focus on the product. And then, we had a very interesting experience when a vendor’s rep showed up to present a product that colleagues at peer firms had raved about. I listened, I watched, and I was baffled. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why folks in other firms liked the product.  It didn’t seem to work terribly well and the sales rep wasn’t able to explain it. So I scratched the product off my list and mentally moved on to the next one.

A little while later, I received an e-mail from someone more senior at the vendor asking for an opportunity to show us the product again.  (I later learned that a mutual friend had told him about the disappointing first demo.)  Our experience during the second demo was the polar opposite of the first one.  In fact, it was as if we were looking at a completely different product.  This time, everything worked and the explanations were crystal clear.  As a result, I can now see how this product might be useful in our environment and I’ve started to measure other products against it.  All in all, it was a win for the vendor.

One product.  Two representatives.  A world of difference.

So, how good is your sales team?

[Photo Credit:  The Rocketeer]

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The KM Solution?

In a recent meeting,  a vendor said with great enthusiasm, “Let me show you our KM solution.”  For a brief moment of intense joy, I actually thought I was about to experience KM enlightenment.

I should have known better.

After a bit of fanfare, he unveiled … a search engine.  Admittedly, it appeared to be a very fine search engine.  Nonetheless, if search and retrieval were the entire KM solution, most of us engaged in law firm knowledge management could have retired years ago.  The reality is that while good search and retrieval are important components of a law firm knowledge management program, they cannot fairly be described as the complete answer.

I know that and you know that.  When will the vendors figure it out?

[Photo Credit:  Sharon Pazner]

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