I just finished a 2-day needs assessment class with several dealers. I always appreciate the night-and-day change in sentiment I see in students from the start to the finish of the class. We tell them before they sign up that by the end of the class they will be able to sell a needs assessment, perform a needs assessment, and sell the solution. I know they all doubt these bold claims. However, by the end of Day 1, they are absolutely convinced that they have the knowledge and the tools they need to position and sell a needs assessment.
How do we transition them from doubters to believers, you ask? This brief article will provide some insights and information that I hope will challenge you to explore alternative methods to position and sell needs assessments with greater ease and success. Well, I can’t give you the first day of training in a single post, but here is the general framework.
In the previous article, we discussed selling the EDM needs assessment. We succeeded—it’s sold, now what do we do? In this brief article we will highlight the technical and logistical considerations of conducting an EDM needs assessment. It’s one thing to sell the process; we have to deliver on our promises if we have any chance at selling the entire solution. Remember, the needs assessment has two purposes: designing the optimal solution to meet the customer’s business and functional requirements, and selling that solution. Keep in mind, the solution is NOT just technology—but part of a business solution. More on this later…
Where do we start? The first requirement is to establish your point of contact (POC) and chain of communication. The vendor/consultant project manager must have a single project point of contact on the customer side to coordinate the assessment itinerary. The consultant will need to meet with several representatives from the customer enterprise and must be given access to applicable corporate infrastructure. We always submit two documents to our customer POC. The first document is an itinerary, listing who we need to speak to and for how long. I detail the individual surveys below. The second document we provide is a boiler-plate that the customer POC can use to inform the interviewees of the upcoming meetings. There is nothing worse than having people pulled in a room to answer your questions when they do not understand who you are and the purpose of the meetings. Both these documents are provided to our students as part of our Needs Assessment Tool-kit.
Conducting the surveys: