Solution Evaluation


Brief Vendors on Demonstrations

Ensure the demonstration follows your script and is not just a glossy sales presentation
  • Draft Agenda
  • Profile of Attendees
    1. Have the vendor and a technical expert attend a briefing.
    2. Cover the attendees, their roles, and particular interests/concerns.
    3. Detail what you would like to see.
    4. Agree the agenda with the vendor.
  • Final Agenda topics

It is not unusual for this briefing to be longer than the actual demonstration. Remember that you will probably have a group of senior managers in the room, and the cost per hour can often run into hundreds of dollars. Anything that will make the presentation more effective and efficient is well worth considering.

One key point that will make the Vendor happy, and also the presentation more effective is if the Vendor understands the people who will be attending. It will allow the Vendor to:

  • Understand the level of understanding of the attendees e.g. is the financial person the CFO or Accounts Clerk?
  • Be able to pitch to the right level. Not have to explain basics or vice versa
  • Understand and address particular concerns of interests
  • Be more comfortable knowing how individuals are likely to respond to the demonstration
  • Understand the 'pecking order'

Make sure the Vendor knows that you will be managing the presentation and that you expect all points to be covered in the time allocated. If the Vendor is not covering the points, you will step in somewhere after the mid point of the demonstration and direct the demonstration to cover the specific points still outstanding. The Vendor's ability to undertake the demonstration as per the agenda is a measure of how well you are likely to be able to work together in the future.

It is not necessary that the agenda is covered in the order you might want. Leave it to the Vendor to structure the demonstration. Sometimes a question will mean jumping around in the agenda and displaying a part of the system that is going to be covered at a later point. Let the Vendor structure your points, but ensure all are included.

Another situation that can arise is that the Vendor will only want to show screen shots of the system. Make sure they are prepared to demonstrate the real system, not pictures, or prototypes of an upcoming release.

The Vendor may require a dress rehearsal to ensure equipment works and things like projectors are compatible with their equipment. If required, ensure you have technical people on hand to sort out any issues. It is also useful to show the venue to the Vendor so they know the size and location. Also allow enough time for the Vendor to set up before the presentation.

Vendor Demonstration Agenda A listing of the topics to cover in a demonstration.

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