Software Contract Negotiation Tips

Negotiating software contracts is a very important part of your software selection project. The software vendor writes the contract to protect their interests in the engagement. You need to negotiate the contract to protect your interests.

Enterprise business software (ERP, HR, CRM, Financial software, etc.) contracts are typically very negotiable because the software vendors are looking to lock up a long term customer. They know that if they can get a customer in the door even at a discounted rate, they will have a long term maintenance revenue stream that should last at least 5-10 years. The reason for this is that after such a big investment, companies are reticent to change software solutions for many years. Therefore, it is important to remember that the time you have the strongest leverage with the vendor is during the negotiation before signing the contract. Make sure you use that leverage to your advantage.

There are basically 3 contracts that you will sign for a standard on-premise implementation.

1. Software License – This contract outlines the terms of use of the software. The pricing for the software license is typically set by module on a user or concurrent user basis. The software license is usually heavily discounted in the sales process so the software vendor can acquire the new customer.

2. Software Maintenance – This contract outlines the terms for support, maintenance, updates and upgrades. The cost for this service is usually an annual fee of 18-22% of the list price for the software license.

3. Implementation Services – This contract outlines the statement of work, hourly rates, and plan for the implementation. The cost for implementation services is based on the hourly rates of the implementation consultants and the estimate of hours to complete the project. A good rule of thumb for implementation cost in a mid-market environment is a 1:1 ratio with the software license cost. In other words, for every dollar of software license cost you pay, you can expect to pay a dollar for implementation services. For larger companies in more complex environments, this cost can end up being much higher – 2:1 or even up to 10:1 ratio.

If you are buying software in a Software as a Service or SaaS environment, then you will have a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This agreement includes the right to use the software as well as the hosting and data ownership clauses that will be necessary for the engagement.

A few key software contract negotiation tips to remember:

1. The software license is typically heavily discounted up front. Make sure that you look at the whole cost of the software over a 5 year period including maintenance, support, and implementation services.

2. Make sure that you define the terms of the agreement. For example, some vendors will include full payment upon software “installation.” This means that they can charge you the full cost of the software license when they come into your offices and insert the CD, even if there have been no modifications or implementation services.

3. Negotiate the statement of work before you sign the software license agreement. Make sure that you understand exactly what you are buying – including the implementation services plan.

4. Negotiate near the end of the vendor’s fiscal year or quarter end as large discounts can be negotiated so the software vendor can achieve sales goals. We have seen clients sign contracts late at night on December 31 and recently had a customer that was offered a 40% discount if they would sign by the end of the quarter.

Finally, understand that some clauses are negotiable in a software contract and some clauses are not. We recommend that you get assistance with the contract negotiation from a consultant experienced in this area. Their understanding can save you thousands of dollars and can help protect your interests in the contract.

The goal of software contract negotiation should be to have a long-term partnership with the software vendor. This means that the negotiation should not be adversarial. Instead, negotiate with the intent to reach an agreement that is a win-win for both parties for a successful relationship.

Home Based Business Presentation Training

Putting Together An Effective Direct Selling Party Presentation

Home parties are a popular method for selling a wide variety of products. No matter what type of product you are distributing there’s an audience for it out there. Presentation is the key. When you gather people in one room to show them products you wish for them to purchase you need to make sure your presentation is effective.

Direct sales party plan is a lucrative business that has provided many individuals with cash flow. As with any other type of business much planning should go into the presentation. This is what will determine whether or not attendees are interested in the products and business as a whole. You want your host to have a successful evening and showing her how to present her products in an engaging manner will go a long way toward promoting the overall business.

Home Party Plan Business Presentation Help

Most party planning companies use the presentation style because when implemented correctly, it is a very successful means of distributing products. This has not wavered over the years. The best marketing for direct selling party professionals is to take the time to plan your presentation. A good presentation requires proper planning.

When the party is planned, a specific time is set, signifying when it will begin. You will want to encourage your hosts to leave some extra time open in case some guests arrive late.

Once the guests have arrived they will be presented with the products. The best way to do this is to demonstrate each one. This demonstration will take place in front of a captivated audience instead of each individual person. The guests will then be given time to physically examine the products and can ask questions. Show your host how to properly demonstrate each product in a way that shows off each feature to its fullest advantage. Remember, you may want to sell these products right there on the spot so selling is everything. If your host does not choose to sell products on the spot, she at least needs to have catalogs handy so people can order them.

Catalogs also add to the overall product presentation. Let’s say, for instance, the host does not sell products at the party, but instead demonstrates them and then passes around catalogs. Guests will find the products in the catalogs that interested them, but will also likely see other items they wish to purchase along the way. This will not only help to sell the products that were presented but will raise questions about others which may equal more sales in the end.

Depending on the types of products you represent, your host may have samples to hand out. This is always a good idea where relevant because it enables guests to try products. Once they have had time to take the samples home, along with a catalog of course, they can place subsequent orders. Teach your host techniques for selling each product in an indirect way as it is demonstrated. For example, if there is a sample for a particular product, she could hand it out upon talking about the product itself. This, too, will go a long way toward future sales.

Ready For Your Big C-Level Presentation Tomorrow?

It’s ’round midnight. You have to present to the CEO. Have you been putting this off? No clue what to say. No idea where to begin. Don’t worry…use this 8-step plan to get past confusion and get ready.

It’s tough to figure it out when you’re staring at the blinking cursor. Getting confusing advice. Too busy to start over from scratch. Too tired to feel creative. No clue how to win attention.

And the stakes are high!

I’ve seen this in myself and in thousands of professionals.

No wonder so many people say…

“I hate presenting!”

What can you do to get to a whole new level, fast?

Use this instant makeover plan to deal with the reality: you will be standing in front of C-level executives tomorrow.

Step 1. Focus On Solutions

Use your whole brain to solve problems and focus on solutions.

“Successful solutions are based on the powerful principle that resolution occurs by fostering the positive, not by attacking the negative… One basic principle has the power to resolve problems: Support the solution instead of attacking the suppose causes…. The way to finesse a high-energy solution is to seek the answer that will make all sides happy and still be practical. Such solutions involve utilization of both the tolerant right brain as well as the judgmental left brain.”
- David Hawkins, from “Power Vs. Force”

While this may seem like a big bite to take, go ahead. Your brain can handle the challenge. Support the solution.

Step 2. Plan Your Story
Use your imaginative power to build a story that explains your solution step by step. If you have a moment, use a storyboard. It’s a visual representation of each part of a story-so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to build your persuasive story.

Step 3. Choose Pictures
Think about the pictures, photos, charts and maps that will speak directly to your audience. Take time to carefully think through what visual material is best for the environment, the participants, and the story you are communicating.

In other words, don’t just grab what’s handy. Think this through. Your visual depictions can make or break your success.

Step 4. Connect The Dots
Like a master weaver, show the tread connecting the solution, the story, the visuals and the desired outcomes. Focus on connection, purpose and performance.

While you are connecting the dots, be sure to think about another dimension: interaction.

Step 5. Invite Discussion
Plan for interaction and discussion. This is a way to satisfy the desire of participants to speak, share insights and contribute to a positive solution. Some of the responses may be supportive. Others may be challenging, questioning feasibility, practicality, costs and resources.

Step 6. Welcome Objections
It’s often said that ‘selling’ does not start until objections are surfaced. It is infinitely better to have C-level decision makers tell you their objections, than to have them not reveal objections. If you know what the objections are, you have the opportunity to respond.

One of the best ways to ignite this is to give examples of objections that others have cited. This seems counter intuitive, right? In fact, it is a sign of confidence and strength. You have to be supremely confident in your ability to welcome and address objections if you’re going to bring them up.

Step 7. Reinforce Solutions
Reinforce your key points. This does not have to be dull, boring or obviously repetitive. Give examples. Tell stories. Ask for input. Use reflections. Weave a solid fabric that offers attractive solutions that your clients want.

Step 8. Practice Like Crazy
Yes, your big day is tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to practice. Try out every single aspect of your presentation. Work out the kinks. Smooth out your responses. Get feedback from peers.

Practice is considered the ‘mother of skill.’ Which means, the more you practice, the more skillful you’ll be for your big presentation.

There you have it. A cheat sheet for your remarkable presentation.

Go out and make it count!