Behind the Win
Michael Harris, Senior Sales Executive for Epicor’s ERP solution, knew it was going to be an uphill battle to win against an incumbent solution. He and his Vice President of Sales, Tony Alderdice, worked strategically to sell their solution to a large circuit board manufacturing company in Canada, especially against the incumbent Microsoft Dynamics solution.
Their initial discovery session with the Chief Financial Officer uncovered next to nothing, as she was intent on staying with the current solution. However, as Harris did more discovery, he learned that their current solution was struggling with on-time shipments and stability issues.
That nugget of information gave the team what they needed to pursue more conversations and additional decision-makers, despite the CFO’s reservations from switching solutions.
“We were able to build differentiators into the required capabilities that we knew our competitor couldn’t accomplish,” said Harris. One of those differentiators was the fact that Epicor was a direct seller of the solution, not a partner. Because of that, they could demonstrate their differentiation, including the value of on-time delivery and accelerated deployment. Something they knew the competition couldn’t accomplish.
“For my team, the preparation, as unpopular and frustrating as it was, was worth it. Even though the CFO was dead set on not using our solution, we chose not to fall into the product trap,” said Alderdice. “We stood ground. We didn’t give away the farm and expanded the deal to $500K.”
For the Epicor team, it was important to anchor on the value they knew they could provide the customer. The lynchpin for the deal was using their Command of the Message® Value Framework as a base to write the CEO an email.
“We kept it simple and really outlined the positive business outcomes the company was looking to achieve, as well as the required capabilities to achieve them,” said Harris. “We made clear our differentiation. There was a group of people in the company who weren’t happy with us making that bold of a move. However, it worked.”
Alderdice said it came down to the value of their solution. “Even with our seemingly audacious confidence and conviction, no one could argue with the value we were going to provide. At the end of the day, that’s why we were able to outsell the incumbent and win the deal.”
The deal was closed without discounting. Another testament to the Epicor team holding to their value in negotiations.