“Your real competition is often not your competitors,” says Hank Barnes, Gartner research vice president. The status quo, or inertia, arguably is a bigger problem. The adage “you don’t get fired for buying IBM” illustrates the element of decision-maker or recommender risk when buying new technology and products.
The other problem is the sheer amount of buyer effort required to make a decision. No matter how great the promised benefits of a particular solution, there is cost (time, staff effort, political capital) to buy and use the solution.
And, needless to say, few buyers actually believe the benefits will be as great as the seller promises.
Also, internal teams, departments and business units always are vying for additional resources to help them accomplish their missions. So other projects and spending always are potential rivals for any new spending.
Not only do sales personnel need to convince buyers that a particular solution delivers value, but they also have to convince the relevant decisionmakers that any single project is more important than the others they are considering at the same time, Barnes argues.
So spending money elsewhere, or even doing nothing, always is a potential outcome, no matter the merits of a particular solution, says Barnes.