When is it time to call out poor customer behaviour?

George Haywood
George Haywood Member [Pro] Posts: 16

Hey - I'm becoming frustrated with a deal that I am working on, and would love to hear some of this forum's thoughts (going to try and keep this super short as theres a lot to unpack)

Working on a deal with an existing customer. They have purchased from us before at a similar $ value.

Deal is for software that replaces existing due to incumbent being no longer compliant with industry regs. Timeline was to have my software purchased in October to give team time to migrate from incumbent and run side by side until incumbent contract expires.

Half way through project - My customer merges with another. The merging party have an in house procurement team where as my customer had an outsourced team, so they are now using the new procurement guys.

New guys have stepped in and asked for multiple quotes from partners etc and revised legals (which we wont do due to contract value) - This has delayed the purchase…

Since i last spoke with procurement (2 weeks ago) its been radio silence. My tech and deal champion have guaranteed that my solution is the chosen solution and no other solution is in the picture, but as this procurement process is new to everybody, they are struggling to pin down what happens next internally.

I hold them that my discount will not apply if the deal runs past Nivember - still nothing from Procurment.

Is this the right time to call out the procurment guy for his poor comms? Everybody, inc champion and tech team are getting increasingly frustrated (as well as my manager because this was a forecasted deal that slipped) - but procurement just don't seem to have any urgency at all or care that they are stretching timelines set by their own team!! and even going to incur a large increase in cost by losing discount!

Im stumped!


  • Patrick McLoughlin

    George thanks for the question and I can feel your pain. I had two reactions:

    The first being the internal procurement department form the merged company is shopping your solution. Your tech and deal Champion have lost value in the merger and potentially are no longer in the know and that could be why they have no information. I think this is worst case but my best sales strategies were based on challenging the worst case.

    My suggestion is go back to procurement with a setback schedule that you built with the tech and deal champion and ask for a meeting with the new procurement teams. Procurement teams cannot afford to make mistakes and you should take this opportunity to show them you understand their business and the ramifications of having a solution in place that is no longer compliant. This will demonstrate knowledge of your customer situation that will differentiate you and your company. It will also show urgency to the new procurement department on the negative consequences of missing a compliance requirement. Best of luck pal, Paddy Mac

  • Adam Bowen
    Adam Bowen Member [Pro] Posts: 6

    Agree with Paddy Mac's first instinct here. As the saying goes, if they aren't talking to you, they are talking to someone else.

    The power dynamic has shifted due to external forces, and it may just be the fact that your Champion and EB may now only be coaches at best, and NINA's at worst (dead men walking).

    Do you know if the parent company has current contracts with your competitors?

    I agree with Paddy Mac's suggested course of action to share the deck (should include a MAP) that was built out with "must be done by" dates in order for them to meet their positive business outcomes (inversely, not renewing the current vendor and experiencing another year/term of negative consequences). Your discount is not a compelling event; the impact of Business As Usual has to be. If it was, they would not be trying to renegotiate business terms (all terms have value) and verbal commitments. My guess is that their procurement isn't scared of losing their discount, as companies are notorious for just extending it and not walking away.