After reading this recent article on TechCrunch which asks How Does Compete Get Its Web Traffic Data?, which followed Jason Calcanis’ rant on Why We Should Boycott Comscore, and after noticing that my Alexa, Ranking, and Traffic Estimate Rankings bounce up and down on the string of a yo-yo despite the fact that my traffic has been non-decreasing since day one (as it’s always holding steady if not steadily increasing), I’m starting to wonder. (Quantcast is still pretty good, though sometimes it seems that it’s gone from reporting over 60% to missing slightly over 60%*, but that’s about it.)
What do you think? Is there anyone we can trust anymore, or is the new model of business e-bribes? And can we even trust Google?
* This could be as much my choice of blogging platform and the fact that where I have to embed the tracking code in the page compared to where they recommend you embed the code to maximize traffic capture and minimize the chance of cashing, as caching poses a problem as well as browsers that disable or block certain types of scripts.
While reading The Talent Game (membership required) Panel Discussion transcript, I was horrified to read that one participant said that many employees are being told they are lucky to have a job — that is one form of retention. Simply put, it’s disgusting. Not only does it show an utter lack of respect for the employee, but it also shows an utter lack of competence in talent management.
Even if you recently went through a layoff, presumably the employees you retained are those employees who were best at the jobs you needed done. These are, by definition, the same employees your competitor would also keep in the same situation. And since these are the best employees, these are the employees that companies who didn’t have the same talent pool to draw from before the recession are desperately seeking in an economy where they need a workforce who can do more with less. Maybe your employees are lucky to be making a high salary, or to be receiving above average benefits, or to be working at a company that challenges them on a daily basis in a job they like, but they are not lucky to have a job. Even if she has to make a sacrifice in pay, benefits, or flexibility, a good employee can always find a job.
So if you still think that your employees are lucky to have a job, you better wake up and smell the coffee before they do. Otherwise, you might find that your best employees are leaving for your competition as soon as the economy recovers.
You can use a recent article on the top 10 margin-killing myths about B2B pricing in Supply & Demand Chain Executive to get a better deal from your vendor. Just like B2B companies must aggressively counter the closely held beliefs that are holding them back, B2B buyers must aggressively counter the closely held beliefs that are holding them back as well. Dispel the corresponding buyer myths implied in the article and you’ll be on your way to great deals.
- Myth: The Market Controls the Price
You Control the Price. The vendor sets the list price, and you decide whether or not you’re going to pay it. The market doesn’t set the price, the contract you sign does.
- Myth: You Have More Important Things to Worry About
Whether or not you buy a solution should ultimately boil down to expected annual ROI, which, simply, is your expected annual savings divided by the annualized software cost. If the price is too high, then the ROI will be too low, and you should not buy.
- Myth: Commodity Solutions Can Not be Price Differentiated
Since different solutions can be expected to return different ROIs depending on how well they integrate with your business and how effectively they tackle your biggest problems, you should expect to pay less for a solution that offers less value.
- Myth: Price Improvement Puts Savings at Risk
Remember, it’s not “savings” until you actually save the money. And if you spend more on software then you save from its application, there are no “savings” at all. While you shouldn’t quibble needlessly about a price that gives you an expected 20X ROI if it’s in market range, you should definitely negotiate hard on a price where you only expect a 2X ROI.
- Myth: Experienced Buyers Know How to Price
Not necessarily. They know how to negotiate. Not how to price software, and definitely not how to get the best deal from an unfamiliar vendor. That’s why you have Deal Architects.
- Myth: Compensating on Technology Savings Ensures Good Buying
It’s not about how much you can save on the IT budget, but about how much you can save using the IT you buy. Not buying an industry leading strategic sourcing decision optimization suite which can save you an average of 12% above and beyond the best reverse auction because it costs an extra 100K is just stupid if you spend over 100M annually. The software will pay for itself on your first big sourcing event!
- Myth: Pricing Has to Be Simple
No, it has to be such that value is delivered. And sometimes, per CPU hour is the best price you’re going to get if you don’t use the software extensively for long periods of time between major buys. And thanks to modern software, it’s simple to calculate.
- Myth: Strict Compliance to Buying Rules Ensures Good Pricing
And bad software. Comparing two software suites is often like comparing apples to oranges. It can be done, and you’ll find similarities, but there’s often a qualitative aspect to a preferred solution that can’t be quantitatively measured.
- Myth: New Solution Buys Require the Most Attention
Really? So you’re going to stand for 22% maintenance on your ERP shelfware?
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