At the beginning of a procurement, deployment schedules and product selection may be quite uncertain yet. However, after the first offer it is the modifications of the bill of material (BOM) that has the biggest influence on getting favorable terms. With that, every buyer of software should – based on a true requirement – discuss with the business the room for forward buys on one side, but scope scrapping on the other. On the basis of such BOM flexibilities you may test the salesman’s ability to get management authorization for extraordinary terms.
“You did not include our price hold for the next 3 years!” – “Well, the deal size did not qualify.” – “But we can only buy what we need, to stay healthy. Or do you offer a real good deal if we thought of forward buying?”
This is the time for increase, scrapping and shifting demand; of course, only for terms improvements. You need to watch for supporting realistic arguments with every shift you do. In the end, you should be buying within budget without missing key components.
Dealing the BOM is getting critical when you receive indications about ‘strategic’ products the vendor really wants to release to the market. If you first exclude them but add them in during the course of negotiations, this can really boost your benefit by higher vendor flexibilities.
Sometimes, just before closing the deal, the willingness to improve the deal may increase to meet the quarter end. Doctor-License can contribute point benchmarks to support such last minute terms.