Notes to HR Tech Vendors – #10 – Your Real Competition

I’ve done a few presentations titled something like, “HR Tech Buyers Guide”, “How to Buy HR Tech”, etc. The presentation is designed for HR and TA practitioners to help them become better buyers of HR Tech. To understand the crap that HR and TA Tech vendors do and say to get you to buy stuff you might not need, want, or will use.

The interesting thing about these presentations is that half the audience turns out to be the actual vendors themselves wanting to hear what it is I’m telling the real HR and TA leaders! It’s smart for the vendors. It helps make the better sellers as well. Well, at least some that actually listen!

Based on these interactions I decided to build a series of what has come out of interactions to the vendors themselves, aptly named “Notes to HR Tech Vendors”. Look I don’t alway have to be creative! Enjoy!

#10 – Your Real Competition

Unless you’re buying some giant watered-down enterprise level HRIS or ATS/Talent Suite you almost never have competition!

Yes, you read that correctly. 90% of HR Tech vendors have “NO” competition! But, you believe the opposite.

Here’s the deal. HR and TA Tech buyers are fairly naive to the industry. It’s not our full-time job to track every new ATS that is being launched. We’re just trying to get people hired and stop people from quitting. Takes up about 99.9% of our job! So, when it’s time to buy new Tech we usually buy the first thing we’re sold!

The competition you face is not your real competitors. The competition you face is a “no sale”.

Almost all HR Tech buyers will buy your product, or they won’t buy anything. Primarily because they don’t even know you have competition. Well, they didn’t until you actually told them! “Hey, we’re the #1 CRM on the market, so much better than #2, #3 and #4.” What? There is more than one CRM!?

If you’re Smashfly (a CRM Tech) almost every single sale is going to be a “Yes” or a “No, we’ve decided we don’t need this right now”. It’s almost never “hey, we’ve decided to buy Clinch, or Avature, or Ascendify, or Talemetry, or Beamery, or”…you get the picture!

Almost never!

Your real competition is you. It’s your ability to sell your solution to a buyer that has some sort of pain around HR or TA. It’s shocking at how often this fails. I mean what can go wrong when you throw a 15-year-old on the phone with a twenty year HR vet on the other end, telling them how to fix her shop!?

And you think I exaggerate on the age! Almost every single HR and TA Tech sales person I speak is under the age of 30 and most have never worked a day in HR or TA. This leads to a ton of “no sales”.  If you can’t tell me how your solution is going to solve my pain, in my language, I’m probably not buying.

HR and TA Tech vendors, your competition isn’t the problem. Your technology isn’t the problem (it’s usually really awesome). Your sales strategy is killing you. The cute, little, naive babies selling your products is the problem. They don’t know me. They don’t know my pain. They don’t speak my language.

Your real competition is you.

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