Elmer Wheeler, a man who was once considered the greatest salesman in the world, coined the phrase, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak” in his 1937 bestselling book, Tested Sentences That Sell. We thought it might be interesting to apply Elmer’s thinking to the accounting ERP software buyer’s journey. As you shop for a new accounting or cloud ERP solution for your organization, are you being sold the sizzle or the steak?
Where’s the Meat?
In the era of Cloud, the accounting and ERP software buyer’s journey is different. Modern ERP solutions are packed with cool features and functions. There’s no shortage of sizzle to tout, and software publishers and many resellers are experts at highlighting it.
Some accounting and ERP applications, like Sage Intacct, back up the sizzle with real meat — robust, flexible and scalable solutions that can meet the needs of companies in a variety of industries. At BT Partners, we’ve learned that it’s the steak, not the sizzle, that satisfies the appetite of growing companies — so that’s where we place our focus, and where we recommend you put yours. In other words: buy the steak, rather than being sold on the sizzle.
At the risk of mixing our idioms, moving the focus to the steak is akin to putting your money where your mouth is. Companies shouldn’t buy accounting or ERP software for the feature set, they should buy it because it solves their business challenges. Features are fabulous fun, but if the accounting or ERP application doesn’t address your business needs or hasn’t been properly or fully implemented, those features are essentially useless.
Where the Sizzle meets the Steak
Properly and fully implemented accounting and cloud ERP solutions are a frequent topic of conversation around here. A well-designed, well-planned and well-executed implementation is critical to the long-term success of any accounting/ERP solution. This is where your business partner’s experience is put to the test, it’s where the sizzle meets the steak.
Involving a business partner from the outset is one of the smartest steps companies can take to ensure a proper and full implementation. We’ve been asked by prospects if they even need a business partner when implementing a cloud-based solution like Sage Intacct – and our answer is an unequivocal “Yes!”. Cloud ERP publishers like to tout simplicity and ease of implementation, but the reality is the old rules apply – professional implementation services are imperative in the success of the project.
What goes better with a juicy steak than a glass of fine wine? A butter-soaked baked potato? Whatever your preference, the point is that a perfect pairing enhances the steak. That’s the role of a business partner: to enhance your implementation. Elevate it. Make it a full meal.
Cloud accounting and ERP solutions like Sage Intacct are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, but make no mistake – Sage Intacct is a robust, comprehensive and powerful business management solution with extensive capabilities. Partnering with a professional services firm experienced in cloud implementations ensures you get the results you expect from the initial deployment – and beyond. Consider this: The software publisher knows the product. You know your business. It’s a business partner’s job to know how to make the combination greater than just a sum of the two parts (ok, too many idioms, we get it).
Years after his book’s publication, wise Mr. Wheeler chimed in again: “The sizzle has sold more steaks than the cow ever has, although the cow is, of course, mighty important.” Mighty important to be sure. We think wise Elmer Wheeler would agree, because at the end of the day, you can’t eat the sizzle.
Random Elmer Fun Facts:
Other fun phrases coined by Elmer include: Sell the bubbles, not the champagne. Sell the pucker, not the pickles. Or, a favorite among our Seattle staff: Sell the whiff, not the coffee.
Texaco once hired Elmer Wheeler to come up with a phrase to replace the crude old question, “Check your oil today?”. He composed the suave sounding, “Is your oil at the proper level today, sir?”. There are nine words in that phrase, and Texaco paid Mr. Wheeler $5,000 for it. That is $555.55 a word. That’s some sizzle.
**Blog image design attributed to Vecteezy