P2P and Network Buying Tips

I’ve purchased a few cars in my life from dealers (mostly used, mind you). I’ve also bought software – for my organization and many others. From these experiences, I’ve learned that in highly competitive markets where information transparency is also somewhat opaque (think used cars and supplier/business networks), there’s often greater opportunity for sales over-promises and vendor under-delivery (or hidden costs) that your sales rep either avoided or assured you would never happen.

Some of the most competitive and ethically questionable sales tactics we’ve seen recently come not from used car lots, but from software salespeople in the P2P space (especially those selling network connectivity for certain providers). We’ll share some of these in a moment.

But first, it’s important to realize that when you’re buying a car from a dealer, you’re protected. Not so with e-invoicing and supplier/business networks (and to a lesser degree, broader P2P). Compared with certain software markets in procurement such as e-invoicing and supplier network connectivity, one of the differences in buying a car off a lot is that car dealers are often regulated by states. But good luck asking for a refund from a software company that oversells or, more likely, provides misleading information!

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