“Let me get this straight, your customer wants to implement software using a methodology we don’t recommend? And they want a reference customer who will tell them it’s OK?” Yes, that’s what I heard the other day. For several of our customers we do the ‘matchmaking’ of sales rep or marketing request to the customer reference which best meets the need. Usually the request is for a customer in a similar industry, or using a particular product or product feature, maybe they want someone in a specific geographic area or a current customer the same size as a prospect. In this case the sales rep had a prospect who wanted to talk to a current customer who had implemented in a way that’s specifically not recommended! In the end we helped the sales rep realize this wasn’t a good idea, for many reasons. He went back to the customer so implementation would follow best practices.
Not only do we do reference matching but sometimes we need to provide guidance on strategies to overcome issues and keep sales moving forward. But it really is true, people ask for the strangest things.