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More than Agreement: Finding a Software Development Partner with a Consultative Approach

More than Agreement: Finding a Software Development Partner with a Consultative Approach

When looking for the right software development team, it can be tempting to partner with a company that readily agrees to all requests from day one. 

While appealing, teams champing at the bit to get started can sometimes be detrimental to your company’s best interests. Innovation prospers from honest conversations, challenging questions, and constructive feedback that guides and refines ideas.  

Custom software development is a risky business. 69% of projects run over the expected timeline and budget. With these stakes, would you rather have a passive vendor or a proactive partner? 

At Frogslayer, not a single line of code is written until we have a comprehensive understanding of your business, needs, and both potential risks and opportunities. 

This blog explores the value of engaging with a consultative software development partner and what to look out for that indicates a potential partner would take a consultative approach.

“Order-Taking” is a Trap 

We define “order-taking” as when a development firm executes without offering insights, feedback, or understanding end goals.  

While this might sound efficient, it’s a dangerous path for businesses aiming to innovate and scale. The primary risks of these partnerships include stagnation, missed opportunities for improvement, and, in the worst cases, project failure due to underdeveloped ideas.

There’s Value in Being Challenged 

As strange as it might sound, you deserve a partner who dares to challenge you. Innovation often sparks from the friction of differing ideas or viewpoints. 

When a partner offers constructive pushback, it can help businesses think outside the box and lead to growth-oriented solutions.

Frogslayer has been a good partner in terms of trying to help us grow our platform instead of just doing the coding and leaving us to it. It’s been a pleasure working with them and the quality has been phenomenal.”

Chief Operations Officer, Houston-Based Legal Services Company

Critical feedback is valuable as it helps refine the vision and ensure the delivered product meets the goals and needs of both the business and the end-user.

How to Identify a Consultative Partner 

The right software development partner will never ‘sell themselves’ to you. 

If all you hear is “Yes. Yes. Yes.” without any additional questions or a genuine intention to understand the why, your answer probably needs to be “No.”

Green Flags 

It’s easy to identify a consultative partner from the start; they’ll ask a lot of questions.  

A consultative partner will want to know as much as they can about your business before any contracts are signed. They’ll likely ask questions to gain more insight on the following:  

  • Company background 
  • Your role 
  • Project background 
  • Challenges you’re looking to solve 
  • Why you’re looking for a partner 

The right partners should always ask questions, challenge assumptions, and seek to understand more than just the technical nature of the product you envision.

Red Flags

In contrast to conversations that are actual conversations, chances are you’ll run across a software development company that doesn’t ask much.  

When they don’t, that’s your sign they’re probably not for you. Here’s what to look for as potential indicators in the ‘order-takers.’ 

  • You only get to meet with a salesperson during initial conversations 
  • They don’t ask questions 
  • They offer a quote before fully understanding needs 
  • They passively agree with everything you say 
  • You feel like they’re trying to rush the process

Our Approach

At Frogslayer, we are far from order-takers. For the sake of our client’s success and our work integrity, we can’t be. 

We take a consultative approach to working with our clients from the first call to delivery. This has enabled us to achieve a project success rate of 97%, compared to the industry average of 31%. 

While an ‘order-taking’ development partner might seem like the easier route, you’re selling your business short in the long run. 

Instead of just writing code or taking orders, your custom software development partner should become an extension of your team, delivering exactly what you need to win today and shape the way you do business for years to come.

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