As of today, it’s both tempting and tedious to choose the right software solution as there exists a bunch of tools at your disposal on the market. Of course, you want to use the best software for your business – so does everyone. Ask your colleagues, and each of them will recommend a different tool. Let’s say, if you need a screwdriver, it’s quite easy to find a good one, but software is more subjective. The tool that is great for you may not be so for someone else.
With the world of technology evolving at a great speed, SaaS-based software companies are more eager to adopt and implement some out-of-the-box tools to ramp up their businesses and unleash their power. Rarely does it happen that love at first sight translates into long-lasting and fruitful relationships between a customer and a vendor. Julius Caesar’s tactic, “Veni, vidi, vici,” seldom, if ever, works in practice. Choosing the right software solution is akin to dating. You need to go through all the stages of courting before committing to a partner or the software. In this article, we are going to show you all the ins and outs of this complicated process and provide you with some tips and tricks on how to choose the right software solution for your business.
Tips and Tricks for Selecting the Right Software Solution
Here is a decision-making roadmap to save you from going off-piste:
Define your needs
First and foremost, you need to figure out what problems you would like the software to solve for your business. It’s essential to determine the requirements way before you start negotiating with software vendors. To make everything clear, you have to define a list of must-have and nice-to-have features in order of priority. It’s also nice to gather your team’s functional requirements and then reconsider your priorities on the basis of your team’s needs and feedback.
Establish a shortlist
The next step is the software selection. At this stage, you will have to compile a list of software tools that seem to fit your business’s goals. There exists a vast range of marketplaces and websites where you can search for the right tool. If you use any of the Atlassian products, you may want to go to the Atlassian Marketplace in order to find some powerful time-saving plugins. G Suite, Apple Store, and Сhrome Web Store (or any other online marketplace) are the platforms where you can buy some really awesome solutions to ramp up your productivity. On the other hand, there are websites such as alternativeTo and G2 Crowd where you can find software reviews and compare the best business tools and services based on user ratings and social data. What matters here is that you need to check each of the software against your business’s needs in order not to be overwhelmed by their ‘shiny’ features, which may not be of high priority for your business. If you overlook this step, you risk buying ‘shelfware’ (worthless tools that companies buy but don’t use and which end up on dusty shelves). In order to prevent this from happening, it’s better to define the pros and cons of each software right out of the gate. What is more important is the overall ranking of the software. Conversations are way more important than shortlists.
Understand the pricing
As you can see, the price is not as important as many tend to believe. It occupies the third place in our step-by-step roadmap. The low-cost option is rarely the best one, since low prices usually mean low quality (not ALWAYS, but things happen). Thus, you have to seek not the cheapest tool, but rather the best value for money solution. On the other side, vendors’ pricing policies are also worth your thorough examination. You need to clear up right from the start which services are for free and which ones are paid. Moreover, you have to check for hidden or additional fees such as in-person training, document management services, setup or annual maintenance fees, etc.
Price2Spy is one of the best online price monitoring tools designed for eCommerce professionals. It keeps watch on prices shown on marketplaces, individual retail websites, as well as price comparison websites. The system notifies you when the price changes and provides comprehensive reports in the form of a graphical pricing dashboard. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial and then choose the price plan that best suits your needs.
Ask for a demo
It goes without saying that you need to have a look at the software before buying it. Don’t be too lazy to schedule a demo with each of the vendors and then compare the pros and cons of every tool. Demos are a great way for you to have a live chat with a real person who can dispel all your doubts and misunderstandings. It is the best time to pose thousands of questions at the vendor in order to figure out the benefits and the results that the software may bring to you in the long run.
Here is a list of essential questions to ask:
- Will my data be protected in case of an annulment of the contract?
- Can the software integrate smoothly with my existing systems?
- Is it easy to implement new software within a company? Do you have some training materials?
- Is the software easy to customize?
- Can I rely on your support team if I have some issues to be resolved quickly?
- How do you manage software updates and upgrades?
Take a test drive
The majority of SaaS companies offer a free trial, which is absolutely great. The reasoning here is clear: you have to test the software’s features, benefits and usability within a company to see whether it corresponds to your needs and expectations. “Before committing to a new software solution, be sure to kick the tires,” says Catherine Brown, Vice President of Marketing at Mavenlink.
Make a choice
In order to make a final decision, you need to feel comfortable with the vendor as well as the product.Once you experience the benefits of a tool, you will become loyal to its vendor. Don’t be pressured by short-lived solutions, and keep searching until you feel completely at ease with your choice.
The tool you choose can become a real game-changer for your business. In this article, we have presented a tried-and-tested model for choosing the right software for you. By adhering to this step-by-step roadmap, you are most likely to choose a software solution that will be aligned with your business goals and that will yield tangible results. Read more about the best time-saving tools that kill your day-to-day routine and drive your productivity.
If you are tasked with choosing the right software solution for your business, here is where StepShot steps in. We suggest spending minutes, not hours, on creating software documentation. StepShot may come in handy as one of the great time-saving tools that can help you tackle the problem of developing training materials and transferring knowledge within a company by automatically creating engaging screenshot-based step-by-step guides.
How do you choose software for your business? Share your experience by leaving a comment below!