Choosing the ideal software for your business from the never-ending list of options isn’t an easy task. Something as simple as an internet search – which most will recommend for finding a solution to any problem – might confuse you even more.
What’s worse, many businesses end up choosing a product only to find out that it doesn’t fit their needs, after which they move to test the next option in the line. Rinse, wash, and repeat.
This is time-consuming, costly, and utterly frustrating. As you could foresee, the decision of choosing the right software is often driven by trial-and-error, along with a lot of instinct. It’s also evident that the process is laborious, unrewarding and full-on contradictory:
We tend to adopt software to increase efficiency and productivity, but the process of doing so is extremely inefficient and unproductive.
But what if you could find the right software without going through the complex process mentioned above?
Well, we have news for you: this is entirely possible and within your reach. This is why we made this guide in the first place.
Before you start, bear in mind that while the steps might seem time-consuming initially, they’ll save you a ton of time once you arrive at the ideal software for your needs and harness the capabilities that it has on offer.
Now, let’s move on to what concerns us: a method for choosing the right software.
1. Define the Issues That You Want to Fix
The lack of impact on one or more key issues is a primary reason why many businesses dislike their software choices.
Needless to say, sometimes the chosen products do not deliver on the premises. Other times, however, it’s companies who fail in assessing the problems they need to solve with software, and how.
The question is, how can you identify the actual issues?
The first step is to spend time looking at the issues you need to solve with the software, and be thorough in their description, reach, nature, and impact.
Once that’s done, you need to have an in-depth discussion with the people who are being bogged down by these issues. Customer stories are of great importance!
A piece of advice here: try to involve different profiles in this discussion, and not just team leads. Work with the heads to prioritize the list, but make sure you get different angles to work with as well.
Lastly, communicate with everyone in the team about the issues they expect the software to solve for them.
2. List the Action Response for the Issues, and Start Searching for the Product
Once you have got the list of issues ready, it’s time to act. What’s the issue topping your list? Which area is most affected by it?
Once this is defined, you will move toward features. Each business requires specific sets of features in their software products.
So, instead of just going for the most popular software or the cheapest one, you will start looking at features. This approach ensures that your business opts for the software that helps you with the issues that you are trying to tackle.
3. Finalizing Additional Features That Your Business Might Need
As a business, it’s highly unlikely that you wouldn’t be using any other software apart from the one that you are currently searching for.
In this line, it is important to look for software that can integrate with your current software ecosystem.
For example, let’s suppose we are searching for CRM software. In that case, we would need the product to seamlessly integrate with services like email clients, social networks, and integration platforms.
Similarly, you need to pay attention to the product’s automation capability.
If the software that you are looking for could be automated and share data, that could be a significant time-saver.
Therefore, it’s important to check if your shortlisted software works with services like Integromat, that let you automate various workflows.
4. Shortlisting Your Options
Now that you are done with basics, it’s time to start the actual search.
As mentioned in the introduction, the first place where you can look for software vendors is Google. While it might seem the easiest way initially, you will have to skim through a lot of pages, and might also be overwhelmed by the search results.
Instead, we’d suggest you go for a more focused approach. For that, all you need to do is to use a website like SaaSworthy, which helps you find the best software, backed by expert reviews.
Not only could you shortlist your options, but you could also compare them against each other to make a final decision.
The goal here is to come up with two or three options, out of which the final choice will be made.
5. Compare the Cost
Putting a cap on your budget is also important to find the ideal solution.
A larger budget means you can include more software vendors, which otherwise would have been excluded due to lower purchasing power. However, it’s not about having more software to choose from, but the right ones.
To make the right decision, you need to have a clear idea about the essential feature without which operations would come to a standstill. Further, if the budget allows room for accommodation of conditional features, then these can be slotted in too.
6. Test the Options
Most products today offer trial versions, and we encourage you to test these before making a purchase.
Moreover, with the world moving towards the software-as-a-service model, you don’t need to worry about huge implementation costs for an on-premise solution. The SaaS products also have the additional advantage of letting you scale as per your needs.
Another thing that you could test during this phase is customer support. Needless to say, this is vital, and the more features a product offers, the better customer support needs to be.
7. Training the Team to Use the Software
The proper utilization of acquired software solutions is not all black and white.
A great deal of thinking goes into developing fully functional software. One of the important things to note here is that some products have a steep learning curve; in these cases, training is vital.
It’s important to chalk the training plan with a focus on two important aspects: time and funds.
Some software choices, at first glance, might seem to be very productive, but the amount of time and money that goes into acquainting the employees with a new language outlives its effectiveness.
Further, if you have a target that is short term, software requiring extensive training might not be an ideal pick.
Modern businesses are seeing swift changes in demand and user behavior.
Thus, all your decisions must be inclined to solve problems that ultimately benefit the users.
While the decision-making process can be complex, as long as you have the end goal in mind you should find the right software.
Identify what you want to solve, search in the right places, make a selection, test, and choose!