When it comes to your software you might not always know what the best solution could be. If you are having difficulty using the systems you have in place, or you feel your business could be more productive, assessing your current setup is a good place to start. If this sounds challenging, here are our 8 top tips to help you decide what the best software might be for your company
1. Review your processes and document your needs.
Make sure your processes are streamlined and clearly documented before selecting which tool to use. The right software will enhance your productivity, however, if your processes aren’t up to scratch it will highlight this and show up any cracks in the system.
Identify pain points and prioritise them. These areas are where you should concentrate your initial efforts on finding a useful software tool.
By first assessing your business needs and seeing what will fit into your current structure, you are more likely to make the right choice about what will align best with your way of working, rather than choosing something based on a shiny new feature which doesn’t actually end up assisting your business as much as you thought.
2. Do your research
Take your time to research your choices properly. Do this well in advance of any licence subscriptions coming to an end, in order to avoid making a time pressured judgement which you may later regret. Speak to peer groups and see what others in your industry are using, and what their experiences have been with different software. Check reviews and take the time to understand the way the tool works before making any sort of investment.
Taking the time to research your options means you will be aware of what is available on the market and better able to qualify any decision against other options. It will also give you greater confidence in the decision you make. You’re more likely to make the right decision if it is better researched, and less likely to switch again in future, with the right solution in place.
3. Get the right advice
Speaking to an expert is crucial in understanding your options. This can mean speaking to the companies who provide the software, as they are best placed to explain the various aspects of the tool to you. It is also worth seeking out the advice of your IT Support Partner if you have one, as they will have experience of using a range of software types and will have used their expertise to gauge which best suit their customers. Choosing a partner who has experience in serving clients in your industry means they will have a deeper understanding of your business needs, and are therefore, better placed to advice you on the best solution.
Software providers and your IT Support Team will always be available to provide demos and offer the right advice, so you don’t have to feel you are making any decision blind. This advice will also be on hand once you have invested in a particular tool, knowing how to use the software effectively is as important as making the right choice.
4. Invest in your business
It can be easy to simply choose the software that will save you the most money, thinking this will help your business. However, in the long term it is important to invest in the most appropriate tool, which will help your business in other ways. Such as boost productivity, reduce staff frustration, and increase client satisfaction. It is possible that the best solution could be more cost effective and save you money as well as add tangible value to your business, but it certainly would not always be the case, as most of the time you get what you pay for. If you scrimp on software you are likely to feel the effects down the road. The infrastructure that you have in place will underpin the overall health of your business.
5. Get tools customized to suit your business needs
In order to get the optimum tool that fits your business needs it may be necessary to customise an existing solution. By doing this you will get something that is completely aligned to your business needs and goals.
It is also important to consider how your different solutions work together. For this it’s important to think about how you integrate your various software tools.
No matter what industry you are in there is software available which can help your business be more efficient. For example, if you are struggling to get enough internal feedback from staff or you are experiencing a high staff turnover, tools such as Tinypulse can gain insights into employee satisfaction. HR tools such as PeopleHR can assist employees in planning their annual leave and access other information helping to streamline your HR processes.
6. Integrate your tools
By making sure each piece of software can integrate into each other you will ensure that your processes are streamlined. For example, linking your marketing software with your CRM tool is extremely important for communications and process implementation between Marketing and Sales. Ensuring you have the right links between your CRM system and product or service management application is also vital to ensuring smooth service delivery and customer satisfaction.
7. Train your team
Making sure your team knows how to properly use the systems you have in place is often overlooked. New hires don’t always receive the proper training in certain areas, and this can go unnoticed for a long time before any serious problems arise. Without being highlighted it can slowly erode overall team productivity, or make it more difficult for them to get to grips with their jobs.
In-app learning such as Hubspot Academy teaches you about the various features of the software as well as the marketing theory behind using it.
If you don’t need to go this in depth you can always utilise user guides and support. Sometimes staff might choose to ignore a certain software if they aren’t familiar with it, meaning you may lose many of the benefits of having it in the first place.
Tell your team why you chose that particular software, how it will help solve a business issue, and how they can use it effectively to help them the most. Having documentation in place internally about the software, such as a user guide, will mean everyone can access to the information when they need it.
8. Communicate about new features and updates
New features are being developed all the time. Your software company will likely be very active about communicating these to you and it’s good to take advantage of it. You also need to make sure that this information is passed onto your team.
For example, Hubspot has announced that it is expanding its Sales, Marketing and CRM software to feature a Customer Hub. This could be relevant to customer service teams and it would be important to make them aware of the new features and how they could assist them in delivering better service to your clients.
If you need advice about choosing the right software get in touch with us today, and our team can help assess your business needs. When it comes to switching software, we can do all the work for you, from our initial software audit, to the final implementation of the new tool, including educating your staff on how to use it.