By: Dennis Schiraldi
The benefit to every software solution, whether it's marketing, sales or healthcare IT, that I've either ever consumed or sold is that it will help to increase operational efficiency, decrease expense and maximize revenue. Every software company in the world sells off these same features and benefits.
There's a justifiable ROI in every case study, white paper and guide on how a schedule, aggregation, managing tool will help you to accomplish this...Every sales CRM tool will justify it's existence with the fact that you will have better insight to the sales funnel, database leakages are preventable, employee ramp up time is saved, better follow up, etc. etc.
The fact of the matter is no matter what solution you are looking to implement and believe me I've pretty much had a go of all of them. Marketing automation software including: HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft, Act-On and Eloqua. I've worked with: SalesForce.com, Zoho, Insightly, Microsoft Dynamics, Sales Logix, Sales Work Bench and a few others that I either don't care to mention or I've tried to purposely forget.
Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Exact Target, vetted Emma and several others. HootSuite, Sprout Social, Buffer. I sold social media listening software. I've consumed healthcare It solutions. There was the time I made a $200K mistake on a un-proven technology.
There's also the billion dollar book of business I helped to managed in 20% of the market share of the world of radiology IT in the US with GE Healthcare. Remember, everyone's demo looks amazing. I stress the everyone and amazing. However here are some of my tips for vetting new marketing software:
- Demo - Be sure to get a demo and see if they can tailor it to your environment and use your data. Typically the answer is no because it takes some development on their end. Which means expense.
- References - Talk with customers that utilize the software. Discuss things like the contracting process, implementation, the service contract, upgrades, support, ongoing expense, does it do what they say it can do.
- Power User - Make sure that you've got someone internally that is dedicated to becoming a power user that can teach others within your business how to use the software. There's always a need for filtering, setting up workflow that's just not cost effective to call support every 5 minutes.
- Upgrades - Typically SaaS based solutions come with upgrades, however make sure you ask, how do they handle these upgrades.
- Support - Dedicated support, 24/7, Level 1 - 3, etc.
Below is an article by marketing superstar Jay Baer, he's amazing. The author of Hug Your Haters and Convince and Convert. See what he recommends on making that new purchase on marketing software.