Software Buying Tips

Ten standard questions to ask a software supplier are:

  • Does its functionality meet my needs?
  • How flexible is it?
  • How scalable is it?
  • How can I access it?
  • How easy is the system to use?
  • Is the system easily integrated into other software systems I use?
  • Is the system secure and reliable?
  • What support does the vendor provide?
  • How do current customers use the system?
  • What is your pricing structure?

When looking to buy back-office software support, do not just choose the software that you need now, think about your growth and the features you will need in the future. Think about the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) i.e. what other resources and costs will be required on top of the software licence fee? Understand ALL the costs associated with the software solution.

  1. Do they have unlimited users or do they charge per seat?
  2. What is their support like? Do they offer free 24/7 support?
  3. Do you have to pay for additional features like marketing automation, customer service, event management, landing page builder?
  4. Are there limits to the number of emails you can send?
  5. If you need to use the API for integration, what are those costs?
  6. Is training provided?
  7. What kind of onboarding packages do they have? What are the costs and what do you get?
  8. Where possible, select software that your entire team can use. All of your data should be in one easy-to-use, safe place. Every department needs and uses data. Get each person setup with their own logins and passwords for collaboration, transparency, and accountability.
  9. Do try before you buy: The ability to demo and try out any platform you are researching is an important piece of the puzzle. Demoing a platform allows you to get a good idea of how the platform works and how it can fit into your business. First start with a guided demo, and then setup a trial account to see how user-friendly and customisable the system is.

Pricing Structures

Prices are typically based on:

  1. Number of features.
  2. Number of users (often whether they use all the features or not.

Issues that can Arise with “Per-User” Pricing

Employees share multiple logins, in which case you lose accountability and weaken overall business management.