There are so many things to consider when buying any new software, never mind expanding the search to anything online. With the barrier to entry at an all-time low, that makes choosing software that much harder. Here are 4 vital elements to consider when evaluating web based software and what to look for.
Time and Effort to set these systems up
If you find a CRM system to sign up for, you are going to have to import or type in all of your clients’ details. If you’ve found a quoting system, you’ll have to put all your existing quotes and prospects into the system. These are massive tasks no matter how simple the system in question makes it. This is why doing this in two sessions is the best way to ensure you have everything you need. Bear in mind also that some systems require a credit card before signing up, so be sure to set reminders on the length of the free trial to avoid any charges.
Each system is going to provide a different level of service. Think about where they are based. If you’re in the UK and they’re in San Francisco, USA and they provide “business hours” service, that means at best you’ll only get 2 hours of support while they’re working. Not ideal. Some provide only email support, others provide phone support so you really need to weigh these things up and work out what is best for your business.
Most systems for some reason punish you for having more staff and charge per user. Consider the immediate cost but also the potential future cost if you plan on growing your business. Other systems charge a transaction fee like GoCardless or a mix of monthly and transaction fees like SmartDebit. Once you’ve worked out the different systems you need and worked out a monthly cost for the total solution, only then can you start comparing apples to apples.
Do the systems you are looking at all go together? Do they talk to each other? When you’re recording a quote in your CRM, does that then create a proposal in your proposal system or does it mean you have to manually copy from one system to another? Consider also that just because something says it integrates doesn’t mean it’ll do exactly what you need. Test both systems together and see how good it truly is.