How to establish a selection criteria for a solution when there are multiple options
That’s the number of tools flooding the SaaS tech market today. And that’s only in the marketing space. The more software in the marketplace, the more tools for you to vet when selecting a solution.
So, as a buyer you’re often grazing through a buffet of similarly-priced tools that solve similar problems. In that case, how do you zero in on a tool?
TL;DR: Create a selection criteria checklist you’d want to cross off when selecting tools.
In this article, we spoke to tech leaders to find out what their selection criteria looked like when choosing a tool in a crowded market.
🧠 What the Experts Recommend:
- Use a decision memo to make an objective purchase decision
- Evaluate vendor support & the total cost of ownership
Keep reading to find out more!
- Use ‘decision memos’ to make an objective purchase decision
Chili Piper’s Product Marketing Manager, Madeleine Work, suggests using the ‘decision memo’ framework — a process that helped them see at least $70,000 in ROI with just a single software purchase.
Here are the main components of a good decision memo:
- Context: This is where you outline the status quo. What are you currently doing? What problems are we trying to solve?
- Business Case: When making your business case, remember that making money is cooler than saving money. Instead of time-saved, think revenue-generated.
- Options: Include the different software options out there. Under each option include use cases, integrations, UI screenshots, cost, pros/cons, and your recommendation.
- Recommendations: Add your recommendation and share with other stakeholders. For sales software, this could mean sales ops and the entire sales team.
At Chili Piper, we make our decision memo as democratic as possible — to make sure nobody is blind-sided by a new tool.
Feel free to check out the real-life decision memo here.
- Evaluate vendor support and the total cost of ownership
The cacophony of options can be overwhelming, shares Victor Estival, Developer Product Marketing Manager, at Polkadot, but there are some things you can do to navigate the market place and find your next best tool.
Here are his top 5 tips:
- Define Your Business Needs and Goals: Start with an honest evaluation of your organization’s requirements, budget constraints, and the objectives you seek to achieve with the solution. Remember, the best technology is not necessarily the one with the most features.
- Prioritize Features and Functionalities: Make a list of must-have features, nice-to-have features, and unnecessary features. Prioritize solutions that offer seamless integration with existing systems, usability, scalability, and security.
- Vendor Reputation and Support: Look for vendors with a solid track record, positive customer reviews, and who offer robust support services.
- Evaluate Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Consider costs associated with implementation, maintenance, training, and any potential upgrades. Opt for vendors with transparent pricing models.
- Engage in Realistic Demos or Free Trials, Be Mindful of Time Investment: While demos and trials may be offered for free, remember they do involve an investment of time. Demos should be as realistic and as close to the actual product as possible, and look for vendors who offer customizable demos.
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