The Selection Process
When you start evaluating SaaS products for Helpdesk or CRM, there is no dearth of available solutions and the task of selection becomes tedious. Instead of evaluating all the solutions that you come across, it is better to be selective. There are a few steps that will help you find the right product/service relevant to your business requirements.
Apply the requirement criteria
You have loads of information from across the internet after the internal discussion. With the list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, start to narrow down your choice of software or solution by striking out those that do not fulfil your overall goal or requirements
Sometimes referral may work wonders. Before you jump to pick the referred solution thus, you may want to check how the solution helped improve the efficiency or increase the ROI. The problem statement or business need should be aligned before you decide on the referral.
Do the research
By this time, you should have narrowed down on a handful of products / software. Look at those successful use cases that aligns with your business requirements. Take all comments into account before you jump into a conclusion. Also, explore those solutions that businesses similar to yours are using.
DoyenThoughts did a poll on the selection methodology via LinkedIn and blog posts. 53% of the users agreed that the tool needs to meet the required criteria while 36% rely on the research.
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential software/products, start evaluating each solution thoroughly. When conducting the evaluation, ensure to do the following.
Focus on long-term, not short-term
It is quite common to look at the short-term benefits and choose the most beneficial option, with little or no regard to the long-term potential of the requirement. When evaluating SaaS products, it is important to think big and look at the long-term benefits. For example, paying a little more upfront and getting a great ROI later down the line is better than buying at a lower price and regretting it.
Demo and POC
A product demo will help you to further narrow down the list. Go for a POC. All features such as workflow, automation etc, may look glossy during the technical discussion and demo, however, such features may struggle when put to practical use. Prepare use cases to be tested during POC. It is absolutely not a bad idea to go for a paid POC.
Ask the vendor to connect to similar customers
Do not be afraid to ask the vendors to connect to referral customers who have successfully implemented the product. It would be beneficial if such customers also belong to the same vertical as yours.
Do you agree with our above product evaluation technique? Help me by participating in the poll below. If you have anything else to add please share it in our comments section.
You know your goals and the service you expect. This will help you choose the right solution. Never settle for good enough products. Go for the best that matches your business requirements.