How to Find the Best Software That Suits Your Needs
THE TEAM at Scoro has advised thousands of users during the new software implementation process. We’ve discovered that there are many recurring questions and problems that arise already in the process of finding the best software.
You can find software that suits your needs by answering a few simple questions that we’ve outlined below.
Take time to go through all of these aspects – the best software solutions return a long-term benefit and accelerate your company’s growth.
Already found a tool and looking for a guide to help you through new software implementation process? Read our first-month guide to software implementation and learn how to generate high user acceptance for new tools.
Take a look at a more specific guide for finding the best time billing software or team management software and learn about the essential features for online project management software to have a clear overview of the tools your team might need.
1. Define the problem
You’re not looking for new software just because it might be necessary. There must be an issue you’re looking to solve, information that needs to be managed or a process you’d like to automate. In order to find the best software, you must start by mapping out your current problems.
Wherever the problem lies, try to define it in as much detail as possible. Look for the reasons behind your issues and think about possible solutions.
The answer to your requirements lies in finding the right software that facilitates working with the problematic facets of your business. For example, if you manage your customer data on Excel spreadsheets, the solution could be a comprehensive customer relationship management tool. Struggling with project management and planning? – Try a project planning software.
2. Map the current workflow
Every software search process starts with a complete understanding of what tools and features are needed in the first place. Logical, right? Sadly, not many businesses think about this before buying and implementing new software, leading to later disappointment and misunderstandings.
Think about your daily workflow and make a list of all activities and information used.
- What are your daily activities?
- What types of activities do you track?
- How do you track these activities?
- What kind of information do you collect and maintain?
- How do you manage all the business information?
- Who has access to this information?
- What is the stumbling-block in your daily work?
- How could your work be facilitated?
Ask the same questions from every person in the company (or team leaders), examining their workflow in depth. Enquire about problematic tasks and ask for their opinion on how could their current work be facilitated.
Now that you have mapped out your company’s current workflow, make a list of all activities implemented by yourself, your colleagues and team members. It’s a surefire way to guarantee that you have analysed every important facet of the business.
3. Find the source and solution to your problems
Business software providers usually design their product around a business process or a problem that needs to be handled. The idea of connecting your company’s issues with the current workflow is finding out which parts of your business need to be remedied or facilitated with the new software tool.
In order to define the initial source and a solution to your problems, follow these steps:
- Complement the activities’ list with previously defined problems to connect your company’s present issues with daily activities. This helps you see what solutions you need from the new software.
- See which facets of your business need to be managed with the new software and make a list of problems that the solution is required to solve.
- When looking for the best software, search for a product that addresses your business departments’ problems.
Looking for a quick time-saving fix? See these 12 Productivity Tools That Save Time.
4. Do you need one or more solutions?
A growing business is likely to use software for:
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Enterprise resource management (ERP)
- Billing and Expenses
- Marketing automation
- Email automation
- Sales tracking and professional services automation software
- Project management
- Time tracking
- Task lists
- File sharing
Depending on your industry or niche, this list could be longer. Remember that you can’t always manage all parts of your business with one niche software solution but you can integrate tools with each other. Try to limit the number of different tools used.
Don’t set unattainable requirements for one software solution but focus on solving one problem at once.
5. Do you really need new software?
When searching for the best software, remember to evaluate your existing tools. There’s a high probability you’re not using the current software’s maximum capacity, meaning that the problems you need the new solution to solve could actually be resolved with the existing tools.
It could also be the other way round. Some currently managed activities and tasks could be moved to the new software solution and you might realise that some existing tools are no longer necessary.
Managing many business processes with one solution turns the workflow more effective as you get accustomed to utilising the tool and learn to navigate quicker.
Another reason for using a minimal number of different software solutions is to enhance the way you manage important business information. Moving data between different software can be time-consuming, meaning that when possible, it’s best to use a comprehensive solution covering more than one facet of your business.
Should you decide to use multiple software and tools for managing different parts of your company, it’s important to check whether the information can be synchronised between them. You can inquire about integrations during the new software search process by contacting the software provider.
6. Do you have further requirements?
It’s crucial to think about every detail before buying software. Once you’ve analysed your business’s problems, workflow, and the best solutions, think about further requirements.
To find the best software, create a list of additional prerequisites including design, user experience, integrations with other software, collaboration options, price, etc. It’s a surefire way to ensure that you have clear expectations to the software’s capacities and the user experience will be positive.
By now, you should completely comprehend all the necessities and requirements the new software solution should address.
7. Are you on the same page with your team?
While an elegant-looking software solution may be pleasing to the eye, there is so much more to consider when preparing to buy additional business tools. It’s important to maintain the support of your team throughout the decision-making and software implementation process and ensure that they benefit from new solutions.
The problem with comprehensive software providers is that often their all-in-one product is too difficult to use. This leads to resistance of using the new software and your team might end up using the same old tools and Excel for organising their workflow and data – a lot of time wasted.
Conduct a meeting with all managers in the company and inquire about their team’s main concerns about implementing the software. Also, introduce them the list of problems you’ve mapped out and ask their opinion on finding the right software.
Asking for everyone’s opinion helps to tackle the feeling that key decisions were made by senior management without taking into consideration departments’ actual needs. Furthermore, it ensures you’ll find software that responds to everyone’s expectations.
8. How much are you willing to spend?
There are no free lunches just like no quality software solution is offered for a marginal fee. Before you start looking for new software, establish a budget you’re willing to spend. Think about the problems it will solve – how much is this benefit worth to your company?
Plan your software-related expenses in a monthly budget as business solution providers frequently charge monthly. Also, consider onboarding fees and other expenses related to the implementation process, including training costs and time spent on adapting to new software.
As you read, there are multiple questions that arise before choosing the right software solution for your company. Finding time to analyze your current workflow and mapping out your requirements, although time-consuming and demanding, will inevitably return your company a long-term benefit.
Already found a tool and looking for a guide to help you through software implementation process? Read our First Month Guide to Software Implementation.