Here at Net-Results Marketing Automation, we focus on helping our prospects to really find the platform that will work for their goals and business case — and that’s what everyone should be focused on when choosing new software for their company: what are your goals and how will each software help you reach those goals?

When looking for software, and marketing automation software specifically, there are a few things you should absolutely be evaluating when choosing new software for your company:

1. Whether It Fits Your Business Case

New software is great, but unless it solves a real problem in your organization, it’s pretty pointless. Create a business case by answering the following questions:

  • What is the problem we’re trying to solve?
  • What is this problem costing our organization right now?
  • How will the solving of this problem help the organization?
  • What it will take to get this problem fixed with this particular solution?

2. Whether It Matches Your List of Requirements

Requirements lists are like shopping lists. If you don’t have one, you’re going to end up with all kinds of stuff that “looked yummy”. To create a shopping list:

  • List out all the functionality you think you need
  • Distinguish between “needs” and “nice-to-haves”
  • Combine all of these into a single requirement list

3. Whether the First Impression Was a Good One

Your big goal for this step is disqualification. This initial demo is where vendors make a first impression. It’s where you ask hard questions to see what kind of answers come back. It’s when you find out what kind of support they have and get a feel for the company for yourself. Some questions to help get your thoughts rolling if you didn’t get a memorable first impression:

  • Was the sales rep. genuinely interested in your company and use case?
  • Does it do what you need it to do?
  • Does the support team push you towards documentation or do you get live calls? (And do you pay extra for it?)
  • Do you get to test-drive the software before you buy it? (Would you buy a car without first driving it around? Same rules apply here.)

There are actually 10 concrete steps to purchasing the right marketing automation platform for your organization! We go in-depth into the whole process of buying marketing automation in our Marketing Automation Buyer’s Guide. Don’t make a marketing automation decision you’ll regret!

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Sarah Augustinsky

Marketing Automation Expert and Consultant