Vetting Your Next Marketing Tool: A How-To Guide

October 22, 2014 Tyler Ryll

 

Every day, millions of dollars are spent on tools that are meant to improve businesses.  

Whether those tools are CRM systems, Marketing Automation platforms, or social analytics, the world of technology has become dependent on the 3rd party applications to help streamline company processes and improve the bottom line.

Now, before you start swiping the company credit card, you have some very important questions to answer:

  • What problem will this solution solve for my business?
  • When do I need this solution implemented?
  • Will it help the overall bottom line of my business?

Now you may be thinking, “Pft, I don’t need to ask these questions. I know everything!” Well, what about the other side of the coin:

  • What if this tool isn’t right for my business?
  • Did I pay too much?
  • Did I sign on the dotted line too soon?

Well, I’m here to help you avoid these second thoughts and post-purchase regrets with a thorough checklist of items to consider prior to taking advantage of any of the great tools available today!

This checklist not only contains pieces of the overall decision-making process, but includes insider tips and tricks, and even a few questions that will stump the best account executives in Sales. So, before you start vetting through your next software solution, let’s take a look at the questions you should be asking yourself and your vendor.

How To Vet your Marketing Tools Checklist

  1. What specific problem is my company struggling with?

When you understand what the issue is, you are in a better position to find the exact solution you need. Understanding the issue at hand is the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to vetting through possible vendor solutions.

  1. When do I need this implemented?

Are you looking to have this done yesterday? Or is this a long-term 6 month project? Setting a timeline is vital before you start your vendor selection process. Having a good amount of time to explore vendors and sit in on demonstrations will give you a better idea of whether that particular vendor is right for your business. You’ll also avoid rushing into the wrong solution because you didn’t explore all your available options.

  1. Did I submit a RFP (Request for Proposal)?

Sometimes companies worry about bugging an Account Executive with RFP documents, because, let’s be honest, they can be cumbersome. However, if you have a set of specific goals in mind, it doesn’t hurt to provide this document to the vendor, and see what comes back. RFPs are a great way to vet through a process before sitting in on demos!

  1. Did I ask the tough questions?

People mistakenly assume that the packages on offer  are only available “as is”.  It doesn’t hurt to ask direct questions about cost, implementation, contract length, discounts, packages, and perks! By asking these questions you can find out how much wiggle room you have to negotiate, and if the costs justify the solution.

  1. What are you going to do for me after I buy in?

This question is the most important when it comes to vendor selection and vetting through marketing tools.I get this question a lot at Uberflip , and it’s an easy answer to give because we provide an amazing team of people (myself included, so I’m a little biased) that take care of questions and help clients generate solutions. It’s just as much of a business transaction for you as it is for the vendor you select, so finding out the details about what the vendor does for its clients is crucial.

  1. Did I follow the Decision Making Steps?

Source:http://www.umassd.edu/media/umassdartmouth/fycm/decisionmaking.jpg

Whether you use 5, 7, or 8 steps in your decision-making process, make sure you’re adequately informed when you complete each step. Also, you should ensure each step in the process is satisfied to your liking. This is a no-brainer really, but, again, it never hurts to go the extra mile to ensure that you are on the right path!

These 6 questions will help make your next vendor selection process a lot smoother, and ensure that the right choices are made when it comes time to spend your budget!

Want a bigger content marketing budget for 2015? Check out these tools

About the Author

Tyler Ryll

Before becoming Uberflip's Sales Engineer, Tyler joined the team as a Customer Success Specialist. He previously received his BBA in Marketing and racked up 10 years of sales/service/support experience in everything from gym memberships to SaaS products.

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