5 Foolproof Tips to Select the Right Software Vendor

min read
5 Foolproof Tips to Select the Right Software Vendor

It can feel like every time you open your inbox, you’re bombarded with emails from software vendors vying for your attention. Not even your LinkedIn DMs are safe from the endless requests for demos and "quick calls." The worst part? Most of these vendors don't even take the time to understand your needs and preferences before they send you their sales pitches. 

It's no wonder that people are becoming more selective about which vendors they give their attention to. In a world where everyone wants a piece of your time, you must be discerning about who you engage with.

But here's the good news: there are vendors out there who genuinely care about solving your problems and improving your tech stack. They take the time to understand your company’s pain points and create a plan to solve them. The challenge, of course, is finding those vendors. 

In this post, I’ll share some foolproof tips for selecting the right vendor to meet your software needs. 

Tip 1: Research the Vendor’s Reputation

When you’re evaluating a vendor, it’s critical to research their reputation. This encompasses their history, their values, and their track record of delivering high-quality products and services. Researching a vendor's reputation can help you understand their priorities and how they conduct business. It can also help you turn up red flags that may impact your decision.

One of the most effective ways to gauge a company’s reputation is by reading online reviews. Review sites such as G2 and Capterra are excellent tools for selecting a software vendor because they offer an unbiased perspective. Unlike vendor-created content, reviews come straight from fellow software users who have no incentive to sell you on the product. When you read reviews, you can get an unfiltered view of the vendor’s strengths, weaknesses, and any potential issues that could arise with them.

Tip 2: Make Sure the Vendor Offers the Right Level of Customer Support

Some software solutions can be complex and time-consuming to onboard, while others are simple to plug and play. In addition, factors like your team’s technical expertise can impact the implementation process. Therefore, for certain vendors, you may need full white-glove service with a dedicated customer support specialist to get you up and running. For other vendors, a self-service approach is enough — all you need is a login and you can do the rest. 

Choosing a vendor that gives you the right amount of personal attention is critical to your success with the software, and can impact the ROI you generate from it. If you have a dedicated representative that you speak to each week, you will be able to grow with the vendor and expand your usage of the platform. If you go with a self-service approach, you won’t have a trusted expert to lean on, but you will probably enjoy some savings.

Tip 3: Determine if the Vendor Integrates with Your Existing Tech Stack

According to a recent study, the average company uses a whopping 291 software products. So when it's time to look for a new vendor, you don't just want another tool to add to your already overflowing tech stack. Learning a whole new system or ripping and replacing your existing infrastructure can cause headaches and increase the time to value. That’s why, when researching a potential vendor, you need to check that it integrates with your existing software products and enhances your existing workflows. If the vendor offers no-code integrations to help you get up and running without developer support, that’s an added bonus.

Tip 4: Calculate Potential ROI and Returns from Using the Vendor

Onboarding a new software vendor can be a big investment, so it's important to calculate the potential return on investment (ROI) before making a decision. When you take the time to carefully consider the returns of a new technology solution, you can determine whether it will deliver the value and benefits your business needs to justify the cost. A solid ROI analysis can also help you make a stronger business case for investing in the new vendor, securing buy-in from key stakeholders and decision-makers. This is especially critical now, as many organizations are tightening their technology budgets due to the economic downturn. 

Tip 5: Check the Vendor’s Product Roadmap

A product roadmap is a strategic plan that outlines a vendor’s future research and development efforts. By examining a vendor's product roadmap, you can gain insight into their long-term vision, as well as their priorities and goals. This can help you determine whether or not a particular vendor is a good fit for your business. Additionally, checking a vendor's product roadmap can help you identify any potential issues that may arise down the road. Because let’s face it, if your vendor doesn’t have a clear and compelling plan for the future, you could be left high and dry when the competition heats up. 

“AI” is a common buzzword vendors are throwing around right. But when it comes to artificial intelligence, it can be hard to separate the hype from reality, as it seems like everyone is claiming that their platform uses AI in some capacity. Viewing a vendor’s product roadmap is a good way to cut through the noise and determine if a company is really practicing what they preach. If their roadmap shows a strong focus on AI, you can rest assured that they’re actually putting resources behind developing those capabilities.

Leading Companies Trust Invoca as Their Conversation Intelligence Vendor

Invoca is the leader in AI-powered conversation intelligence, trusted by top brands like Dish Network, Mayo Clinic, Mutual of Omaha, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. Our solution helps marketing, sales, customer experience, and eCommerce teams capture deep insights from phone conversations and action on them to improve revenue generation. Invoca easily integrates with leading tools like Google Ads, Salesforce, and Adobe Experience Cloud

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