Software Buying Tips

Choose Your B2B Software Using This 5-Step Process

Jul 7, 2022

Looking to add a new b2b software solution to your company? We'll help you select one in 5 simple steps.

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William Delong - Guest Contributor
Choose Your B2B Software Using This 5-Step Process

Is your business undergoing a digital transformation? Are you ready to automate certain processes so your teams can focus on high-level tasks? A technology investment can lead to more business, more clients/customers, and higher revenue.

But first comes the difficult part: With so many software choices available for a wide variety of objectives, how do you select the right one?

Our 5-step guide for choosing your next B2B software solution

Your B2B software must have the functionality your staff needs while helping you expand and become more efficient. Use these five steps to make the process easier.

1. Plan and budget your B2B software investment

When making a key investment, the procurement process starts with planning and budgeting.

First, you need to identify the problem you're trying to solve. Examples include:

  • Gathering more purchase data

  • Making your accounting easier

  • Improving productivity

  • Managing customers more effectively

  • Simplifying tasks

Next, perform a budgetary analysis. If you spend $25,000 on new software, what expectation do you have for ROI? Will you decrease your staffing levels or upskill employees to perform higher-level work? When do you anticipate operational improvements due to the B2B software investment?

Once you answer these questions, you can move on to the research phase.

2. Research your B2B software needs

This is the most labor-intensive part of the B2B software purchasing process. You may want to involve key leadership team members or employees to help evaluate processes, challenges, or shortcomings the software can resolve.

From there, create a list of requirements to ultimately narrow your choices as you research.

Price

You have a set budget, so one of the first considerations is the price of your B2B software. Keep in mind that the most expensive options within your budget aren't necessarily the best fit.

Features

Next, look at the high-level features of software within your price range. Does the program perform the functions you need? Will the company provide excellent support for their product? What about updates? Does the software deliver good value for the price? How many boxes does it check in terms of solving the problems you identified during the research and evaluation stage?

Let's say you're excited about a quality CRM in the middle of your price range. It has excellent features, but it's limited to three users. If you want unlimited users and support, the software goes out of your price range. You'll have to decide if the extra cost is worth the expanded functionality.

Expertise

How experienced is the software vendor? After considering the price and features, examine the company's credentials. How long have they been in business? Is their staff experienced, and well trained? Has the owner been a programmer for decades, or do they have other credentials that enhance their expertise?

Reviews

This step involves digging deep and reading reviews of your chosen B2B software vendor. What do their customers say about the company and the product? Are there negative reviews? Can the vendor provide references and testimonials from clients that aren't posted publicly?

How the B2B software company responds to your request for references can say a lot about their confidence in their product, customer service, and support.

3. Watch a demo

There's only so much you can do with research and reviews. Once you've identified a serious candidate for purchase, you need to determine if the software does what it promises.

Request a demonstration of a vendor's B2B software offering to see its features and functionality in action. This will let you see how the tool can address your company's unique requirements.

4. Take a trial run

A demo is usually a short review that goes over basic features as a show-and-tell session. The next step is a trial to see how the B2B software performs on your system. Many software vendors offer free or discounted trials for 14 or 30 days.

A trial run also allows your IT staff to get under the hood of the program to see how it integrates with your hardware and software.

5. Implement, train, and maintain

Upon completing a successful trial run, it's time to make a decision. If you decide to purchase, the final step is implementing the B2B software, ensuring team members are trained to use it, and maintaining it.

This is where support from the software vendor is essential if there are any issues or bugs. Your team also needs to maintain the software as you expand use across your business and take advantage of the tool's full functionality.

GetApp can help you find the right B2B software solution

GetApp is the perfect place to research B2B software. Visit our directory to compare prices, features, and specs side-by-side, as well as read reviews from real users to make your software decision even easier.

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About the author

William Delong - Guest Contributor

William is a professional writer and editor specializing in a variety of industries including legal, medical, marketing, and technology. He has over 13 years of experience delivering SEO-focused and engaging content.
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