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Four Tips for Buying Contact Management Software

How to Buy the Right Contact Management Software for Your Company
The benefits that can be achieved through the use of a contact management software package are clear – improved accuracy and consistency of customer and prospect data, an enhanced ability to track and manage contact-related activities, and increased visibility into the histories of existing and potential customers across multiple touch points. But with so many vendors and solutions to choose from, how do you know which is the best contact management software application for your business?

Here are some tips to help you get the right contact management software at the best possible price.

Know What You Need
Only your company, and its users, can best define what features you’ll need in your contact management software package. So, before you begin calling in vendors, work closely with all key stakeholders to outline what your requirements are, and how you expect your contact management software to address them. Then, turn that into a complete list of the functions and capabilities you need, and use it to evaluate the various solutions on the market.

Choose the Right Partner
There are dozens and dozens of contact management software providers out there, and you certainly don’t have time to evaluate all of them. So, how do you know which ones you should be taking a closer look at?

Your requirements list is a great place to start. Compare the features you want to those provided by the available solutions. Any contact management software vendor whose product does not offer all the capabilities you need should immediately be removed from your list.

Next, you’ll want to see each contact management software solution in action. Ask each vendor to conduct a detailed demonstration that simulates your company’s own contact management processes and procedures. Be sure that at least one representative from each involved department is there, so the application can be assessed from all aspects.

Speak to Current Users
A demonstration tells only a portion of the overall story. That’s why it’s critical to speak to people who are already using the contact management software package you are considering.

Have each contact management software vendor provide a handful of references. Ask specifically to speak to companies in your industry, or to those that have similar procedures and workflows. Once you’ve reached out to them, be sure to ask detailed questions about how the product works, what kind of ROI they’ve achieved, and what kind of service and support they’ve received form the vendor.

Cut Your Deal
Once you’ve selected the best contact management software solution, the next step is to negotiate the terms of the sale.

The provider will likely quote you a price directly from their price book. Remember, that this “list price” is not set in stone, and there is plenty of room for discounts. With so many contact management software applications on the market, vendors will be quite flexible in order to keep you from signing on with a competitor. So, stand firm and don’t let them “high-ball” you. Let them know that cost is a huge factor in your decision, and that you will consider another solution if the price is not right.