Agency management software can be one of the major expenditures facing advertising agencies these days. Before diving in and spending valuable income, let Tangram guide you through what is best for your agency. In January 2021, Tangram’s Helen Johnson hosted an excellent webinar on choosing the right agency management software.
There has never been a better time to make those all-important decisions when buying agency management software for your company. It is crucial to put the right software in place when working from home and geographically fragmented workforces. The bigger the agency, the bigger the headache.
Good news is, however, at hand. By following simple steps, we at Tangram can guide you through the process to ensure that you get the right products at the right price. Forget the fancy PowerPoint presentations delivered by slick salespeople. Trust our experts to guide you.
The 10 Steps for Buying Agency Management Software
1: Be Truthful About Your Skill Levels
Don’t be overawed by slick sales reps. They will know more about the products they are selling than you do. However, you should not feel powerless in this situation. Find someone you can trust, be honest with them, and they will guide you. The challenge is when you find a trusted independent consultant; you need to invite feedback from them then do your homework.
2: Identify the Requirements of Your Agency Management Software
One size does not fit all. This is true for more than most products when it comes to software. The person trying to get you to buy their software is probably talking to agencies of hugely different sizes all the time. A company employing 20 people does not need the powerful software of a massive multinational employing 20,000. Be strict in your demands and always ensure that you get the right fit. Most agencies now recognize that switching from a one-size-fits-all approach is necessary. A good article is published here on the subject.
3: Identify Clients’ Actual Requirements
When purchasing agency management software, always make sure that it facilitates reporting and collaboration. Many agencies require client input. Therefore, you should ensure that external users can be added and that the software facilitates feedback. This type of product provides transparency, a big plus for most businesses.
4: Evaluate Customer Support
There is nothing more annoying than spending money on a product only to be left high and dry when it comes to customer support. Ensure that the product offers full support packages to guide you through best-use practices. Many products are available on subscription rather than direct purchase. These tend to come with extensive support packages at the same time.
5: Evaluate Cost of Use of Agency Management Software
As mentioned above, some products are available on subscription, a huge plus if finances are tight. While you, indeed, get what you pay for, make sure that you are not paying for things that you don’t need. Refer to Step 2.
6: Make Sure What is Being Offered Addresses Your Needs
A mismatch between your requirements and what your agency management software can achieve will cause you more problems than having none. The time wasted, particularly on support, grows exponentially if you end up with several different systems. In addition, the extra workload, and by definition stress, piled onto your staff is immeasurable. Extra costs will inevitably also be incurred.
7: Check out Reviews
It’s always worth taking a look at vendors’ social media. This will give a good indication of just how happy their customers are. Also, check online forums and ask questions that are relevant to your business model. At the same time, ask friends and colleagues in the same line of business as yourself. These tasks will provide a rounded answer to many of your concerns.
8: Always Ask Tough Questions
Be prepared. Before sitting down to a meeting with a potential vendor, prepare a concise list of questions. Write down their answers, particularly the ones that they seem to have trouble answering. If you have concerns, make sure if they are with the software, or the person trying to sell it. These are two very different issues.
9: Check the Suitability of the Software to Your Industry
There are many products on the market. Make sure that what you are looking at is tailor-made agency management software. Buying a product that is more suited to a Medical Practice, for example, will not do the job for you, regardless of how many whistles and bells, it has. Once again, the wrong product will pile stress on your much-valued workforce.
10: Always Focus on R.O.I.
The cheapest products often work out anything but. By using the steps above, you can focus on the returns that your software provides. By working with your vendor, you will be able to make accurate calculations on expected returns.
Use the ten steps above, and you won’t go wrong. This list is by no means everything that you can do. They are, though, solid recommendations made after years of experience. The most important issue is to find a trustworthy person to talk to and demonstrate the alternatives available to you. Tangram has decades of experience waiting to advise you.
In the end, you might face making a very close call. Maybe you have to make the final judgment on whether or not you trust the person with whom you are dealing.
In particular, make sure that the person selling you the software is skilled in addressing your pains and can demonstrate how to solve them. The decision for a business system is not one you want to do again for quite some time, so make sure you feel comfortable with the salesperson and the vendor. If that is what it comes down to, go back to your research, so you can feel you made the best decision possible.