As a Marketing Ops pro one of your ongoing duties is to evaluate and implement new business software to better serve the different departments within your organization. But how do you go about that? Have you built a sustainable framework? Or a cohesive process to help you do that at scale?
Well, if you haven’t done that just yet, you’ll find this definite guide very useful as we’ve surveyed 50+ Marketing Ops Professionals asking them about their approach for evaluating, communicating, and purchasing new business software in 2022 and beyond.
Just before we jump right in, here are three key indicators that will help you get an idea why this is a ‘HOT’ topic we decided to cover:
– Around 21% of business software purchases fail to deliver as promised.
– The average buying cycle for enterprise software is 6 months.
– Business software spending worldwide is expected to reach about 4.4 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022.
Here are SEVEN questions we asked 50+ Marketing Ops Professionals, about the process of evaluating and purchasing new business software, and what Mops professionals should do to validate their ideas and make sure that their goals are being achieved.
Q: How can Mops professionals stay on top of things and make sure they made the right decision about their next tech stack tool?
A: The best answer we got: “When it comes to choosing the best software in each category I like to go by this breakdown:
1. Look at online vendor reputation and reviews (e.g Capterra, G2, TrustRadius).
2. How well it can address our business / my team’s pain.
3. Using genuine reviews from my network and peers.
4. Draft a plan to understand when we should see positive ROI based on our specific use case.
5. Make a comparison between 3-5 leading vendors within the category.
During the process, I also subscribe to their mailing list, attend webinars, and create some relationships with key people that work there to make sure I’m covered from all possible angles when it comes to being knowledgeable about their company and solution.
6. Negotiate with the leading vendor about features, pricing, seats, to get the best possible deal.
7. Ask the leading vendor to help me with creating a ‘Case’ for this offer and how would it be best to communicate it to the upper management for approval.
8. Project potential pitfalls, if any in terms of the after purchasing and onboarding process.
Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that no matter how well you think you covered the projections and analysis part, in most cases you’d be surprised to see how fast you see positive ROI, especially when it comes to enterprise software that are widely used like, Salesforce, HubSpot, DemandBase, and Gong.
Q: What are the TOP things you’re looking at when evaluating and purchasing a new business software?
A: The best answer we got: “I always look at several things like, value for money, what effort will it require to onboard and implement, and how customizable the solution is to match with our business needs. Moreover, I would say that following a standardized procedure will always make your life easier. By standardized procedure I mean, create and document a process and anytime you need to evaluate a new tool just follow the same steps and adjust accordingly.
For us, we use the same exact process for most of our software purchasing. We first compare the different solutions, Pros Vs. Cons Vs. how it will solve our issue/s, then start discussions with the different vendors, always looking to see if we know anyone working for them to make the buying process even smoother. Then we create some internal discussions and brainstorming regarding our top 3 vendors. When we get to a final conclusion we create a case sensitive presentation and communicate further to the upper management.
Q: What are the best ways to get buy in for new software? What is your process for making a convincing software business case?
A: The best answer we got: “We always follow the same route, we guide the vendors to provide us exactly what we know is going to help us during the case building and communication process.
Here are some things we ask from the vendors to provide us with:
– Case study from one of our competitors using their software, or alternatively case study within the same niche we operate in case they don’t yet work with our competitors.
– We like sharing our success metrics, current stats and ask them to prove how they can help us improve this and how much time they think it will take till we see results?
– We also ask for projected ROI, in terms of when we should see positive ROI on our investment, and what will happen if we miss the goals in terms of timings with the ROI projections.
I would also add that it’s important especially for Marketers to create genuine relationships with the upper management (decision makers), so, having good relationships with your CFO, CEO, and COO are really important when communicating a new software.
Q: Do you think we’ll see Marketing Ops getting a bigger seat at the table? And what should Marketing Ops pros do to earn this?
A: The best answer we got: “Absolutely! I’m so happy to hear about more and more Mops Directors and VPs getting a bigger seat at the table, I mean, we’re already there.
Adding the fact that it really depends on the company you work for, its maturity level, and how big is the Mops function, great Mops people know their way around and will make sure they get the respect they deserve.
Here’s my take on this, you want to get a bigger seat at the table? Earn your respect, constantly prove to the C-Suite that you’re top of things, that you’re maximizing the usage of your entire MarTech stack, that this new solution will also solve other departments problems within the company, and that it will essentially influence revenue. If there’s one thing that the C-Suite cares about is REVENUE. The moment you tie everything to revenue everything just becomes much easier.
Q: Are there any formulas or frameworks you’re using in terms of evaluating and purchasing new business software and can you share it with us?
A: The best answer we got: “Of course. We use a very specific method for evaluating and and purchasing new software, let me share it with you and I hope it can help anyone who needs this 👇.
Q: Please choose your top Marketing automation platform, and explain your selection.
A: The best answer we got: By many we got this answer – “We use HubSpot for Marketing Automation and we’re very happy about it. But the best reason was that HubSpot is so easy to use, they have such great support via live chat, and you can almost find anything you need help with using their support articles and their resource center. Besides, HubSpot was built for the modern Marketer, it has a variety of solutions to help modern marketers achieving their goals, from sending out beautifully designed emails, segmentation lists, build workflows with ease, and track users behaviour on your company website, plus it has a by sync integration with Salesforce to make sure that no data is getting lost.
Q: What was the software you saw the most ROI from in 2021?
A: The best answer we got: This one was tight, and we actually had three software that got mentioned more than five times but we had to choose our winner – “Gong revenue intelligence platform, I can admit that we saw such a fast turnaround with this software. I think it was the fastest I’ve witnessed in my entire 11 years in Marketing. It’s not just how fast we saw the ROI, it’s also the ratio between our investment in the tool versus the return we managed to get. I think that the main reason behind it is the fact that the tool is spread all over the company in different departments and really has a cross departmental impact.
Under the hood
We came out crafting this compelling guide in order to find out what are the best practices among Marketing Ops Professionals as they are facing many challenges especially when it comes to choosing the right vendor for their next software.
After analyzing more than 50 different answers to our ‘Top’ SEVEN question we have found that most of the Mops Professionals are following the same traditional processes but some are just relying more on their personal judgment and experience.
We’ve also found that Marketers in North America have provided similar answers while Marketers that are based in Europe were less consistent with their answers.
The main goal of creating this definite guide was to help Marketing Ops Professionals get a snapshot of how top pros within this domain are acting. what processes do they use? and what are their top picks when it comes to software?
Looking for more insights on top software in each category? Contact us to learn more!