From XU Magazine, 
Issue 36

Help Your Clients Select the Right Job Management Software

Some Simple Tips to Avoid Common Pitfalls

WorkGuru’s Co-Founder and CEO, Tony Harcourt, shares his tips on helping your clients select the right Job Management Software.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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There’s a huge amount of upheaval in the Job Management Software space at the moment. With Xero retiring their WorkflowMax product, thousands of customers around the world are evaluating what the next step is for them.

While many clients will make a decision on their own, many will turn to their accountants and bookkeepers for advice, and it can sometimes be tough to know how to go about recommending a software to your client.

Stop and Assess

Before your clients  jump into a new system, there’s a few questions to ask about what the optimum outcome for the client is. If they were using a bunch of spreadsheets and workarounds, you should help them analyse the shortfall in what they have, and get a system that meets their real-world requirements.

Focus on the Problem to be Solved

A lot of the time, people focus on the industry, or the features of a program that they want for their clients - and that’s a good starting point, but the real key is to step back and ask, “What is the problem we’re trying to solve here.”

The whole point of the software is to solve problems for you, and not necessarily to solve them the way that you do now - particularly if that way is inefficient, or outdated.

Know What you Love About What You’ve Got

It sounds silly, but you’ve got your current software for a reason. You like something about it enough to keep it around, so if everything it currently did for you was taken away, it’s really important to know what it is that you’d miss about it.

Don’t assume that every piece of software in the same category has the same features or achieves the same outcomes,

Know What Your extra Must Haves, and Nice to Haves are

Once you know what you’d hate to lose about your current software, think about the things that you just WISH it did better. If you’re moving to a new platform, categorise that list into MUST haves, and Nice to Haves.

Do you want Stock Control? Calendar Scheduling? Easy Variation handling? Progress Claims? What is it that’s going to make a real difference to your business?

Remember that a Must Have is “I won’t buy the software at all if it doesn’t solve X.” Nice to have, is “I’ll still consider the software if it has all my Must Haves, but doesn’t solve this thing.”

Get A DEMO - not Just a Trial

Getting a custom demo is the no 1 most important thing that you can do. Free trials are awesome (and you should get one of those too!) but the thing about Job Management Software, is that it can take a heck of setting up to see it work to its true potential.

A demo, customised to your client  by the software company, shows you how THEY (the expert) would solve the business problem using their software. Remember, if you and your client have never played with it before, there’s going to be HEAPs of things about it that you don’t know! Ask the experts, and make them show you.

Also - a great thing about a demo, is that you can get multiple stakeholders involved as each part of the business has different requirements. Get them all together for 40 mins to ask their questions, and get buy in about moving.

If You can’t see a Demo of a Feature - Assume it Doesn’t Exist

When I was a consultant, many times clients wouldn’t speak about a feature or a requirement because they simply assumed that it existed! Don’t ever do that!

When you’re getting a demo of the software, make sure you see the things that you want to see. If that particular demo account isn’t setup to show a certain feature, book another call to see that explicitly! You’re betting a business on choosing the right software, so it’s important to actually see how something works.

At WorkGuru, our motto is very simple. If we can’t show you - assume it doesn’t exist. If we haven’t shown you, please ask!

Understand the Platform Approach to User Input

Let’s face it - a lot of providers don’t have the ability to include user feedback or feature requests into their software, and that’s fair. Building software is incredibly difficult and expensive, and if you’re not set up to be flexible on change requests, or extra features, it’s very hard to accommodate them.

Some providers (like WorkGuru) are built from the ground up on customer input, and have the team coordinated so that features are deployed regularly and based on customer requests. That being said, no SaaS product will build completely bespoke software.

Figure out the Roll Out Process

Rolling out your new solution is a huge part of the challenge, often more than selecting it as new job management software is as much about people and process, as it is about the tech. If your people won’t use it, or the process is too cumbersome, the project will fail, and you’ll waste time and money implementing something that’s clearly not fit for purpose.

Whether your client is looking to configure the software themselves, get a consulting partner involved, or have an onboarding specialist from the provider assist them through it, figure out what they need to achieve, and work a plan towards that.

Why leave it there?

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