Many people, if given the chance to do something over again, would take it. It is almost certain that with more insight, you could have made a better, more informed decision. Using this as my premise, I decided to survey users of marketing automation software to find out what they would have changed about their purchasing process. Specifically, I had them answer the question, “What do you wish you had asked your marketing automation vendor before buying?”
The response was overwhelming, but many were along the same lines. Users tended to focus on questions regarding integration, support/training, vendor roadmap and system maintenance. We were able to narrow them down to 10 questions. We kept all companies and individuals anonymous, but hopefully their 20/20 hindsight will provide potential buyers with some foresight.
1. How does marketing automation work with my CRM system?
2. Is there bi-directional sync between the CRM and marketing automation programs?
3. Is the system data easily transferable to another system should you choose to change?
4. What is the extent of the training offered/needed?
5. Is the training customizable to fit the needs of my organization?
6. What level of customer service is offered post-implementation? Is there a contractual guarantee for support?
7. What does the vendor’s roadmap look like, and what is the likelihood that it will be followed?
8. Does the vendor roadmap match my organization’s roadmap?
9. Is the system difficult to maintain?
10. How much downtime can I expect?
These are real questions proposed by real buyers of marketing automation software. They should provide you a path of inquiry when conducting your own research and while navigating the purchasing process. By asking these questions up front, you can hopefully avoid a number of issues later on down the line.