So you’re thinking about adding Strategic Planning Software to your tech stack but you’re not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Strategic planning software provides a solution for building out a business mission statement, a plan to accomplish the mission, and the ability to track progress toward that ultimate business goal.
Searching for new software can be overwhelming, we’ve all been there. What features are important? What’s in our budget? Where do I look? The first step - take a deep breath. There are so many resources available to guide you through the buying process.
To make things even easier, in this post we’ll take you through the 3 steps to finding the right Strategic Planning Software for your team.
Step 1: Identify the main pain points you’re looking to solve for
A pain point is a specific problem your business is experiencing, and ultimately what you are trying to solve in your role. These pain points are what prevent your company from being able to shift into the next gear, to take the necessary steps to scale from one stage to the next.
As is the case for most high-growth companies, pain points come from, well, growth. From working with countless growth-stage companies, here are some of the most common examples of the pains we see, and how Strategic Planning Software can help.
Financial Pain Points: Are you looking for a way to reign in or gain better visibility into spending? For many growth-stage companies, you're adding team members in waves, and it can get hard to manage or even understand how the budget is helping your team execute on company goals. Strategic Planning software provides detailed project statuses that can help you quickly see when objectives and metrics are on track or behind. Save time and money by getting ahead of any potential red flags.
Productivity Pain Points: Are your employees spending too much time using manual processes? There are ways to reduce friction and allow your teams to use their time more efficiently. Look for Strategic Planning software that can reduce the time spent digging through dozens of spreadsheets to find what you need and instead connect to tools you use to automate and present data for meetings with ease.
Process Pain Points: Are your internal processes taking way too long? Discover ways to cut that time down and become more efficient. The right Strategic planning software empowers your company to easily incorporate a goal-setting framework to increase visibility and alignment on cross-functional initiatives.
Step 2: Compare the Software Options (Yes, there are many)
There are quite a few review sites for software. One of our favorites is Capterra. Capterra easily helps you find the best Strategic Planning Software, along with hundreds of other categories, for your business. Compare product reviews and features to build your list. In the Strategic Planning category, you can easily scroll through the profiles of different companies that fit the bill. Remember the pain points we identified from Step 1? Use those as your top criteria and try to identify the software solution that fits your business needs.
Take things to the next level by comparing the different profiles that have caught your eye. Easily see the features they have, or don’t have, and easily see if there’s a free trial you can sign up for. You can also check out G2, Software Advice, and GetApp!
Step 3: Present the options to stakeholders
Now it’s decision time. You’ve come up with your top picks and you are ready to present them to the decision maker/s at your company. We recommend cutting down your list to your top three choices. Any more than that and it might become an overwhelming choice. Once you have your frontrunners, clearly list out their pros and cons. What makes them different? Why is one better than the other? What are potential gaps in the software? What is the trade-off? And most importantly, how much is it going to cost? Chances are your stakeholders are going to want to know what the estimated ROI on any purchase is going to be so make sure you’ve thought that through.
There are many great resources out there to make the software buying process easier. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and set up calls with the Sales Representatives at the prospective companies. If you’re not interested in speaking with a real live person, hello 21st century, use the tools listed above to do a full comparison all on your own. Sign up for as many free trials as possible and figure out what works best for you! Good luck with your search!