We believe training administration software like Administrate can be an amazing and powerful thing to help you manage your training, but it's always best to methodically evaluate any new software in the context of your own needs.
Use this guide to get the most out of your free trial of the Administrate training administration solution, and make sure you let us know how you get on!
1. Identify The Problems You're Trying To Solve
The first step in selecting, buying, and implementing a new software system is to make sure you know what problems you're trying to solve with the new product. Perhaps you already have a system that's not working very well, or you don't have a system and need one - in either case make sure you develop a list (written is best) of issues you need solved.
These can be as high level as "no more paper" or as low level as you need, but they should be defined and well understood. One tip for this process - try to avoid fixating on features, and instead focus on problems.
- Feature Request: Our new training administration system must have Twitter and Facebook integration!
- Problem Statement: We need a way to cheaply and automatically publicise our training sessions.
This example could lead to confusion during the evaluation process, as we may tick the box on some definition of Twitter and Facebook integration, but that may not actually solve your real problem of better publicising your training sessions!
By keeping your focus on the problems you want to solve, we may be able to show you more elegant solutions that you may not have originally considered.
2. Obtain Authority and Budget Some Time
This may seem like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised how often people start evaluating software without having the authority to make a final decision. You'll want to make sure you have the authority you need to actually need so you don't waste time and set yourself up to fail.
Make sure you set aside sufficient time to dedicate to the evaluation process - it can often take a few hours to setup and engage with even the simplest software. We recommend having a couple of undisturbed hours set aside to explore Administrate for starters, with more time to drill down as you hone in on your requirements.
3. Get a Free Trial
Signing up for a free trial of Administrate is easy - it just requires an email address and some contact information! You should have your trial access emailed to you within a few minutes, and you don't have to have a conversation with us or sit through a demo prior to getting started (but you of course can if you want!). If you need more time during an evaluation, just get in touch with us, we're happy to help.
4. Make Sure You Remember These 5 Resources
Here's a list of things you should make sure you have close at hand once you start the evaluation process:
- Links to our online support and how-to guides.
- How to submit a support ticket in case you run into any problems or have questions.
- How to check if there are service interruptions.
- Ask us for a few references to customers similar to yourself that you can call for the unvarnished truth.
- Subscribe to our blog for updates and general news.
5. Draw Up a List of Questions
While you're going through the evaluation process, it can be useful to draw up a list of questions that you'd like to ask. Batching up the questions as you go along can often be a lot more efficient, and if you're part of a team evaluating the software, you can often help each other figure things out. Sending your list of questions to any sales personnel that might be involved will also make your demonstrations and calls more efficient and focused.
Here are some common questions our customers ask:
- Questions regarding pricing, product mix, or which edition is best for you.
- How we integrate with an existing systems, like a Learning Management System (LMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, or Finance System.
- How we can help customers accept online bookings or integrate with their website.
6. Engage Our Sales Team
Most Business to Business (B2B) software will have a dedicated sales force to help you make your decision. Many people don't like engaging a sales resource, but we make every effort to make this process painless, helpful, transparent, and worthwhile! Try engaging one of our sales personnel and send them your problem statements and questions in advance to make sure you're getting what you need out of the interactions. Make them work for you!
Did you know that you can book a personal phone consultation with our sales team in just a couple of clicks?
7. Draw Up a List of Pros and Cons
You may be evaluating several systems at once, or may just be looking at one system, but you need to make sure you draw up a list of pros and cons to aid you in your decision making. We recommend sharing this list to the sales person you're taking to for a few reasons:
- It can prevent mistakes or misconceptions - maybe a con isn't actually a con!
- Even if you decide to not go with Administrate, in the future we may address your issues, and we can let you know when this happens.
- Your feedback can help us steer the evolution of our product.
- Most of all, it's helpful to get a clear description
We really appreciate your honest and direct feedback!
These steps should help you have a smooth, stress free evaluation of any new software you plan to buy and bring into your organisation. Good luck!