The Benefits Of Software Trials Before Procurement

Months ago we wrote about the different methods to finding a suitable software to procure. Today we’ll focus on just one of those methods: trials. We test drive cars and try on clothes because we want to actually experience a product before putting our dollars towards it. It only makes sense to, especially if the product is on the pricey side. Things are no different when it comes to software. Aside from research and reading reviews online, what better way to learn if you like certain software than actually using it first hand? More and more software these days are completely web-based and available for a trial. A trial allows users to use the service for free and for a limited period of time. It’s particularly beneficial to potential clients for many reasons.

First-hand Experience

Choosing software can be overwhelming. There is such a large variety of software available that it’s hard to know where to start. Besides using methods where the software company controls what you know about it (salesperson, ads, the website), using a software trial will provide first-hand access to get familiar with its features, experience its convenience, and even the help desk of the software company. Trial users don’t have to just take the salesperson’s word on how each aspect of the software works, or have to learn about it’s potential through boring brochures. They discover for themselves if they like it by actually using it. It’s a way to let users see the value of the software first-hand and gain the trust of the software organization as well.

Things to test on a license management software free trial:

  • Email templates and emailing members and coworkers.
  • Creating and filling out applications.
  • Importing contacts and populating the system’s database (mock data can be provided by some software companies to let you play around without using real people’s information).
  • Exporting data.
  • Communicating tasks with coworkers.
  • Creating groups and organizing a project with them.
  • Set a goal to complete within the time frame of the trial.
  • Email and call the help desk.

With a trial, the user can use potential scenarios, whether positive, negative, or unique, and see if they have a solution using the software. The purpose of procuring software is for the organization to solve a challenge they are currently having. Speaking of challenges, they can ask the help desk or sales department specific questions regarding how the software can solve the organization’s problem or issues. After the trial, users can also ask more valuable questions to the software representatives such as, “how do I access documents that I have archived?” or “how can I view comments on applications?”  All in all, a trial leaves the user more knowledgeable than if they just asked questions without experience.

No Commitment

There is no losing for trial users because, like mentioned earlier, it’s usually free and the time period is usually long enough (usually 14-30 days) for the user to try everything the software has to offer. If they feel they don’t like it before the time period ends, they can end the trial and move on to the next software they’re interested in procuring.

A Whole New World

There’s also the possibility that you don’t want to procure software without a trial because you don’t want to risk losing money, and you’re okay with the current software you’re already using that is “good enough.” A free trial shows users a new way to do something without them losing anything. It gives users a reason to try something out and hopefully it’s better than what they are currently using. Have you ever used a free trial for something fun, such as a video game, and ended up liking it? That can be the case for license management software!

Feedback

Without a trial, a program would just be explained and demonstrated to some important staff members, whereas with a free trial, you can let multiple people in your organization try out the software  Your organization can start a test group (with members from different areas of the organization), and they can test all of its various aspects. This way, when the trial is over, the test group can give their particular perspectives on the software, its ability to meet differing and specific purposes, and whether to procure it or move on.

Software Procurement

Trials are great because the software company is basically letting its software sell itself. There’s less pressure to the user, who also has more freedom to try what he or she wants to. Prior to choosing a trial, narrowing down suitable license management or association management software can be done with a software procurement checklist. Such checklist lets you compare the features and abilities each software has to offer in one place. With this checklist, you can see which software you want to try, if it offers a free trial. It also saves you time by letting you eliminate software that are missing desired features before you waste time using its trial.

To use our software procurement checklist, which can be used to compare any license management or association management software, click on the image below!

alinity-procurement-checklist-image