An expression worth repeating, “An outsider’s point of view is always handy”, and that’s what I’m hoping to convey here. My name is Jon, and I joined the Alta Vista Technology family just over 8 months ago. I entered the SAAS software industry from a sales background in commercial & residential construction. A big leap in a different direction, a different pace, in a different setting, with a new set of eyes and an open perspective. I have learned a lot the past few months, and I am shocked to realize two different trends in accounting software sales that seem to always be problematic for customers.
Putting Time Back In
The first thing I noticed is how little effort, time, and research some businesses are willing to invest when evaluating new software. From an outsider’s perspective it’s scary to comprehend that this migration could potentially affect your career, your employees, business as a whole. It’s critical not to rush this process. It’s recommended you spend at least 2-3 months evaluating your software options and the parties involved because the success of your project depends on it. You can start by gathering a list of requirements from each department involved in the process, assemble a timeline, assign responsibility internally, and most importantly stay focused on the task at hand.
Manage Your Budget
The second trend was a surprise. Some companies are willing to invest very little back into technology. With my prior work experience in construction sales, most of my clientele were top level executives and the difference between their company budgets and home improvement budgets was staggering. It’s crazy to think a year ago I was selling $50,000 decks that cost more than the average software implementation, and yet companies are still focused on the budget over performance and functionality. I have always assumed that giving your employees and business the right competitive edge would yield growth and higher profits.
Now this isn’t to say cost is not a major factor, but your decision shouldn’t be driven solely by budget alone. It’s important to consider how a new system will improve your performance, and how choosing the right implementation partner to get the most out of your company’s investment. Accounting software is an investment, and just like any other investment, it’s crucial to plan ahead. If the company is experiencing a lot of growth, then it’s important to invest a little more. Even if it takes more time, making the right selection is crucial. A good rule that was passed down to me from my leaders is that companies should be reinvesting on average, 8-12% of yearly revenue back into software & technology.
I am sure I’ll learn much more about accounting software sales as I grow with the Alta Vista family, but my suggestion to businesses looking to make that critical change is to do your research, give yourself enough time, and factor in the appropriate budget to achieve a successful migration to the software that will lead your company to a brighter future.