So this is mainly for fun but with a serious(ish) message. The next time you have a software demonstration from a supplier or set of suppliers, listen to their spiels and see how many of the following phrases they say which you can tick-off in each presentation...
|We offer the best support in the sector||Our system provides a 360 degree view||We want to be a partner with you|
|This is a Game Changer||You must be in the Cloud||Our system is completely Future-Proofed|
|We’re specialists in sorting out other suppliers' problems||You don’t need any documentation||(We do) Agile...|
|You should never buy… (e.g.) a CRM Platform/proprietary fundraising software…|
|X isn’t difficult (e.g. data migration, integration, reconciliation with your finance system, security)|
Of course, some suppliers may say some of the above things and genuinely mean them. Some companies of course implement CRM systems using an Agile project methodology and may well do it well (I'm just sceptical of what exactly they mean by that or if it is just a buzzword they are using); some will truly believe that Cloud is best (for them at least); and some may well have sorted out another supplier's "problems" at another charity - but by the time you've met a few, each one of them will be claiming they have sorted out another's problems...
My point here is not to ridicule suppliers, but to emphasise that they are, understandably, selling to you. You need to ask questions, dig down into specifics, request examples, ask them to show you specific elements of their software, talk to their implementation and support staff, have second meetings and so on and so on.
And always take with a pinch of salt any company that says their software is completely future-proofed.