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How to Make the Most of a Software Demo for your RIA

Use a Software Score Sheet

In my last blog post, I talked how to effectively evaluate the need for a new software at your RIA, and the benefits of a self-assessment survey. Once you have a clear understanding of the problems you are trying solve with a new technology, then you’re ready to start scheduling demos.

Demos can take up a lot of your precious time, so it’s in your best interest to make the most of them. As I previously mentioned, giving the service provider the responses to your self-assessment survey is a great way to get your demo started off right, but there is one more thing you can do to make the most of your software demo: use a software score sheet.

How to Effectively Use the Software Score Sheet

The software score sheet is a powerful tool that allows your RIA to:

  1. Evaluate a software based on your RIAs unique needs.
  2. Ensure that your team actively participates in the demo, keeping everyone focused and engaged.
  3. Capture immediate feedback from your team while the info is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
  4. Identify areas for further investigation and determine next steps.

But in order to reap these great benefits, you’ve got to make sure to effectively use the software score sheet before, during and after the demo. Here’s what I recommend:

Before the Demo

Create a score sheet that lists the features and capabilities that are most important to your RIA. The answers on your completed self-assessment survey should help you create this list. The goal is to list all of the desired features and capabilities in one column, and leave a blank column next to it for scoring purposes.

To show you what I mean, I’ve created a sample score sheet for evaluating document management software.

Download Sample Score Sheet

Be sure to use the same scoring parameters for each vendor for a fair comparison.

During the Demo

Give each participant a copy of the score sheet and ask them to fill it out during the demo. Actively critiquing the software will keep participants engaged and discourage them from tuning out. Plus, you get their feedback immediately following the demo so you can make faster decisions about moving forward.

I suggest using a simple scoring method:

  • Mark a “+” when you believe the solution meets the requirement or need.
  • Mark a “Δ” when you are unsure if it meets the need or not, or if you have a question.
  • Mark a “–” when you believe the solution does not meet the need.
  • Give the solution an overall rating on a scale of 1-10.
After the Demo

Schedule a follow-up meeting with your team immediately after each demo. It doesn’t have to be very long, 10-15 minutes tops, but this way you can review the score sheets and gather feedback while the presentation is still fresh in everyone’s minds.

Think of the demos like an Olympic event – the score needs to be calculated immediately for the most accurate results. If you wait until later to review as a group, you run the risk of mixing up multiple vendors or forgetting important info.

Watch the Recorded Webinar

Did you know we have an entire 30-minute webinar dedicated to this subject? You can watch it for free!

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Jo Day

Jo Day

Jo loves learning about interesting problems and how people are solving them. Jo is well known for connecting people and ideas and is a great catalyst (moo!) to change. Where some people see the world through rose colored glasses, Jo sees the world through processes. When Jo isn't hanging out with her family, Jo's favorite hobbies are being anywhere outdoors and coming up with new business ideas – just for fun!