5 non-technical questions to ask before buying new membership management software

Consider these five questions to help streamline the software-buying process and get the technology you need to move your organization forward.

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When searching for new membership management software for your association or labor union, you might focus on the technology itself. For example, you might look at functionality, data security, scalability, configurability, performance, integration options, and other IT checklist items  

These are all critical considerations. However, it’s also important to consider non-technical aspects of new software – before your software evaluation is even underway.  

Taking a step back to think about these non-technical considerations can help you better articulate your organization’s decision-making steps, which will help streamline the software-buying process. After all, the last thing you want is to find new membership management software that seems to be a perfect fit for your organization only to have the project grind to a halt as you sort through your internal review and approval process.    

Let’s look at five questions to ask that will help you simplify the process of getting the new software your membership-based organization needs:  

1. What steps will our organization take to make the software buying decision?

You might be looking at buying new software from a very practical standpoint. For example, you might find that your current membership management software isn’t keeping up with your organization’s complex membership processes. So, buying software seems like a must-do.

But most large organizations like yours require multiple decision and approval steps for large purchases, which you must get through even if you’re convinced it’s time for new software. Before you start evaluating new software and watching product demos, make sure you know what steps you’ll need to take to get approval for the new software.

2. Who will make decisions in each step of the process?

It’s also helpful to know who is involved in each step of the software purchase decision. Be sure to let each of these decision-making stakeholders know:  

  • That this project is underway
  • Why your organization is looking for new software (in other words, what challenges are you trying to solve, and what goals are you trying to support with new software?)
  • That they will soon be asked to make approvals for the software purchase

3. What’s most important to each decision-maker?

More than likely, each decision-maker in your organization’s purchase approval process has unique motivations and perspectives. For example, some might be more concerned about what the software will help the organization accomplish. Others might be more concerned about how the software will fit into the organization’s overall mix of technology. Still others might be more concerned about how much the software will cost today and in the long term.

Make sure you understand why each person is involved in the decision-making process, and try to gather as much information as possible to address any questions, concerns, or objections they might have as they make their decision to approve the software purchase. Also, let your software vendor know about what’s important to each of the decision makers so they can help you gather the information you need to make the decision process proceed more smoothly.

4. What is our organization’s timeline? 

Be sure to establish a clear timeline for your new software purchase. The timeline should take multiple factors into account, including:

  • The time needed for each decision in your organization’s buying process
  • Steps needed to prepare your organization for migration to the new membership management software
  • Any major organization-wide projects or events that might slow down the overall process
  • Time needed for change management throughout the entire technology project – from the software selection and purchase decision to the implementation process and staff training on the new software


5. How will we fund the project?

Budget is always a consideration for any major purchase. Make sure you talk with all stakeholders in your organization who make budget decisions to understand how the project will be funded. If needed, help them to understand the costs and opportunities involved in not moving to a new system, such as:

  • How much staff time your organization wastes due to inefficiencies – Make sure they know that modern membership software can help you streamline and automate manual processes so your staff can focus on higher-value work.
  • If you’re juggling multiple systems, such as marketing, event management, and accounting – Let everyone know that moving to a single, comprehensive platform can save time and hassle while helping your organization to work more effectively.
  • The potential cost if some of your membership base leaves due to a poor member experience – Make sure everyone understands that the right membership software can help you provide a modern, convenient member experience.
  • The potential revenue your organization might be missing out on because you don’t have the data visibility needed to find new opportunities – Help everyone understand that the right membership software can give your organization insights that help you uncover opportunities for growth and make more informed business decisions. 


Learn more. 

Now that you have the questions you need to move forward with your software search, it’s time to find software that’s up to the task of managing your complex and evolving membership processes. 

Aptify is membership management software built to help large membership-based organizations like yours to organize, engage, and support members. It’s a powerful, configurable, and flexible membership management platform that fits the way your organization works today and grows with you as your organization evolves to meet the needs of the next generations.    

Learn more about why Aptify is an ideal software solution for large, complex membership-based organizations like yours: Request a demo

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