So, like death and taxes one thing is inevitable, someone will ask which tool is best for whatever. The problem is no one can really answer that question but the person asking it. The right question is “Which tools do you think are the best that I should demo”. The reality is no one can tell you which is best, but you. No one else knows what you look for, were you look for it, and why. Perhaps most importantly no one can tell you which tool works best for and with you. So, lets stop asking which is best but instead ask which should I Demo.
Now while demoing these tools there are things you should take into account, in no specific order:
What it can do?
Where it can work?
What it can find?
What does it work with?
What is the rode map?
Where do they get there data?
Where is the dev team?
Were did they get their funding?
What is the cost and what is the ROI?
What can it do> Is a simple question to help you understand the overall high level capabilities of the tool, such as search, manage, JD, export, import, etc etc.
Where it can work? This goes to operating system, browser, mobile etc. This also goes to location, for example does the tool only work for the US or does it work worldwide. Also industry and position. Not all tools work for all industries and all positions.
What it can find? This is close to what it can do, except it goes to the nuts and bolts, does it just find: links, emails, phone numbers, etc etc. How much info can it find you?
What does it work with, this goes to things like Linkedin, Facebook etc etc
What is the rode map? This is about were the tool is going in the future and can give you incite as to the direction they plan on taking it, any new addons, etc. Now if they don’t want to provide it that is a huge red flag.
Where are they getting their data? Simple question going to exactly how it sounds, where are they getting their data, how good is it? How many different sources do they have? Etc.
Where is the Development team? This is important. If the dev team is off shore then it could take longer to get things done. Also, where is the dev team? I would be concerned if they said the dev team is in Russia or North Korea or China or Iraq or Iran or Turkey, or was unwilling to tell you as those countries are enemies of the US and in some cases have been caught using technology to spy or corrupt US functions.
Where did they get their funding? This is related to the above question, as I would be very very concerned if they got their funding from Russia, North Korea, China, Iraq, Iran or Turkey or if they were unwilling to tell you or lied about it. Same reason as above can you really trust it or them.
What is the cost and the ROI? This one is perhaps the most important question and thing to figure out. The cost is what they can tell you. The ROI is what you need to figure out, don’t let them tell you. Try to get a trial and keep track of the results, time it saved etc. For example; it the cost of the tool is $500 a month or 6k per year, and you use it 5 times a day and it saves you 2 hour of work per day at 100 per hour, this means you saved $200 per day. Multiply that by 5 working days a week and that is $1000 the tool saved you in 1 week. Then multiply by 4 for 4 weeks a month and that is $4000 per month. So, if the tool costs $500 per month, you then subtract the cost of the tool from the savings and you get $3500. In this case the ROI for the tool warrants getting it.
Well that is about it, keep in mind this is a over view and generalization. Some tools may require more specific question some less. However, these are the biggies.