Recently, I started writing a new post about some of our best features which we think are underutilized by our customers. As I thought about several customers, knowing what I know about their business, I had a “Wow!” moment. These folks have no clue that VanillaSoft has these features baked in. With this new knowledge, and a desire to see how much I know about the platforms which I use everyday, I put myself to the test. Yep – you guessed it. I was clueless about many of the great features in some of the software platforms I use. Some were not too exciting, while many were not only exciting, they were time savers and money makers.

Today, most of us use SaaS platforms just like VanillaSoft. We log in, go about our business and use the features that we know best. The greatest power of SaaS (software as a service) is that most providers have an aggressive release schedule, meaning new features become available much faster than the old days of boxed software or enterprise software. That is the good news. The challenge is keeping up with the releases, learning about the new features and determining which ones can have a positive impact on your sales. Here are five things you can do to stay up to date with your provider and ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.

1)      Do a quarterly check-up call with your rep. Remind them of your business process and ask them to share with you what features you may be missing.

2)      Visit their main web site and see what they are promoting. Usually, all of the buzz will be around the latest and the greatest.

3)      Visit their social media sites and see what they or others are talking about.  Sometimes what corporate marketing is talking about differs greatly from what actual users think is cool and productive.

4)      Don’t be afraid to click around. Log in, be bold and drill down to new areas that you have not visited before. Set up a small test project and select new features to see how they perform. The chances are, you will find some winners.

5)      Take the lead and make recommendations to the platform provider. There is a good chance that if you want a feature, others want it as well. Today, great software is driven by customer input and market-pull vs. development-push.  Speak up and be heard.