Get Your Priorities Straight!

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Always be testing. Test, test, test. Never stop testing. No matter which way you put it, this should be your mantra. In the world of business software, your website is never complete.get priorities straight

In Capterra’s daily talks with software vendors, we always give suggestions for tests or changes to improve lead conversion rates. Despite the enthusiasm at the other end of the line, too often those changes never happen. Sometimes the problem is a company’s designer (or lack thereof). But what if you have an amazing designer? In that case, the problem is usually prioritization.

Every company handles prioritization in their own way (and some don’t seem to handle it at all). My hope is that sharing our process will spur ideas to help you figure out ways to get more done. Here’s how we get our priorities straight:

Bigger Projects
Capterra prioritizes projects on a quarterly basis. Business goals are determined at the beginning of the year, and projects should fall in line with those goals.

We have a product roadmap, which is edited every year, and reviewed on a quarterly basis, to make sure that a) we’re keeping up and b) that nothing on the roadmap needs to change. Setting our sites on an end destination and making sure the things we are working on will lead us down the right path. If, for example, the goal is to drive more buyers to our website, a major revamp of the vendor portal may not be in the cards (or at least it shouldn’t be).

Smaller Projects
Most of our projects fall into this group. These are things like one-off enhancements to our back end tools or designing and launching a landing page.  We have an even smaller bucket of projects that we call “requests” – adding a press release to the newsroom, creating new user logins or pulling internal reports.  Then, there’s the “bugs” category which includes fixing broken links or figuring out why a user is getting an error message. The way we decide what’s next is usually based on two criteria: amount of work required and urgency. A press release about something happening today certainly can’t go up on the website next month. We complete urgent projects as needed, and fit the less urgent ones into the “down time” of bigger projects. When other teams are reviewing a new page design or going back and forth about text, there’s usually time for a few of these smaller items.

Testing
As you know, this should be constant. And the only way to make that happen is to make testing a part of our weekly routine. Most of our tests are A/B, so they run for a few days and we’re able to quickly make a decision on what worked best. We have an ongoing list of things we want to test (buttons, calls to action, landing page text, etc.), and schedule one a week. They’re usually relatively quick to set up and can make a huge difference in conversion rates.

How do you prioritize projects at your company? Any tips to make sure ideas down fall by the wayside?

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About the Author

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Besa Pinchotti

Besa Pinchotti is Marketing Director at Capterra. By day, she helps connect buyers and sellers of business software. By night, she uses her skills as a former journalist to tell the stories of troubled software buyers so the world can learn from their lessons.

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