Top 54 Social Marketing Software

2022's Best 54 Social Marketing Systems

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1. Zoho Social

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $10 per month
  • Mar 11, 2022
Compare Zoho Social Vs. Zoho Social

Zoho Social is a social marketing software designed to help companies manage and promote their brands on the internet.


2. Amplifr

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $26 per user/month
  • Mar 13, 2022
Compare Amplifr Vs. Zoho Social

Amplifr is a fast growing cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Amplifr received a rating of 3.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.4/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


3. Marketing 360

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $395 per month
  • Mar 20, 2022
Compare Marketing 360 Vs. Zoho Social

Marketing 360 is a cloud-based digital marketing solution that is designed for use by individuals as well as businesses. The solution can be used in businesses, which are medium in size, as well as small-sized businesses.


4. Simply Measured

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $89 per user/month
  • Mar 04, 2022
Compare Simply Measured Vs. Zoho Social

Simply Measured is a social media analytics solution that can help users to keep track of all their social activities. The solution can give users in-depth measurement across their earned, paid and owned social media. Simply Measured was founded back in 2010, is headquartered in Seattle, WA and ...


5. Buffer

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $5 per month
  • Apr 13, 2022
Compare Buffer Vs. Zoho Social

Buffer is a social media tool that can simplify the process of publishing posts on social media. Users can quickly share contents on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter from their mobile phone or PC. The software comes with some great features to help you take your social media management to a new height...


6. AgoraPulse

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $79 per month
  • May 14, 2022
Compare AgoraPulse Vs. Zoho Social

Agorapulse is a cloud based social media marketing and CRM solutions designed to offers social influencer management, profile management, and social media analytics in a suite. Enjoy that fresh, clean inbox zero feeling. No more logging in and out, over and over again. Easily switch between all ...


7. SocialPilot

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $29.75 per user/month
  • May 14, 2022
Compare SocialPilot Vs. Zoho Social

SocialPilot is a social media scheduling, marketing and analytics tool helping social media professionals and digital marketers making their social effortless. SocialPilot supports nine social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google My Business, VK, Tumblr and ...


8. BuzzSumo

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per 5 users/month
  • Jun 19, 2022
Compare BuzzSumo Vs. Zoho Social

BuzzSumo is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. BuzzSumo received a rating of 4.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


9. quintly

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $345 per month
  • Jun 25, 2022
Compare quintly Vs. Zoho Social

Quintly is a web based social media analytics solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as customer targeting, conversion tracking, visitor tracking, and others. The software was designed and launched by Quintly GmbH headquartered in Germany.


10. SocialOomph

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $55 per month
  • Jul 05, 2022
Compare SocialOomph Vs. Zoho Social

Boost your social media productivity! Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages, and groups), LinkedIn (profiles, groups, and company pages), RSS feeds, blogs, Plurk, and App.net! Easily schedule updates, find quality people to follow, and monitor social media activity! Join hundreds of thousands of satisf...


Pricing Guide - Social Marketing Software:

Marketing Software Price Ranges

Marketing software products have different pricing based on their focus features and the target audience. However, companies looking for a marketing software can expect to pay between the range of $30 to $100 per user, per month. This price range covers the basic offering of most vendors; hence, premium or enterprise offerings will be significantly higher. For instance, HubSpot Marketing Automation pricing starts from $50 per user monthly, SendinBlue from $25 per user monthly, while Pardot pricing sits around $1,200—although with more robust features and more user accounts.

The prices for marketing software also depend on the size of businesses. The price ranges for each business size are as follows:

  • Small Businesses can expect to pay between $15 to $25 for a marketing software, plus some vendors make their low-end offerings free for tiny business sizes. For example, CleverTap, Moosend, and Bigmailer all have packages that are free for small businesses. Meanwhile, some premium marketing software for small businesses are ActiveCampaign, which starts from $15 per user per month, Campaigner from $19, and Remarkety pricing starts from $25 upwards.
  • Medium Businesses can expect an average price of $50 for a marketing software. Most marketing software offerings for medium businesses sit around this price range, although some other products can be as high as $150 per user per month. For example, FreshMarket, Integrated Marketing Portal, and SalesNexus CRM & Automation cost around $50 each— all on a per user, per month basis. Meanwhile, Bazo and GreenRope cost $70 and $150, respectively.
  • Large Businesses can expect to pay prices which range from $400 to $1,500 per month for marketing software, although many of the packages include 2 or more user accounts. Adding more users cost more, depending on the business’ size. For instance, Act-On pricing starts from 900 per month, Maropost costs from $500 monthly upward, and Pardot costs around $1,200 monthly.

Marketing software best of breeds and their respective price ranges are as follows:

  • Campaign Management Software The prices for most campaign management software in the market are set based on a per month basis, although there are others with yearly billings. However, businesses can expect to pay between the ranges of $10 to $50, $50 to $150, and $150 upwards monthly for a campaign management software. The prices are subjective to factors such as the number of user accounts, number of contacts, etc. For example, Asana costs around $11 per user monthly, PinPointe $42 per month, and Campaign Influence Analyzer $6,500 yearly for unlimited users and a number of other features.
  • Brand Management Software Most Brand management software pricing comes in various volatile pricing patterns; hence, some can be bought perpetually, while others are priced on a yearly or monthly basis. Given this, companies can expect prices that fall between $500 to $3,000 for marketing software billed per month and between $5,000 to $40,000 for ones billed yearly. For example, AssetBank pricing starts from around $550 per month, BEAM costs up to about 2,500 per month, and Wedia pricing sits around $12,000 per year.
  • Content Marketing Software Content marketing software pricing usually falls between $10 to $50, depending on the tier or level of offering of each product. The prices are set on a per user, per month basis. For instance, AirTable pricing starts from $12 per user monthly, DropTrack costs from $19 per user monthly, while Topic pricing starts from $49 per user per month.
  • Marketing Analytics Software For marketing analysis software, users can expect to pay prices that range from $10 to $50 monthly for low-end offerings. On the other hand, standard or premium fall between $200 to $800 per month. For example, AgencyAnalytics pricing is priced at $49 per month, ClickData costs about $25 per month, and Singular pricing falls around $750 monthly.
  • Marketing Research Software This is divided into tiers, with some considered standard and others premium. Businesses can expect prices that range from $15 to $50 on a per month basis for standard offerings on marketing research software. Premium offerings cost between $200 to $700, depending on the robustness of the product’s features. For example, TypeForm costs $35 per month, Survio costs $29 monthly, and CYS pricing is around $290 monthly. There are also yearly pricing; for example, CheckMarket costs $1,000 per year, and Nifield pricing is at $2,000 per year.

11. Socialbakers

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $200 per month
  • Jul 16, 2022
Compare Socialbakers Vs. Zoho Social

Socialbakers is a social media marketing solution that can help users to monitor their brand’s performance on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Users can analyze their and their competitor’s performance on social media and create effective social media campaigns accordingly. Socialbakers has been p...


12. Tapinfluence

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,999 per user/month
  • Jul 29, 2022
Compare Tapinfluence Vs. Zoho Social

Tapinfluence is a trending cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Tapinfluence received a rating of 4.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (2.8/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


13. Sendible

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $29 per month
  • Aug 24, 2022
Compare Sendible Vs. Zoho Social

Sendible is a fast growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Sendible received a rating of 4.3 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.5/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


14. Driftrock

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $89 per month
  • Aug 24, 2022
Compare Driftrock Vs. Zoho Social

Driftrock is a fast growing cloud-based CRM software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Driftrock received a rating of 3.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.5/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


15. Iconosquare

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $49 per month
  • Jul 29, 2022
Compare Iconosquare Vs. Zoho Social

Iconosquare is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Iconosquare received a rating of 4.3 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.2/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


16. Rival IQ

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $239 per month
  • Aug 06, 2022
Compare Rival IQ Vs. Zoho Social

Rival IQ is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Rival IQ received a rating of 5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.3/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


17. Qwaya

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $149 per user/month
  • Aug 03, 2022
Compare Qwaya Vs. Zoho Social

Qwaya is a facebook ad manager and online marketing tool for small and medium businesses. It offers campaign optimization, productivity management, campaign scheduling, third party integration, and other services. The software was designed and launched by Qwaya headquartered in Stockholm...


18. Kenshoo

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Oct 19, 2022
Compare Kenshoo Vs. Zoho Social

Kenshoo is a cloud-based social marketing, digital advertising, and PPC and web analytics solution designed for multiple industries. The solution core features include cross-channel intelligence, campaign management and keyword tracking and more.


19. Spotlyte

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $95 per month
  • Oct 19, 2022
Compare Spotlyte Vs. Zoho Social

Spotlyte is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Spotlyte received a rating of 4.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.4/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


20. MavSocial

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $78 per month
  • Oct 19, 2022
Compare MavSocial Vs. Zoho Social

MavSocial is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. MavSocial received a rating of 4.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.2/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


21. Talkwalker

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $9,600 per year
  • Feb 10, 2022
Compare Talkwalker Vs. Zoho Social

Talkwaker software is a cloud based social media analytics platform that is designed to allow the user to optimize their brand. Talkwalker is a marketing tool that helps you boost your brand reputation and also maintain your marketing campaigns.


22. Sniply

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $29 per month
  • Feb 15, 2022
Compare Sniply Vs. Zoho Social

Sniply is a cloud-based social media marketing solution designed to help the user add custom messages to any webpage they post. The solution helps drive conversion through content curation. Some of its core features include button snip, text snip, form snip, image snip, and hidden snip and more.


23. Loomly

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $26 per 2 users/month
  • Feb 18, 2022
Compare Loomly Vs. Zoho Social

Loomly is a cloud-based marketing software that is designed to provide marketing and branding solutions to individuals and companies. The software can be used to manage social media contents via organic content. Loomly schedules these social media content with a view to building a successful brand.


24. ThriveHive

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $99 per month
  • Mar 01, 2022
Compare ThriveHive Vs. Zoho Social

ThriveHive is a leading cloud-based Marketing Automation software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. ThriveHive received a rating of 3.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.4/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


25. Synthesio

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $1,200 per month
  • Feb 26, 2022
Compare Synthesio Vs. Zoho Social

Synthesio is a social media monitoring solution that can help users to learn what consumers are thinking about your brand and competitors across mainstream and social media. It can collect data from mainstream and social media and turn them into insights. Synthesio was founded back in 2006 with ...


26. ContentDJ

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $249 per month
  • Mar 25, 2022
Compare ContentDJ Vs. Zoho Social

ContentDJ is a growing cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. ContentDJ received a rating of 4.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.8/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


27. Post Planner

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $5 per month
  • Mar 24, 2022
Compare Post Planner Vs. Zoho Social

Post Planner takes the pain out of Facebook marketing! — It gets your posts front-&-center in the news feed — consistently — even while you’re sleeping. The result is you save about 2 hours every day — and your business reaches 2x, 3x, even 5x as many customers! You will reach more people… effortles...


28. Sprout Social

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $39 per user/month
  • May 06, 2022
Compare Sprout Social Vs. Zoho Social

Sprout Socialis a social media management software that can help users to grow their social media presence. It can help users to find new customers and can ensure faster and smarter social communications with its collaborative environment. This software can help users to give replies to their custom...


29. Stackla

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • Mar 29, 2022
Compare Stackla Vs. Zoho Social

Stackla is a growing cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support medium and large size business. Stackla received a rating of 4.3 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.2/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


30. Outbrain

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $300 per month
  • Mar 28, 2022
Compare Outbrain Vs. Zoho Social

Outbrain Engage is a content discovery and monetization platform for businesses of all sizes. It helps in directing the web traffic to sections and content where it is needed the most, among other services. The software was designed and launched by Outbrain Inc headquartered in New York, United Stat...


31. Falcon.io

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $108 per seat/month
  • Mar 30, 2022
Compare Falcon.io Vs. Zoho Social

Falcon.io is a web-based tool delivering SaaS solution to any business across a wide array of the market sector. It provides a platform for customer experience management and social media marketing. It features tools used for social media publishing, engagement and listening, as well as efficient me...


32. Kontentino

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $53 per month
  • Mar 31, 2022
Compare Kontentino Vs. Zoho Social

Kontentino is a marketing software designed to help enterprises process their marketing and sales teams workflow. From the brand manager, creative director, to clients, this software creates a social chain that enterprises can harness to create and approve contents on social media platforms such as ...


33. Awario

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $24 per month
  • Apr 06, 2022
Compare Awario Vs. Zoho Social

Awario is a marketing software designed to help enterprises gain mentions from various web and social media pages. The software helps grow brand awareness by finding most talked-about keywords and then harnessing them to create text and media contents that can capture more leads.


34. GAIN

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per month
  • Apr 11, 2022
Compare GAIN Vs. Zoho Social

GAIN is a cloud-based marketing software that is designed to help companies and businesses automate all of their content marketing processes. It enables users to manage all of their clients in one place while also getting feedback.


35. Outbrain Amplify

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $20 per license
  • Apr 21, 2022
Compare Outbrain Amplify Vs. Zoho Social

Outbrain Amplify is a marketing software designed to help advertisers and marketers draw data-driven connections between actions and interests.


36. Pixlee

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $399 per month
  • Apr 20, 2022
Compare Pixlee Vs. Zoho Social

Pixlee is a trending cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Pixlee received a rating of 5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.8/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


37. Oktopost

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $200 per user/month
  • Apr 26, 2022
Compare Oktopost Vs. Zoho Social

Oktopost is a social media management and marketing solution that can help B2B marketers to manage their social media in an efficient way. Users can post their contents on various social networking websites, engage in conversations with others their and easily manage a large number of content distri...


38. DataXu

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Nov 07, 2022
Compare DataXu Vs. Zoho Social

DataXu software is a cloud-based marketing software solution built to help media and marketing professionals to enhance their advertising for more sales. The platform is a product of DataXu Company founded in 2009 in Boston with its headquarters based in Boston, MA, US. DataXu Company also establis...


39. Planogr.am

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $6 per user/month
  • Sep 25, 2019
Compare Planogr.am Vs. Zoho Social

Planogr.am is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Planogr.am received a rating of 4.7 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


40. ScheduGram

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $20 per user/month
  • Sep 10, 2019
Compare ScheduGram Vs. Zoho Social

ScheduGram is a fast growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. ScheduGram received a rating of 3.7 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.4/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


41. Cloud90

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $500 per month
  • Jul 21, 2022
Compare Cloud90 Vs. Zoho Social

Cloud90 is social media marketing software designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as custom targeting, keyword filtering, multiple accounts management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Cloud90 Inc headquartered in Ireland.


42. Dialogfeed

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $204.45 per month
  • Jul 21, 2022
Compare Dialogfeed Vs. Zoho Social

Social media aggregator & Social wall provider via widget to embed or API in JSON / XML


43. Hashtagio

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Sep 09, 2019
Compare Hashtagio Vs. Zoho Social

Hashtagio is a social media management solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as content customization and publishing, content distribution, and others. The software was designed and launched by Hashtagio headquartered in Toronto, Canada.


44. listening247

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $4,000 per user/month
  • Jul 21, 2022
Compare listening247 Vs. Zoho Social

listening247 is a web based social media management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as sentiment analysis, social media metrics, marketing campaign management, and others. The software was designed and launched by DigitalMR Ltd headquartered in the United Kingdom. ...


45. Cool Tabs

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $25 per user/month
  • Sep 14, 2019
Compare Cool Tabs Vs. Zoho Social

Cool Tabs is a fast growing cloud-based CRM software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Cool Tabs received a rating of 3.4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (2.9/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


46. Ubermetrics Delta

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $550 per month
  • Sep 06, 2019
Compare Ubermetrics Delta Vs. Zoho Social

Ubermetrics Delta is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Ubermetrics Delta received a rating of 3.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (2.7/5) when compared to other solutions in their categ...


47. Keywee

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Aug 14, 2019
Compare Keywee Vs. Zoho Social

Keywee is a trending cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Keywee received a rating of 4.2 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.2/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


48. SocialMadeSimple

  • Best for: Start up, Small business
  • Price: starts at $499 per feature/month
  • Jul 21, 2022
Compare SocialMadeSimple Vs. Zoho Social

SocialMadeSimple is a social media marketing solution for small and medium sized businesses. It offers such capabilities as unified inbox for multiple accounts, campaign management, content library, and others. The software was designed and launched by SocialMadeSimple headquartered in Mass...


49. Edgar

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $24.91 per month
  • Jul 25, 2022
Compare Edgar Vs. Zoho Social

Edgar is an award-winning cloud-based CRM software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Edgar received a rating of 4.1 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.2/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


50. Swift Social

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $9 per user/month
  • Aug 01, 2019
Compare Swift Social Vs. Zoho Social

Swift Social is a trending cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Swift Social received a rating of 3.2 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.4/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


51. Followerwonk

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $29 per user/month
  • Nov 03, 2019
Compare Followerwonk Vs. Zoho Social

Followerwonk is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Followerwonk received a rating of 3.4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (2.9/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


52. ArchiveSocial

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $199 per month
  • Aug 05, 2019
Compare ArchiveSocial Vs. Zoho Social

ArchiveSocial is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. ArchiveSocial received a rating of 5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.2/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


53. Easypromos

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $29 per month
  • Jun 07, 2022
Compare Easypromos Vs. Zoho Social

Easypromos is an online marketing tool that can help users to create contests and promotions on Facebook pages. The software strictly follows all the Facebook promotion guidelines and policies and can help users to ensure that none of the contests or promotions they design are not violating Facebook...


54. Rignite

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $28 per user/month
  • Apr 07, 2021
Compare Rignite Vs. Zoho Social

You want to grow your online business, and you know that social marketing can help. But how do you ensure your social media efforts actually deliver new customers and increase sales? Rignite makes it simple. One easy-to-use platform lets you run campaigns, manage engagement, and measure the impact o...



A Buyer's Guide to Business Software Solutions

How to Evaluate and Buy Business Software
 
If you’re somehow puzzled if this article is only for a specific size of business, no, it’s not. This is for you SMEs, MNEs and start-ups software buyers. Also, we’re not talking about a specific software solution here. Whether the software solution that you’re planning to buy is for Accounting, Business Intelligence, ERP, CRM, Help Desk, Maintenance Management or other types of application, one thing is for sure; with the help of this article, you will be able to know the right process in evaluating and buying a business software solution.
 
We’ve been into the software business for years and we’re seeing a lot of nitty-gritty things that often bring confusions and hesitations to many companies looking for better software solutions. Some companies can’t afford to let go their legacy systems while a few is encountering technological snags once the new system is in place. While this is the underlying truth behind software acquisition and implementation, what’s exciting about buying a business software solution is that there is a clear and obvious proof that thousands of companies and corporations today are happy with the benefits this technology is bringing into their respective businesses.  There is a significant increase in their revenue and the growth is on-going. And it’s easy to say; many from the Fortune 500 companies are making a lot of money because of their smartly-acquired business software.
 
So, let’s get straight to the point. What should you do in order to acquire that business software that could make your organization achieve its goals? The answer to this is pretty straightforward: evaluate and buy that right business software. Yes, that’s what you need to do and here’s the best manual from ITQlick.com that could certainly help you in doing that strategically.
 
Consider the Needs of Your Organization
Let’s assume that at this point, the entire management team agreed that you are ready to invest on a certain software application. The budget has been compromised and the key persons who will be involved in the acquisition process were already identified. Therefore, it’s time to approach things the project management way.
 
Define the Project
Every business software solution is categorized base on application type, features, deployment model, market size and pricing model. Remember that our objective here is to evaluate and buy a business software product that will fit into the size and present needs of your business. So what the project management team should try to deal with first is to define the real requirements of your business exactly base on the categories set by the software industry. Moreover, by doing this activity, you are already narrowing down your search for the right solution. Now, consider bringing this list of FAQs to the project management and aim to come up with clear-cut answers.
 
  1. What type of software is needed? Is it Integrated-Suite, Best-of-Breed or Industry-Specific? Ask your CEO’s main agenda and find the perfect match from these available options.
  2. What are the core and secondary features? Are you looking for basic, advanced or hi-end features? List down the specific features per category and allow the department managers and supervisors to give their insights on this list.
  3. How are you going to deploy the system? Would it be on-premise, cloud-based, hosted, or mobile-based? Weigh these options with the help of your CIO.
  4. Are you going for Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 vendors? Their offered solutions are base on the size of their target market - SMEs, MNEs or start-ups. Seek your CFO’s advice as it is important to match your financial capacity against the cost of the solution that the providers have for you.
  5. Are you willing to pay for the perpetuity software license or a subscription-based solution is way better? How many users are there and what would be their roles in using the system? Solicit feedbacks from future end users for they know better what challenges and risks might possibly come along their way when they’re using the system.
 
Finalize the BOM or List of Requirements
After providing definite answers on the above questions, we can say that the project has already been defined. Your procurement team is now ready to do their role in the acquisition process of this solution. However, in order for them to execute their job properly, they must have the complete list of requirements - features, specifications, hardware, and the software product. In other words, the Bill-of-Materials (BOM) that is final, complete and well-prepared must be handed over to the procurement director. Needless to say, it is very important that everybody is following the company purchasing and procurement protocols at all times.  
 
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP process will bring everything into formality. Since you’re more likely in a line of business that doesn’t regularly buy software products, it is of critical importance that your RFP is well-structured before you send it to your prospect solution providers.
 
Draft the RFP
An RFP that contains all the relevant information as discussed during the project management meetings will enable the providers to return back to you their proposal that is complete and substantial. Therefore, your RFP should basically contain the following:
 
Brief Introduction
  • Company Name
  • Mission and Goals
  • Purpose of the RFP (or the need for software solution)
Business Background
  • Organizational Structure
  • Current Situation (IT infrastructure, system currently in-use, system issues and desired solutions, etc.)
  • Major Objectives of the Software Purchase
Request for Specific Requirements
  • Solution Functionality
  • System Specifications
  • Vendor Company Information
  • Price Model, Service Plans, Package Options
Other Important Inquiries (if necessary)
 
Send the RFP
Well-structured RFP will bring a lot of advantages especially when the proposals from various providers are received and then subjected for review and analysis. Send your RFP to at least three to five providers (or prospects which you have already shortlisted during the project definition phase). Depending on the complexity of the solution, most vendors will send their proposal in a matter of time, which could be around 4 to 6 weeks for Integrated-Suite solution.
 
Why still send RFP?
Is there really a need for RFP if your preferred solution (like cloud-based) and the service plans or packages are already displayed on the vendor’s website? Well, yes, you still need to undergo the RFP process. For most sales people, they certainly know that those figures appearing in the vendor’s website are usually the “list price” and not the “actual price”. More importantly, the vendor’s proposal (response to RFP) will serve as your main basis for the negotiation. Therefore, sending an RFP is a strict requirement.
 
Follow up questions relevant to RFP
More often than not, questions and concerns will be raised by the vendors to whom you send the RFP. You have to entertain them with utmost professionalism. Solution providers who are seeking further clarifications relevant to the RFP are consisting of professional software experts who wants to help your organization as much as they can. Entertain them but at the same time, always be cautious when providing additional information which you know is confidential or proprietary.
 
Evaluate the Proposals
Always refer to your finalized BOM when tabulating the contents of each proposal. Part of this process is to check the features that are available from this certain vendor and to cross out those that are not. While using spreadsheet aids the tabulation process, laying down the document proposals on the table and allowing your project management team to review them one by one should always be conducted. Evaluating the proposals in full force can help strengthen your decision-making process. Have another round of brain-storming session and come with the name of your preferred solution provider.
 
When selecting the final vendor, always promote the best interest of your organization. Consider answering these questions with full sincerity.
 
  1. Which vendor can provide the long-term benefits to your organization?
  2. Which vendor can provide the best and honest service from acquisition to full implementation?
  3. Which vendor is willing to devote most of its time in better serving its client?
 
Contact this solution provider and in your own strategic approach, try to get the answers to those three important questions above. In most cases, vendor who really wants to prove its craft will offer product demos on a higher level. Others will even invite you to check their already deployed and working systems. Feel free to connect with this type of vendor. Conduct simulation and testing, be it a cloud-based or on-premise solution. Examine all aspects and angles especially those that your project management team want to really know in-depth. For as long as it could help you arrive at a better decision, consider doing all the options available – for the interest of the organization.
 
Enter the Negotiation Process
Most solutions providers can be flexible in terms of pricing. Although the final say is oftentimes on the mouth of the sales person from the vendor’s side, a good negotiation process can always deliver a win-win situation to both parties involve. While negotiation sometimes cannot be settled in one sitting session, always be honest with your intentions whenever negotiating with your provider. If it’s about your budget, justify it with clarity. If it’s about their service plans, tell them what’s lacking or missing on their solution. At the end of the day, the most important event that should happen is that both of you are shaking hands because of a well done negotiation process.
 
Seal the Contract
So what are you going to do on a contract that involves a significant amount of investment? There are three project management approaches for this.
 
  1. Pass the ball to you legal team. They know what to do and more or less they will tell you if there is something wrong with the contract. Give them enough time to review before they affix their signature and then finally seal the contract.
  2. Hire a consultant base on the technical aspect that you want to clarify in the contract. If it’s the Scope of Work (SOW), a software implementation expert is the right person. If it is related to complex legal terms and conditions, a lawyer can help. If it has something to do with money, invite an accountant to conduct a thorough review and computation if necessary.
  3. Always consider consulting your project management team. Remember that the CIO, CFO and CEO are all team members. They will be the signatories and they know what’s best for the interest of the company when signing a contract agreement.
 
From evaluation to buying stage, it is important that the project manager must take full responsibility of monitoring all the works identified and distributed among team members. This is why delegating the right project manager is also an important consideration when buying a business software solution. And again, ITQlick.com wants to emphasize that whatever the size of your company is, using the project management approach will always lead you into a better outcome – that is getting what you paid for the right business software solution. 

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Author - Shlomi Lavi

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Shlomi Lavi is an entrepreneur and founder of ITQlick.com. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Information Systems Engineering from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Shlomi brings 17 years of global IT and IS management experience as a consultant and implementation expert for small, medium and large-sized (global) companies. Shlomi’s goal is to share the best knowledge and news about information systems so you can make smarter buying decisions for your business.