Top 54 Social Media Software (Jan 2023)

2023's Best 55 Social Media Systems

Shlomi LaviShlomi Lavi / Jan 25, 2023

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1. Salesforce

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $25 per user/month
  • Dec 29, 2022
Compare Salesforce Vs. Salesforce

Salesforce is a cloud-hosted customer relationship management (CRM) software suite that offer solutions for small, mid-level and enterprise organizations focusing mainly on sales and support. The software offers various solutions that include sales, marketing, service, commerce, engagement, integrat...


2. Zoho CRM

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $14 per user/month
  • Jan 25, 2023
Compare Zoho CRM Vs. Salesforce

Zoho CRM is cloud-based customer relationship management and customer engagement solution designed for businesses of all sizes. The core features include artificial intelligence, pipeline management and team collaboration and more.


3. Nimble

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $19 per user/month
  • Dec 29, 2022
Compare Nimble Vs. Salesforce

Nimble CRM is a web based customer relationship management solution for small and medium businesses. Its capabilities include contact management, lead management, sales forecasting, and others. The software was designed and launched by Nimble Inc headquartered in California, United States.


4. Zapier

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $19.99 per month
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Zapier Vs. Salesforce

Zapier lets you easily connect the web apps you use, making it easy to automate tedious tasks. You can wait for third-party app developers to offer the SaaS integrations you need. You can hire expensive freelance programmers to build custom software for you. Or you can simply do it yourself with Zap...


5. Hootsuite

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $49 per user/month
  • Mar 10, 2022
Compare Hootsuite Vs. Salesforce

Hootsuite is the world’s most widely used social media relationship platform with more than 10 million users, including 744 of the Fortune 1000 companies that trust Hootsuite to manage their social media programs across multiple social networks from one integrated dashboard.


6. Radian6

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per organization/month
  • Mar 12, 2022
Compare Radian6 Vs. Salesforce

Radian6 is a cloud-based social media monitoring & analysis that offers automated tracking of conversations across various online channels from websites to social media.


7. Prezly

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $50 per user/month
  • Mar 14, 2022
Compare Prezly Vs. Salesforce

Prezly is a press release/PR software designed to help users with all-in-one solutions that can connect the users’ story or news with their influences using social media and email.


8. Adobe Social

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $52.99 per month
  • Mar 14, 2022
Compare Adobe Social Vs. Salesforce

Social marketing is all about relationships. With the new Adobe® Social, marketers finally have a comprehensive solution to build stronger connections through content that’s guided by tangible data. Create the most relevant posts, monitor and respond to conversations, measure results, and connect so...


9. CenterWare Inbound

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 20, 2022
Compare CenterWare Inbound Vs. Salesforce

CenterWare Inbound is a cloud-based software that handles and streamlines the communication between agents and the various callers through intelligent routing capabilities. CenterWare Inbound strategically distributes each call that arrives at the call center and it helps to enhance the customer exp...


10. Marketo

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $895 per month
  • Mar 19, 2022
Compare Marketo Vs. Salesforce

Marketo is a marketing automation and management solution for small and medium businesses. It also offers solutions for campaign management, CRM and reporting aspects. The software was designed by Marketo, Inc., headquartered in California, United States.


Pricing Guide - Social Media 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. Bitrix24

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $61 per month
  • Jan 04, 2023
Compare Bitrix24 Vs. Salesforce

Bitrix24 is a social enterprise platform for small businesses that can create a unified workspace for a company for handling the daily tasks and operations. The software can be used as a project management, social collaboration and social intranet solution and includes more than 35 tools. Bitrix...


12. TubeMogul

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 03, 2022
Compare TubeMogul Vs. Salesforce

TubeMogul is marketing software for small businesses. It provides campaign management, bulk editing, fraud protection, budget pacing, targeting, mobile tracking, creative optimization, and more features. TubeMogul was founded in 2006 and is currently located in Emeryville, California.


13. BuzzStream

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $24 per user/month
  • Mar 02, 2022
Compare BuzzStream Vs. Salesforce

BuzzStream is a marketing software and influencer outreach management platform for small to large businesses. It provides Metrics collection, scheduled emails, email notifications and integration, tags and keywords, scheduled emails, data filtering, social media metrics, press contact list, and col...


14. zendesk talk

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $49 per user/month
  • Mar 18, 2022
Compare zendesk talk Vs. Salesforce

Zendesk Talk is a VoIP call center software designed to help companies talk directly to their customers and provide personalized solutions to every issue they face. Being an integrated solution, Zendesk Talk enables users to manage voice in the same workspace and other channels.


15. Spark by Marketo

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $895 per month
  • Mar 04, 2022
Compare Spark by Marketo Vs. Salesforce

Spark by Marketo is a marketing automation solution to help users secure customers faster by automating marketing campaigns. Users can execute better campaigns using the flexibility and power of this software and target more revenue with less effort. The marketing automation solution offers multi-ch...


16. 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. Salesforce

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 ...


17. amoCRM

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $15 per user/month
  • Apr 26, 2022
Compare amoCRM Vs. Salesforce

amoCRM is a web based customer relationship management solution for businesses of all sizes. Its capabilities include sales automation, analytics, productivity management, security, and others. The software was designed and launched by QSOFT LLC headquartered in California, United States...


18. Octane AI

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

Octane AI is a marketing software designed to help stores drive conversions by collecting customer insights, personalizing marketing (that is recommending specific products to solve each person needs) and generally, improving customer experience.


19. Smith

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $210 per month
  • Apr 02, 2022
Compare Smith Vs. Salesforce

Smith is a customer support software designed to reply to messages and calls automatically. The software guides potential clients on one business website, handles appointment booking, captures and follows up leads, and turn leads into conversions.


20. Bannersnack

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $17 per editor/month
  • Apr 04, 2022
Compare Bannersnack Vs. Salesforce

Bannersnack is a growing cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Bannersnack received a rating of 4.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.5/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


21. Upfluence Software

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price: starts at $795 per user/month
  • Mar 31, 2022
Compare Upfluence Software Vs. Salesforce

Upfluence Software is a cloud-based influencer marketing solution. The software allows the users to monitor their competition as well as know what the influencers are saying about their products.


22. BigContacts

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $5 per user/month
  • May 26, 2022
Compare BigContacts Vs. Salesforce

BigContacts is a customer relationship management solution for small and medium businesses. It offers marketing and sales automation along with collaboration and analytical capabilities. The software was designed and launched by BigContacts LLC headquartered in Georgia, United States.


23. Brightspot CMS

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $7,500 per month
  • Jun 14, 2022
Compare Brightspot CMS Vs. Salesforce

Brightspot CMS is an enterprise content management system for businesses of all sizes. It offers dynamic and visual web experience and support for popular database systems. The software was designed and launched by Perfect Sense Digital LLC headquartered in Virginia, United States.


24. Reputada

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • Apr 02, 2022
Compare Reputada Vs. Salesforce

Reputada is a web based reputation management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as response management, sentiment analysis, social media metrics, and others. The software was designed and launched by Reputada headquartered in United States.


25. Insightly

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $29 per user/month
  • Dec 30, 2022
Compare Insightly Vs. Salesforce

Insightly is a cloud-based customer relationship management and project management solution designed for small and medium-size businesses. The solution core features include lead management, project management, and contact management solution and more.


26. Marketing Cloud: Radian6

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • Apr 09, 2022
Compare Marketing Cloud: Radian6 Vs. Salesforce

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a marketing and campaign automation solution for businesses of all sizes. The software also offers various useful analytics and management features. It is a product of Salesforce.com, Inc., headquartered in California, United States.


27. SendinBlue Email

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $25 per month
  • Apr 13, 2022
Compare SendinBlue Email Vs. Salesforce

SendinBlue is an email marketing and SMS service software created for small to large businesses. Its key functions include marketing automation, transactional emails, SMS campaigns, spam check, real-time tracking, Google analytics integration, trigger marketing, and more.


28. Buffer

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

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...


29. TalentRecruit

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $600 per month
  • Oct 18, 2022
Compare TalentRecruit Vs. Salesforce

TalentRecruit is a web based applicant tracking solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as candidate management, internal HR, interview management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Talent Recruit Software Pvt Ltd headquartered in Bangalore, India. ...


30. SalesNexus

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $45 per month
  • Nov 08, 2022
Compare SalesNexus Vs. Salesforce

SalesNexus is a web based customer relationship management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as marketing automation, sales automation, collaboration, and others. The software was designed and launched by SalesNexus LLC headquartered in Texas, United States.


31. SAP Cloud for Sales

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $248 per 5 users/month
  • Apr 28, 2022
Compare SAP Cloud for Sales Vs. Salesforce

SAP Cloud for Sales is a cloud based customer relationship management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as sales automation, ERP integration, collaboration, and others. The software was designed and launched by SAP SE headquartered in Germany.


32. devContact

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $9.99 per month
  • May 14, 2022
Compare devContact Vs. Salesforce

devContact is a help desk software designed as an online solution to help handle user retention, feedbacks, bad reviews, and customer support problems.


33. SharpSpring

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $449 per month
  • Apr 28, 2022
Compare SharpSpring Vs. Salesforce

SharpSpring is a web based marketing automation solution for small and medium sized businesses. Its capabilities include lead management, campaign segmentation, direct mail management, and others. The software was designed and launched by SharpSpring LLC headquartered in Florida, United ...


34. AgoraPulse

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

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 ...


35. Alto Social Analytics

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 14, 2022
Compare Alto Social Analytics Vs. Salesforce

Alto Social Analytics is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Alto Social Analytics received a rating of 3.8 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.6/5) when compared to alternative solutio...


36. Oracle Siebel

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $3,750 per license
  • Nov 05, 2022
Compare Oracle Siebel Vs. Salesforce

Oracle Siebel CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management and sales force automation solution that targets to assist organizations to manage and influence their customer experiences. The platform features a collection of sales, customer service, and marketing applications tailor-made to su...


37. Adobe Marketing Cloud

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $450,000 per license
  • Apr 28, 2022
Compare Adobe Marketing Cloud Vs. Salesforce

Adobe Marketing Cloud is a web based digital marketing platform for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as audience management, campaign optimization, analytics, and others. The software was designed and launched by Adobe Systems Inc headquartered in California, United States.


38. SAP HYBRIS

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $54,000 per license
  • May 14, 2022
Compare SAP HYBRIS Vs. Salesforce

SAP Hybris is an e-Commerce program that is enterprise-level offering users with B2C and B2B store functionality. There are more than 2,500 stores utilizing this platform leading to more than 500,000 orders every day and about 20 million product SKUs. This program has been widely used predominantly ...


39. Vultus Recruit

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $15 per 5 users/month
  • Apr 30, 2022
Compare Vultus Recruit Vs. Salesforce

Vultus Recruit is a web based recruitment management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as candidate management, social media integration, jobs board integration, and others. The software was designed and launched by VULTUS headquartered in New Jersey, United States. ...


40. Gazelle

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $18 per feature/month
  • Apr 27, 2022
Compare Gazelle Vs. Salesforce

The Gazelle software is a software solution that turns usable customer information into data that can help clients identify business opportunities for keeping their current customers and acquiring new customers. Most companies and clients don’t realize the true value of the information that they hav...


41. eClincher

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $59 per user/month
  • May 15, 2022
Compare eClincher Vs. Salesforce

eClincher is a fast growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. eClincher received a rating of 4.7 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


42. Pipeliner CRM

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $65 per user/month
  • Jan 03, 2023
Compare Pipeliner CRM Vs. Salesforce

Pipeliner CRM is a customer relationship management solution for small and medium businesses. It offers such capabilities as pipeline visualization, contact management, collaboration, and others. The software was designed and launched by Pipelinersales Inc headquartered in California, Un...


43. Oracle Responsys

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $49,500 per year
  • May 21, 2022
Compare Oracle Responsys Vs. Salesforce

Oracle Responsys is a trending cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Oracle Responsys received a rating of 2.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (4/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


44. Solve360

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $25 per user/month
  • May 18, 2022
Compare Solve360 Vs. Salesforce

Solve360 is a service management CRM software designed for businesses to provide service to customers. In addition to scheduling and sales functions, the software simplifies record keeping, automates workflow, and facilitates sharing.


45. SAP Cloud for Service

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $21 per user/month
  • May 22, 2022
Compare SAP Cloud for Service Vs. Salesforce

SAP Cloud for Service is a cloud-based, online customer service and support tool and developed by one of the long-time industry leader in this software category, SAP. It has features such as conceptual system, contact service processes, mapping, automation of the workflow and many more aside from th...


46. Launchpad

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $149.99 per license
  • May 18, 2022
Compare Launchpad Vs. Salesforce

Launchpad is a cloud based video interviewing and recruiting solution that enables the user to screen and recruit candidates. It features on demand video assessment, screening and skills testing, and recruitment analytics and more. Automated scheduling allows candidates to self schedule their interv...


47. BlueCamroo

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $21 per user/month
  • May 17, 2022
Compare BlueCamroo Vs. Salesforce

Bluecamroo is a business management software designed to help business owners manage their projects, track and oversee clients lifecycles, communicate with clients, and enhance their sales process.


48. Mobivity

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • May 16, 2022
Compare Mobivity Vs. Salesforce

We bring the toolbox and build the foundation, all you have to do is reap the benefit of more customers, more often. We provide you with the tools to market your campaign and build your database quickly. Get personalized coaching, support, and campaign guidance from your personal Account Coach. Easi...


49. FocalScope

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $9 per agent/month
  • May 30, 2022
Compare FocalScope Vs. Salesforce

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


50. Engage121 Enterprise

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 29, 2022
Compare Engage121 Enterprise Vs. Salesforce

Engage121 Enterprise is a web based social media marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as social publishing, listening, analysis, consulting, and others. The software was designed and launched by Engage121 headquartered in Connecticut, United States.


51. Gigya

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $45,000 per year
  • Dec 14, 2022
Compare Gigya Vs. Salesforce

Gigya is a connected consumer management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers connection, collection, and conversion capabilities with freedom to customize. The software was designed and launched by Gigya Inc headquartered in California, United States.


52. Interakt

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $41 per 3 users/month
  • Dec 17, 2022
Compare Interakt Vs. Salesforce

Interakt is a fast growing cloud-based CRM software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Interakt received a rating of 3.3 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.7/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


53. PageUp People

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 18, 2022
Compare PageUp People Vs. Salesforce

PageUp People is a web based applicant tracking solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as interview management, resume search and parsing, social media integration, and others. The software was designed and launched by PageUp People headquartered in Australia.


54. Commence CRM

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $29 per user/month
  • Jun 17, 2022
Compare Commence CRM Vs. Salesforce

Commence CRM is a customer relationship management solution that can help users to streamline all their front office business processes and improve the customer service and sales process. The software is flexible and users can get access to their CRM data from anywhere using the mobile CRM feature. ...



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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Auditor - 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.