Have 15 minutes? Use this software comparison template to decide between tools.
Choosing new software requires significant time and money. Ideally, the selection process results in a few options that your business can easily decide between.
You know how to build your software stack and which stakeholders you should involve in the software-buying process. But what if you’ve narrowed your choices, and you just can’t decide which tool is best for you business?
Use our handy software comparison template to help you choose.
Free software comparison template for all businesses
To use this template, you’ll need some basics:
- Access to the software vendor’s information via Capterra’s directory pages or vendor websites themselves.
- The shortlist of software tools you’re considering (we recommend two to five solutions).
Once you’ve got that, follow these four simple steps to make your decision.
Step 1: Access the software listing for the products on your shortlist
First, find out the information listed below about each software option you’re considering. All of this information is available on Capterra’s directory pages. In the example below, I’ll use Applicant Tracking Software to highlight different places you can find information for your comparison template.
A blank example of Capterra’s product pages
- Average user ratings: User reviews can reduce the amount of time spent choosing software. Look at the average overall, ease-of-use, and customer service ratings for each solution on your list. At the end, your results might have a score higher than 10. Choose the software with the highest score.
- Software starting price: Sometimes vendors don’t want you to know what this is. It’s OK to leave this blank unless this is your most important deciding factor. In that case, contact the vendor to get a better idea of price. You’ll want to find out the cost to upgrade as well, especially if you’re starting with a free version.
- Software deployment: Ask yourself where your software will be set up. Some use cases are complex (like individuals who need fleet management software with both mobile and desktop deployment). Think of all the places you need to have your software work before you make a final decision, and double-check the software’s deployment options.
- Software training: Consider how your current team learns and how much training they need. More complicated solutions might require an in-person walk through, whereas other software might be intuitive and only require documentation. Choose the best option for your team.
- Software customer service and support: Everyone wants software with stellar customer service, but how do you want to receive that support? If you foresee yourself using your software outside of traditional 9-to-5 business hours, consider software with 24/7 online support.
- Software features: Pending on industry, various software products offer a common set of features. Based on your industry and needs, you’ll want to check whether the system you’re considering has these features. You can find a list of popular features within Capterra’s software directories or use our feature filtering tool. Remember: You might not need every feature a system offers. Make sure you don’t fall victim to feature bloat and pay for more than you’ll use.
- Software integrations: Determine whether your software integrates with your current systems, or if it can integrate with other tools you’re considering. Integration can reduce adoption headaches down the road, but be sure to ask the vendor about security risks for data transfer between solutions.
- Software users: How many people are going to use the system you choose? You’ll also want to know how much it costs to upgrade your software to handle more users. Factor this into your final decision, especially if you’re a growing team.
Step 2: Enter the information you collected above into our software comparison template
This software comparison template is in Excel format.
Step 3: Fill in the required data
An example of how to use this template is highlighted in pink on the left side of the template; use this as a guide for filling out your software comparison template information on the right.
After you’ve filled out the template, you’ll see an aggregate rating at the top of the spreadsheet. The one with the highest rating offers the most of your predetermined requirements.
Step 4: Check software ratings against each other
The final step can be as easy as pressing “purchase” on a software vendor’s website or as difficult as going through a stakeholder approval process which can last weeks, or even months.
Either way, with this template you can have the answers in hand when someone asks you why you chose “Software A” over “Software B,” and you’re one step closer to having your new software in hand.
Need more help choosing software for your business? Check out these articles: