CRM pricing: five points of comparison

When it comes to comparing CRM pricing, don’t make the mistake of just looking at the retail price and thinking that is all you need to invest. Depending upon which CRM system you go for, your comparisons will only be accurate if you take everything into account. When comparing CRMs, here are the minimum five points of comparison that you need to focus on:

1. Your CRM licence fee

This will vary immensely depending upon whether you purchase outright or opt for a SaaS CRM. The fee may vary according to how many users you have or which application you go for. Your choice of add-ons can also alter the price. This then brings you to support, upgrade and maintenance fees. If you are putting together the costs to calculate ROI then all of this needs to be included.

Understand different CRM system costs and features with this comprehensive CRM comparison guide

2. Associated hardware

This is particularly pertinent if you are implementing an on-premise CRM. Do you have sufficient laptops, tablets or desktop PCs for the system to work on? If further investment in hardware is necessary, you need to calculate purchase or lease costs. Even if you have hardware, if it is slow or outdated you may need to replace it anyway. Establish your exact requirements with the CRM vendor before you commit to buy.

3. CRM implementation

This figure will depend upon whether or not you need to hire a consultant to assist with the set-up and training.  Some vendors include this in the cost, others don’t.  Be very careful here as if they will only quote you an hourly rate, you have no control over how long it is going to take.  Better to put a limit on your figure for implementing your CRM and then renegotiate if it looks like this will increase.

4. CRM customization costs

It is unlikely that your CRM will come out of the box ready to use.  Whatever type of business you have, your software is going to need some fine-tuning to make it suit your needs.  This usually has a cost and again, many vendors will give an hourly rate for this, leaving it open-ended.  Try to avoid this and tie them down to a fixed price. Failure to do so can result in your budget falling apart.

5. Training and support

Your CRM vendor should always provide you with a cost to cover this.  It may be that you will have an initial fee up-front and then an annual fee to take account of any changes, customizations or upgrades to the system required by you in the future.
When comparing CRM prices, you can see that it is definitely not a case of ‘one-size-fits-all’ and that dependent upon which CRM system you eventually go for, CRM pricing will vary according to licence or purchase fees, any hardware required, implementation and customisation and training/support and upgrades. 

There may be other points of comparison that you need to include, but if you ensure that these five are taken account of, you are far more likely to end up with a realistic overall price and will be in a much better position to calculate your ROI accurately.

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Jane Tareen

About the author…

An MBA-qualified professional, Jane specializes in all kinds of copywriting and creative content production. With many years spent working in advertising and publishing, she is also skilled in editorial production and proof-reading. Whilst writing, she has a constant companion in the form of one very large Fox Red Labrador!

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Jane Tareen

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