Looking for a quick-fire breakdown of the costs associated with CRM? We reveal the hidden costs of CRM implementation, licensing, and development
As a general rule of thumb, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are priced per user per month. This means that whatever the base price-point of the CRM system might be, you have to multiply it by the number of people in your company using the system, as well as the length of time they’ll be using it for.
Similar to having a Netflix or Spotify account, CRM accounts are allocated on an individual basis, and come in the form of a digital membership to a cloud-based resource. The CRM costs your business incurs will depend on the size, scope, and requirements of your business.
A CRM system allows your business to track and optimise any communication/contact points between your brand and audience. It does so by collecting and storing data related to customer engagement and user journeys, which can then be used to better inform future business decisions.
Read on for more information on the costs associated with CRM, including the often undisclosed implementation, development and storage costs, and the best low-cost CRM system available.
On this page, we will cover:
CRM implementation cost
Average monthly costs for a CRM system are:
- £30 for a basic solution
- £46 for a mid-range solution
- £106 for an advanced solution
Remember, these costs are per user per month, and refer to the cost of the software alone. There will be other costs associated with efficiently implementing a CRM system into your business.
These days, most CRM systems are cloud-based. This makes the system easier to use and install whilst reducing the overall costs. Cloud-based means that the system can be stored and accessed online, freeing-up office space and allowing you to access the system from any device.
However, while it’s all well and good having an all-singing, all-dancing CRM system, if it’s not properly implemented, you immediately devalue the system.
Implementing CRM software will firstly require you to make sure you’ve got effective back-up before you launch the system. To do this:
Make copies (both hard and cloud-based) of all software specifications and store any required data on a flash drive/external hard drive to ensure that no important information is lost amidst the transition.
Implementing a CRM system, then, costs as much as the system itself (per user, per month) plus any training costs on top of that.
It’s a process that can be more or less costly depending on how much pre-existing CRM knowledge your business has. Failing to prepare for implementation could, however, prove to be very costly. Especially if you don’t back-up essential files or attempt to use the system without properly knowing how to. These errors will cost you both time and custom.
The below table goes into further detail regarding the different areas of cost associated with CRM implementation. and is a guiding tool regarding the costs you can expect to incur during your business’ CRM implementation process:
Cost to implement a CRM system per user:
|Internal running costs (manpower)||Vendors/consultants||Total cost|
|Overall implementation cost||£7,186|
Yes, at first glance, £7,186 might look like quite a steep figure, but it must be taken into account that the overall cost of a CRM system will be a very small portion of the overall return on investment that will accumulate over time. It’s a worthy investment that’ll see sales figures soar and improve customer loyalty rates skyrocket.
How much does it cost to develop a CRM system?
A very open question, the answer to which really depends on what you’re trying to do and the features you wish to include as there’s a huge difference between a fully-fledged CRM system and one that covers only the basics.
There are development agencies out there who can customise an existing CRM to suit specific business requirements. This is usually done with CRM systems on a large, corporation level and is a costly process, with starting figures coming in at around £10,000. However, this is still much cheaper than £190,000 it’ll cost you to build a full CRM system from scratch.
If building your own system, you’ll also have to factor-in any ongoing costs, this will include: maintenance, updates, bug fixes, hosting, cyber security and much more. These will add up at the end of the year. Your best option is to use an existing CRM system, here are some budget-friendly options you can try:
Fusioo – a customisable CRM and project management solution. You can also tweak it to match your existing workflow without hiring software developers. £15 per user/month.
Insightly – a simple CRM tool. Not very customisable, but is a good starting-step for CRM beginners. £22 per user/month.
Microsoft Dynamics – if you want to hire developers so that they can totally customise your system, this could be the CRM for you. £30.15 to £128.20 per user/month.
CRM online storage costs
Have you ever been prompted to upgrade to a larger storage plan when your phone has run out of space?
This can also happen with your CRM system – because you’ve not deleted old and obsolete information, or because you’ve scaled so quickly that your system no longer facilitates the amount of storage you require.
The good news is that, as CRM systems are cloud-based, it’s very easy to get more storage. The bad news? Nothing in life comes for free.
On average, the default storage space allocated per edition is:
Free – 1 GB
Standard – 1 GB + 512 MB /user license
Professional – 1 GB + 512 MB /user license
Enterprise – 1 GB + 1 GB /user license
Businesses can usually purchase additional storage of up to 200 GB. This will cost you around £3.00 per user per month.
CRM certification costs
Whilst a CRM system can prove invaluable to your business, helping to boost sales, retain customers and provide insight as to how to attract new prospects, the best CRM system in the world will be useless if no one in your company knows how to use it.
If you’re new to CRM and no one in your business has previous experience with the system, then getting some formal training would be very useful.
According to research carried out by the Meta Group, Inc, 55% to 75% of CRM implementation projects will fail initially. This is down to a lack of training and understanding of the systems – an easily avoided scenario.
Pre-transition, it’s essential that you train any staff who are set to use the system so that they can hit the ground running once the system is efficiently in place. CRM training courses come in at around £460 per person – it’s a good idea to get at least one person from your business fully certified and in-the-know when it comes to CRM so they can efficiently train other members of staff in how to reap all of the benefits CRM has to offer.
The best low-cost CRM system
When it comes to CRM systems, there’s a wide variety of provider options and a spectrum of costs to match. For a full-fat breakdown of the different CRM system providers out there, be sure to read our page on the best CRM for small businesses.
The price of CRM software depends largely on the size of your business. However, even small companies can take advantage of feature-rich systems without breaking the bank. Zoho offers a plan at £7.75 per user per month. The system is basic, but still meets the needs of smaller businesses that want to manage and optimise customer information.
At the other end of the spectrum, the more expensive CRM systems like Salesforce and Insightly can offer much more expansive but also more complex solutions. Coming in at £161 per user per month, a plan like Salesforce’s CRM would be ideal for managing large numbers of contacts across a variety of channels.
Due to the variable and dependable nature of CRM system costs, it is advisable that you talk with suppliers directly – this will ensure that all of the wants and needs of your business are properly met by the system you choose to invest in. For more information and a better understanding of CRM costs, fill in the form at the top of the page to receive tailored quotes from trusted suppliers.
To summarise, the implementation of a CRM system will have associated costs that reach beyond the original purchase of the system itself. Such costs include: purchasing data, training staff and developing the software.
It’s important to consider the associated implementation costs and factor them into your budget when investing in a CRM system for your business.
The capacity of a CRM system and its associated implementation costs will depend on the size, scope and needs of your business. To make sure that you get the right system to fit all of your needs, whilst not breaking the bank, make sure you get a real range of supplier quotes today.