The question is very simple: How much does a CRM solution cost? However, the answer is not that clear, as various aspects have to be considered. People interested in these solutions are often only concerned about one thing: the price of the user license.
However, when it comes to assessing how much a CRM solution costs, you shouldn’t only focus on that single aspect. You should assess what is known as Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) which, in the case of software, includes the price of the license, the implementation/ customisation process, the maintenance of the license and support agreements.
For example, you might compare it to buying a car. You must consider the reputation of the manufacturer, the network of dealerships and repair workshops, the after-sales guarantees, the price of servicing the car, the cost of the insurance, etc.
Having the product is clearly the first consideration. And here you have the first decision you have to make: Do you buy a perpetual license or opt for a comfortable pay-per-use arrangement; usually a monthly/annual subscription? The latter option not only frees you from a commitment, but also allows you to adjust the number of users according to your real needs on a monthly basis.
It is also true that, when monthly subscriptions are offered, they also offer a more attractive yearly subscription to ensure your permanence for longer periods in exchange for a certain discount. It is an interesting option, because… who would implement a CRM solution in a business for only a few months?
ON-PREMISE or CLOUD-BASED
Another issue: Would it be better to host the CRM solution in your infrastructure or in the cloud? The latter would certainly lead to savings in hardware and in the software for the server on which the tool would be hosted. Fortunately, a subscription always goes hand-in-hand with the “cloud computing” concept; thus, simplifying the combination of options.
Furthermore, speaking about cloud computing, some manufacturers require us to hire their cloud system, while others allow you to host the solution wherever you want: on your own servers, or on a public or private cloud service.
Let’s focus once again on the key issue: the price of a CRM solution. An equally important aspect is the volume of data you are going to be handling. Let’s not forget that a CRM solution will become the centre of your customer-oriented activities; you must record all interactions (online, telephone or face-to-face) and all relevant documentation to provide a complete overview of each customer.
What cloud storage capacity does your provider offer? Are there any limitations regarding the cloud storage capacity of your CRM provider? What is the surcharge if you exceed this limit? When looking for a “cloud-based” CRM solution, these are aspects that must be taken into consideration.
In the case of “on Premise” CRM solutions, the storage limit depends on the capacity of the in-house servers. Any additional costs will be due to the acquisition of the infrastructure needed to accommodate the ever-growing volume of information.
Let’s also refer to the time dedicated to using a CRM solution in your organisation. You must realise that when you select a solution, it will usually be “for life”; at least that is the idea, unless irreconcilable differences arise during this new “relationship”.
One of them might be, for example, the fact that certain solutions may require you to hire multiple “clouds” to support marketing, sales and customer services. Would it not be better to have it all integrated in the same place? It would certainly make things easier for users, and it would reduce implementation costs and what is known as time-to-market.
STAND ALONE OR MODULAR SOLUTION
Modular solutions tend to lead to higher costs because you have to add the price for each module; however, they do allow the application to grow as needed.
After viewing this list of considerations, what solution should you choose? Intelligence Partner will be happy to help you make your choice. All you have to do is contact us.