Question #1: How much does CRM cost?
When people start feeling the pain of scattered information and inaccurate or outdated reports and lack of business intelligence and visibility, they begin their search for the right CRM system.
How much does CRM cost? – is one of the most common first questions we hear. The answer is kind of like an iceberg… what you see on the surface is only a fraction of what it will really cost you in the end. Typically the CEO or CFO works really hard to negotiate the best deal possible on the most visible and predictable aspect, the cost of the licenses either one time purchase or monthly cost.
The best example I’ve seen of this was several years ago and how a CFO got swindled in broad daylight. The company is a nationally recognized name brand with locations across Canada, we were referred in by a trusted board member to help them select and implement a CRM system to manage and grow their business. Our teams went in to understand the client needs and recommend a solution. Then the ball stopped dead in mid-field. The CFO was looking for a better deal to save some money up front. Then came the knock on his door from the Salesforce.com reps just at the end of December with a crazy amazing “CRM license deal“, tremendous savings on the first year or two of renting/hosting the software. So the CFO signed the deal.
Three months later I went for dinner with the CEO and owner of the business and he shared the sad news they had spent more than $100,000 more than they had anticipated on all the services which they then needed to engage to get it rolled out. On top of all that the CEO had to bring in his daughter full time to manage the CRM rollout. Not too long afterwards I found out the CFO had been fired.
Your takeaway learning from all of this – when you are looking to purchase a CRM system make sure to carefully understand the real complete cost of the solution including software and services.
And by the way, anyone who gives you a “free CRM proposal” without taking the paid time to really dig in and understand your team and your company’s unique CRM needs, is either overcharging you to cover their sales time, or undercharging you to get your initial business, and will force you pay more to complete the project in the end.