Deploying CRM is usually a complex project involving many stakeholders and at the outset, it can be difficult trying to work out how much you need to invest. In this article, I’ll try to help you understand what costs are involved with a typical CRM project.
In this article, we’ll talk about the cost of:
- Scoping the requirements
- System customisation
- On-demand versus on-premise solutions
- CRM deployment
- Time & training
- Scoping the requirements
Let’s face it – CRM projects are usually large projects that affect the whole organisation. Our experience shows that one of the secrets to a successful CRM project is the active involvement of the each department in your business.
You will need to sit down with all these stakeholders to determine what everyone needs and expects from the system. Give these people the list of alternatives you’re considering and ask for their opinion about which system they favour the most.
This exercise may seem to be very time-consuming but it’s just a practice of good time management: the more time you spend planning, the less time you’ll spend fire-fighting. Therefore it’s good to scrutinise your business processes and choose a system with functionality that fits your business model most.
Time is money? You bet. Especially the time you’ll save by operating a successful CRM system without preventable let-downs.
- Customisation: Investing in the perfect match
After you’ve identified what business processes needs to be captured in your future CRM system, you’ll be able to identify if you can deploy an out-of-the-box CRM or if you need to customise it first.
If you have a fairly typical business model, it’s quite possible that an out-of-the box CRM solution will be enough for you.
However, if you have quite a few special business rules for passing your leads down the funnel or; if you need your system to integrate with external information sources, you’re likely to benefit from customisation. This way you’ll ensure your CRM is perfectly tailored for your business processes and not the other way around.
It’s good practice to talk to a dedicated CRM specialist who will advise you about the scope of customisation that needs to be done to the system before it fits your business processes seamlessly. Naturally, if you come to a conclusion that you need a system customisation, you’ll also need to sign off a respective budget.
- On-demand or on-premise?
You’ll have to choose between and on premise licencing versus an on-demand solution. You can see the basic comparison here.
Typically, an on-premise solution involves a one-time payment after which you become the owner of the system. This means all the expenses of your IT department that will be managing your CRM solution will be on your shoulders; but you won’t have to pay a monthly fee to the CRM provider for hosting your data and updating your system.
On the other hand, an on-demand solution (or cloud-hosting) will not cost you as much up-front and the expenses related to upgrading your system will be included in your monthly fee. This is usually a smart way for businesses with limited financial capital to have access to a powerful CRM solution while not having to worry about the technical side of it.
This price of the licences you’ll have to lay down will obviously depend on your choice of the CRM system.
Make sure you make an informed CRM choice after sufficient research and draw on the conclusions you’ve made when talking to your teams. This way you’ll not only enhance the performance of your business processes (which a CRM is meant to do in the first place), you’ll also avoid being charged for functionality you’ll never need.
Understandably after you’ve chosen the CRM system, you’ll need to count the amount of your CRM users and multiply it by the price per licence.
- The project realisation
Another key choice that could make a great financial difference to your CRM project is the choice of a CRM specialist to deploy the system for you.
It’s important to choose a partner who can demonstrate a past trail of success with employing CRM systems. How to spot one? They usually have on-going long-term relationships with their clients. Why is it so important? Because every time anything comes up with your system, you can call these people up and rely on them to help you out.
When your budget is tight and you want to make sure you’re making the right choice, this can prove to be quite tricky. Many CRM specialists are hesitant to disclose the sums they charge for implementing CRM projects. However, at Redspire this is something we want to set right by making our CRM pricing completely transparent.
- Investing in time and training
And finally, the best advice we can give you is to avoid making the same mistake as those whose CRM projects already failed. The single biggest cause of CRM project failures is the lack of user adoption.
This is why it’s so crucial to ask all stakeholders for their opinions – and also why you should consider providing CRM training for the future CRM users.
In most cases, it’s considered one of the best investments to dedicate budget to your employee’s training. Poorly trained users leads to a system that isn’t adopted and, ultimately, project failure.
All in all, there are plenty of ways in which you can choose to deploy your CRM and a diligent, considered approach is best. Just remember: Hard training = easy combat!
How much does CRM cost at Redspire? See our transparent pricing to find out.