All Blogs,Digital Marketing, - June 14, 2022
Why Your CRM System is Costing You Time and Money
Expert Tips For Why Your CRM System is Costing You Time and Money
A CRM system is a vital part of any small business. It helps you keep track of your customers and their interactions with your company. However, CRMs are complex tools and can be expensive to maintain. If you’re not sure exactly how much you’re spending on CRM maintenance and how cost-effective your system is, we’ll break down some of the fees associated with CRM software and how to choose a CRM system that works best for your company.
What is a CRM System?
CRM is short for customer relationship management. It’s a software system that helps business owners easily track all communications and build relationships with their leads and customers. CRMs replace a multitude of spreadsheets, databases, and apps that most businesses patch together to track customer data and they connect your sales leads with your customers all in one place. They also consolidate all communications (forms, calls, emails, text messages, and meetings). With so many benefits, you may be asking: why shouldn’t I implement a CRM system? The answer: you should, but there are several things to know to streamline your CRM implementation so that it’s doing the most work for you and that you’re not paying for extra features that go unused.
Common Faults of Your CRM system
Most CRMs are set up with reporting, contacts, accounts, opportunities, and leads all under one dashboard. This is too complex and makes it hard to efficiently view and track the information you and your employees need to know. Complexity also means more money. A simple CRM system is much more versatile, and versatility is one of the biggest assets a small team can have.
How Much Does a CRM Cost?
If you’ve ever asked, “how much is this CRM going to cost me?” you probably have never gotten a straightforward answer. This is because they almost never cost face value. The true cost of a CRM implementation is difficult to understand when the process begins. CRM system pricing varies depending on the features and complexity you need, and many CRM platforms charge per user. Enterprise CRMs can cost up to $160 per month. More affordable CRMs can cost $12 per month per user, while still having hidden implementation fees. Although there isn’t a set amount for the total implementation and maintenance of your CRM, we’ll outline some of the transparent fees you’ll be paying at the beginning to give you a more accurate estimate.
Subscription costs: the price you pay to have system access. There are a few types of CRM subscriptions, and you will have to decide between cloud CRM and on-premise CRM. Cloud CRM systems are replacing on-premise CRMs because they take less upfront investment and offer more subscription options. If you’re managing sensitive data or need total control over the system, on-premise CRMs might be a better option for you.
Service level costs: your service level cost is determined by 3 factors: plan level (service package you buy from the vendor), volume (number of records, contacts, or data points you can store for a specific price), and add-ons (premium features, integrations, or capabilities you can add).
Cost per user: CRM plans or service levels may only allow for a set number of users per month while other vendors will let you add individual users for a set amount more each month.
Implementation fees: once you’ve decided on your vendor and plan level, it’s time for your CRM roll-out! Vendors offer setup and implementation services and these range in costs depending on the scope of the implementation. This could include building customized dashboards, template creation, consulting services, data migration, contact import, and workflow export/import, to name a few. Doing all of this could cost you a lot of money. Vendors usually don’t tell you how much each of these services costs, making this stage a bit of a grey area. Some range from $1,200 to $5,000, while others come with no fees for services like implementation and migration.
Transparent time: discovery, selection, data preparation, implementation, and training. These time investments correspond to the five stages of the CRM implementation process.
What Do You Need Out of Your CRM System?
Take some time to evaluate exactly what you need your CRM system to do and which features would be most beneficial for your business. The five aspects of CRM discovery are:
List of feature requirements: make a list of what you need to have, what would be nice to have, and what you need each feature to do.
Business requirements: what are some of your problems? Which process feels unorganized and chaotic? Who needs to communicate and what information is being lost?
Non-functional requirements: how fast are you growing? What would a system outage mean for your current system? How sensitive is your customer data?
Functional requirements: what specific things do you need for your business process? What are the use cases? What does your sales and onboarding process look like? Think about these questions from the viewpoint of each team who will be using this tool.
System design: what will different teams need from different dashboards? What information will be shown on each dashboard? How will users interact with it?
The most important part of choosing a CRM system is to ask how much each feature, implementation step, monthly subscription, and cost per user is going to be. If you don’t ask these critical questions, vendors usually won’t tell you. Empower your decision by knowing as much as you can about how much you’ll be spending initially and each month so you can avoid incurring unnecessary costs as much as possible.
Where to Begin?
With so many things to consider, you may need an expert to guide you through what your business needs out of a CRM system and how it should be structured. To speak with a professional, contact Agency Partner Interactive and schedule a consultation today. Our team is dedicated to accelerating the growth of small businesses and we’ll help set you up for success and streamline and manage your CRM system processes so that you can get the most of out your investment.