One of the most important things to understand about your customer relationship management (CRM) software is that there will be more to the cost than just the monthly or yearly subscription fee you need to pay for use of the software.
There will also be a time investment (read 'employee salaries') allocated with the CRM setup and deployment process. You'll need to invest resources into training your sales team on how to effectively use the new solution. You may even need to hire an implementation partner to guide you through these processes—adding to the overall CRM implementation cost.
In general, partnering with a manufacturing CRM implementation agent will range from $40,000 - $250,000 depending on the specific CRM you've chosen to deploy, the number of users to be setup and trained onto the platform, and the complexity of custom objects and automations to be deployed to accommodate optimal workflows of your business.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that going through these steps (and investing the money) to execute your CRM implementation properly will result in a higher return on your investment over the long run.
The Core Elements of a CRM Implementation
To get a better understanding of where your money is going throughout this process, you first need to learn more about the core components that are required for a successful CRM implementation to begin with. It's not as simple as installing a piece of software on a computer somewhere in your office. It's a process involving:
- Setting up your CRM portal and customizing it in a way that makes sense given your larger indirect channel sales strategy
- Cleaning up all of your existing data, which is crucial before it can be imported into the new system
- Enabling attribution reporting by lead source and partner source
- Creating and mapping new custom properties to streamline business functions
- Customizing all of your various sales and marketing reports
- Documenting your buyer personas and lead scoring system
- Training your marketing and sales teams on how to get the most out of your new tool
Salesforce CRM iMplementation cost
On the subject of specific CRMs, note that costs can vary wildly depending on the size of your business and what, exactly, you need your new tool to be able to do. The Salesforce implementation cost for their small business solution is $25 per user per month for their "Essentials" plan, but it can easily grow to $75 per user per month if you choose to invest in their "Service Professional" tier.
Hubspot CRM Implementation Cost
HubSpot has three packages of CRM and Sales tools which you can view details and pricing on here. Just like Salesforce, a portion of HubSpot's monthly fees is based on the number of sales tools users. This ensures you're paying the right price for the value your sized team, no matter the size, is getting from the tools.
Regardless of which CRM tool you deploy, you should at the very least hire a CRM implementation team that knows the ins and outs of your chosen CRM. Otherwise, employee adoption rates of the tool are likely to be poor due to lack of stakeholder buy-in and comfort using the tool.
If you have a large team of user or complex CRM setup, you may consider hiring a CRM administrator to continue to support your deployment over time and encourage system utilization rates remain high. According to one recent study, the base range for a CRM administrator salary is between $51,600 and $67,345 per year, with the average base salary coming in at $57,554.
Why You Should Consider an Implementation Partner for a New CRM
These costs also help highlight why finding the right CRM partner is a step worth taking. Rather than being forced to deal with these burdens on your own, a CRM partner can help guide you through this process in the most cost-effective, and value-add way possible.
Your relationship with your partner will typically begin by allowing them to make sure that your current contact management system is only storing accurate, up-to-date information. At that point, they'll be able to customize your new CRM system to fulfill all of your unique organizational requirements. After transferring over your existing data (or creating new data) in the new system, they'll also be able to provide in-depth training to key employees on how to best use your new CRM solution moving forward.
Most importantly, they'll also be available to offer ongoing support and CRM management to both help make sure that your data stays accurate and to keep team-wide adoption rates high. Having a CRM partner to help means that you get to enjoy all the advantages of this type of digital transformation with as few of the potential downsides as possible.
It also means that you'll be able to avoid a lot of the (often hidden) costs that can quickly eat into your return on investment, which for most organizations is the most essential benefit of all.
The Value of a Proper CRM Deployment
Yes, all of this sounds like a tremendous amount of effort and, to a certain extent, it is. But when your sales and your marketing teams are able to work from a shared set of data and when they have a system in place that can help hand off leads and guide prospects towards a sale, your business is suddenly operating in a more efficient and streamlined way than ever before. This streamlined process accommodated by your CRM will save employee time each day and weeks and keep deals from slipping through the cracks.
When deployed and configured properly, a CRM empowers both your sales and marketing teams to get a far better sense of who your qualified leads and customers actually are. Not only that, but when you have the ability to instantly report back on both the successes and the failures within your marketing and sales strategies, you have the actionable information you need to pivot away from what isn't working and double down on what is.
At that point, you have invaluable information that allows you to have the right conversations with the right customers at exactly the right time—driving revenue and allowing your business to grow as well.