So, How Much Should I Spend on a CRM System?

8 Jan 2018

You’ve done it!

You’ve made the decision that a (new) CRM system is right for your business. You’re ready to start realising the benefits of centralised communications, auditable customer management and sales forecasting. Awesome!

I’m biased to the benefits of CRM of course, but the numbers don’t lie – studies have shown that adoption of a CRM system can bring companies up to £6 return on investment for every pound spent.

As your search for a new CRM begins, before too long you’re going to ask yourself this exact question…

‘How much should I spend on this new CRM?’

Well there is a short and a long answer. The short one is that you should spend the amount of money which enables you to fix the issues you are currently facing whilst making efficiency and performance improvements to achieve a solid ROI.

Ok, so that doesn’t really mean a lot in monetary value at this stage. Every business, no matter the size or the sector will have a budget they can afford or are comfortable with spending and unfortunately, that isn’t a question I can answer for you. (I wish I could by the way!)

With that in mind, the real question here is…

‘What are the typical costs involved in adopting and operating a CRM system?’

Now that’s a question I can answer for you!


Something which is relatively common across the marketplace is the subscription fee you will have to pay to use the service. These subscriptions are often billed annually (some super-duper suppliers allow for flexible monthly payments) and work on a ‘per user’ or ‘banded’ basis.

Depending on your requirements the cost per user can vary wildly, with some providers eclipsing the £100 per month/per user cost point.

The subscription is a cost you can typically calculate quite easily as you should know how much employees need access to your new system although it’s always worth forecasting how your employee base may change with your forecasts.


Whether it’s a user error or a system malfunction, the chances are that during the life of your CRM adoption you are going to need a helping hand.

It is worth checking whether your Subscription fee includes a support service or not to know if you are covered. If not, support packages can usually be purchased separately at a variety of different rates.

To get the most out of your new platform, Support is something you are likely to need to ensure all your staff can stay productive all year round.

Professional Services

A blanket term we use here at OpenCRM, Professional Service covers the time you may need from the provider to get the system right for you and your business.

Covering a number of disciplines such as Training, Configuration or Technical Development, Professional Service time can be vital to ensuring you get up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Whereas the first two costs are pretty fixed, often Professional Service is calculated following some form of scoping and needs analysis. This is also where your CRM budget may restrict you and a decision around whether the opportunity cost is too great may need to be taken.

From an expert opinion, Professional Service time will often make or break a CRM project as expert configuration and employee adoption training ensure the process is done right.

To Wrap Up…

Every business will have a budget to spend on CRM, but no matter who you are, everyone wants to get the best results in the most cost effective manner. From our experience, companies big and small can get a CRM system to boost their business without breaking the bank!

When considering what to spend on a CRM the short answer rings true – you should spend the amount of money which enables you to fix the issues you are currently facing whilst making efficiency and performance improvements to achieve a solid ROI.

Your ‘How much’ will vary from the other business’ out there but the costs of a CRM will stay the same, so ensure you have taken the time to count them all before making your decision!