The Price of CRM: the central pillar of your decision

2 Sep 2019

When you’re starting to shop around for a CRM system for your business, there are three questions you’ll probably be asking yourself:

  1. How much will it cost?
  2. Will it solve my team’s pain points?
  3. And, will it go the distance? (i.e. am I going to be looking for another CRM in two years

In reality, these aren’t JUST questions you need answering. They are the pillars on which your CRM project will rest.

CRM Price too High
CRM Solution all Wrong
CRM Lifetime too Short

If the price of your CRM is too high, it doesn’t matter if it is a perfect fit everywhere else, you won’t be able to afford it.

If the system doesn’t meet your team’s needs, the cost of it is irrelevant.

And if the other two are perfectly in balance (i.e. perfect system with just the right price) but you know your business will outgrow it in a year…well, there’s really no point, is there?

All three have to be perfectly in balance or the whole process falls down.

In this blog, I’d like to focus on the pricing element, as it is where a lot of businesses first start on their CRM journey. It also, in my experience, can have a huge impact on the way the system will fit your business…and for how long.

The Low End of the CRM Marketplace

At the lower price range are the systems that always seem just a little too good to be true. Maybe they’re just a few pounds a month (or they might even be free) and, at first glance, do everything you need it to do.

Most of these systems offer basic Contact Management tools, with usually something else thrown in. So they give you the ability to record individual people, link them to a company, and maybe define the relationship there.

A lot of these systems will also give you some basic Task Management, so you can say who you called and when. You can probably also email them, but that’s really where these “cheaper” CRM systems tend to stop.

Quite often, these low per use priced systems are an “entry” level to a far bigger CRM. Salesforce in particular uses this method. Charge people who don’t need as much less…which seems to make sense on the face of it, right?

Again, this is my experience and I know that I’m not unbiased in this area. But I’ve seen countless businesses fall for a free or cheap system only to discover it won’t let them create custom fields or really customise their templates or even just manage enough of their sales process.

Too often, the CRMs in question don’t do these things at all OR each will incur a “bolt on” price increase.


Do we have what it takes?

We don't restrict which features you have access to in OpenCRM based on how many users you have. You get everything right out of the box. Click to find out if we've got the features you need.

find out more

CRMs with a Much Higher Price Tag

At the other end of the CRM marketplace, you have the systems with ALL the bells and whistles. They do everything and more…and you pay for it.

My issue with these high priced systems is really twofold: it’s a lot of money and you usually have to pay annually. As a Yorkshireman and someone who has spent a lot of time in the CRM industry, this really bothers me—right down to my core.

First, you get people to pay an incredibly high per user price. Sure you get all the bells and whistles (although you are often still restricted on custom fields and templates).

Then, to add insult to injury, they make you pay for the whole YEAR up front. And that’s just the subscription cost…these more expensive CRM systems also have high price tags for training, additional development, and (sometimes) ongoing support).

It’s a minefield, but a lot of companies are drawn in thinking that they have to pay the big bucks to get all the fancy whooshing features. But it’s just not sustainable for them year on year.

CRM comparison

The salesforce alternative?

There are a lot of a CRM providers out there and it can be difficult to know how one compares to another. Click to find out more about how we stack up against the competition.

find out more

The CRM Just Right for your Budget

We’ve talked about it in other blogs, but I’ll mention it again here: you have to work out two things when looking for a CRM system:

  1. What you need
  2. What your budget is

If you know those two things, you’re ready to start your search properly.

You’ll be able to rule out the low cost options because they don’t give you everything you need. Then you can rule out the expensive systems because they’re outside your budget.

So what are you left with?

Hopefully you’re left with a CRM system that fits into your budget while still offering you all the features and whooshy stuff that you need (with a few extra bonuses ideally).

Custom Demo

Let us take you on a tour

You've had a look around and are starting to think OpenCRM might be the system for you and your business. Why not chat with one of our team (and ask your burning CRM questions) as they take you on a tour of the system?

find out more

It’s something we say all the time here, but it always bears repeating: “Your CRM should work for your business, not the other way around.”

You need to find the CRM that will do what you need it to do without it costing too much for you to keep using it.

Graham Anderson
Graham Anderson
Before I got my start in the tech industry as part of Apple's UK Mac launch team, I was a professional drummer (notice I didn’t say musician). But once I got in, I was hooked and I’ve been involved in the tech industry, primarily software development, for over 20 years. I founded this company and I now have the enviable title of System Architect (as well as Managing Director) here at OpenCRM.