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Factors Affecting CRM Pricing and Implementation

Factors_Affecting_PricingA key concern when considering implementing a CRM system relates to arriving at a dollar amount that represents not only the purchase of the software or subscription but professional services, related hardware and IT costs, the value of time resources and other 'disruptions' involved in changing the working environment.  

Pricing factors of Subscription or software capital purchase:

Usually, the purchase of the software or subscription price is the easiest to arrive at. Consider this example set of scenarios.

I. Purchased Cloud Subscription Pricing per user license:

Situation 1:  Consider Greg who owns a small business like similar others in your town with 5 to 55 staff in sales, sales support, and sales management.  The business needs revolve around basic customer and contact management, tracking activities and notes of conversations with contacts and some basic opportunity management. He likes to have some numbers and a positive feeling where future sales revenue will be coming from and when. Microsoft Outlook is the primary email system that is used on laptops and desktops. There may be some minor customizations and personalization on some data entry forms he'd want to have done. The business doesn't have a strong IT department and Greg would rather have his CRM system hosted off-premise (in the 'cloud') by the software publisher.  Also, his business, like many nowadays is rapidly moving to more mobility with smart phones and tablets.

Option 1:  Consider the Creatio CRM Bundle subscription cloud option for an all-in-one CRM capabilities in the marketing, sales, customer service and business process automation. Creatio offers three products on one platform to connect the dots between marketing, sales and service. The system delivers end-to-end processes to manage the complete customer journey – from lead to order to continued customer service excellence. Subscription pricing is around $45 - $65/user/month with a minimum of 1-year subscription. Use the Creatio CRM pricing calculator.Creatio Pricing calculator


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We provide the helpful assistance with the implementation, optimization and on-going support.

Option 2: Consider the Act! option with Act! customer and contact management capability. All the basics are covered for managing customers and contacts. Subscription pricing is around $35/user/month with a minimum of 1-year subscription. Better yet this solution would include the Act! mobile capability and eMarketing automation.

Option 3: Consider the separate Infor CRM mobile-only user license option for customer relationship management made specifically for today's smart phones and tablets.  This is especially useful if the business doesn't need the full capabilities of the larger web client implementation. It's been designed from the ground up with the features and functions that will help salespeople easily and quickly act on opportunities. Infor CRM Mobile allows salespeople to manage accounts, take and update orders, and see opportunities remotely, all from their mobile devices.

We provide the helpful assistance with the implementation, optimization and on-going support.

The platform also allows the sales team to access up-to-the-minute customer information using quick lookups or filtered searches and connect with their calendar of activities, take notes, schedule meetings, and complete activities. Pricing is $65 per user per month.

Enhanced Business Situation: 

Greg's business requirements have expanded and Sally who directs the customer service representatives needs a system for tracking service/support issues and providing knowledge base support and solutions for customers. Greg's Quality Assurance and product departments need more advanced capabilities such as tracking product defects, RMA's, product sales per business account. Also manufacturing is moving to less inventory and more 'just-in-time' production.  So there is a strong need for a much more robust opportunity sales process and forecasting accuracy for production planning. Also sales teams are more competitive and only specific user teams should be able to see only their specific accounts, contacts, communications and opportunities.

Option 3: In this enhanced scenario consider the full Infor  CRM Cloud option.  Infor CRM Cloud subscription pricing is $65/named user/month or $100/concurrent user/month for a one year period. The 'concurrent' license option will reduce the cost to Greg's business because a pool of split-shift and part-time users can share a smaller number of licenses. This option's price also would include the Infor CRM Mobile capability for the field sales reps- so they can use either the full web client or the more mobile version.

II. Purchase software Licenses with Capital Purchase then deploy  on-premise or in your IT cloud:

Situation 2:  Kurt has a similar business situation as described above in #1  but he is more comfortable with his IT department. He has a strong need to keep company information near by because of security and data integration concerns. Also in his business, there is better long-term ROI and lower total cost of ownership than paying a monthly subscription per user.  Kurt can decide to place their CRM system on-premise or use a trusted IT hosting partner.   In this scenario, the business already has a scalable Microsoft SQL server to host the CRM database along with a Web server such as Microsoft IIS.  The company's IT staff will be responsible to obtain CRM system updates and apply as needed.

Option 1: For the same business need capabilities as noted above, then consider Creatio on-premise implementation. As of 1/1/2020 this Creatio system is slightly less expensive for the annual subscription that is hosted by Creatio.  There is typically a slight increase also in the implementation of professional services

We provide helpful assistance with the implementation, optimization, and on-going support.

Option 2: For the same business need capabilities as noted above, then consider Act!  The manufacturer's suggested pricing (MSRP) will run from $415 to $550 per named user license. We'd recommended to Kurt to include a Business Care plan so the business will obtain software publisher updates and access basic support. As the number of users increases along with the size of the SQL database you'd eventually move from using the default SQL Express version to the full Microsoft SQL standard edition.  Kurt's business will be able to run with the Windows and/or Web version.

Option 3: If the business requirements become more involved, require additional CRM related functionality such as the management of customer service and support issues, or some advanced customizations for your specific industry, we'd recommend the Infor CRM system, either Advanced or Premium edition.  It would provide Windows, Web and Mobile access with total CRM capabilities.  For a basic CRM system running on your Microsoft SQL 2005/2008/2012 system would involve the purchase of the following:

  • Named user license @ $ 995 each

  • Concurrent users @ $1,895 each

To include in the initial, one-time purchase of the software licenses of Infor CRM, there is the purchase of first year business care plans that costs from 18% - 21% of the MSRP total above.  These plans are intended to keep the CRM system humming with the latest enhancements and updates. These plans include various levels of Infor CRM publisher support from Kurt's business.

Additional capability may apply to the business requirements such as advanced analytics, integrated e-marketing, customer self-service portal, advanced SpeedSearch, Business Process management/workflow, and remote PC/office synchronization with some additional CRM investment.

We provide helpful assistance with the implementation, optimization and on-going support.

Note that there may be promotional offers provided by the software publisher with software discounts or Non-profit organizational discounts, etc., so please ask us for the latest.

Summary of software licensing:

These are some examples to consider for subscription or CRM software purchases.  This is the technology component of your CRM investment and of course, your situation may be different and that leads us to other factors affecting CRM pricing...

Also consider examples of tailor-made customizations to have it Your Way....

Summary Comparison: Subscription versus License Purchase

Key aspects to consider and advantages of each:

Purchase Cloud Subscription licenses:

The software publisher provides the hosted environment and basic technical support to the CRM administrator.

Purchase Licenses as Capital expense:

Deployed n your environment: at your site or at an IT partner's hosted site.

CFO Friendly: A constant known lower operating expense versus a larger initial capital expense.  Rapid time-to-value of traditional CRM Software-as-Service solution.

Take advantage of existing network capability: Microsoft SQL database and IIS web server capability exists.

IT involvement: The business has no IT department, the systems in place are not capable of hosting a CRM system, the IT department is unable to implement or support the CRM system (too busy with other projects, don't have the required skills set).

Data integration: There is a need for a continuous integration of data with other on site applications such as accounting or ERP, especially if these applications don't have web services capability.

Will be using the Web and/or Mobile user access and not the Windows client version of CRM.

Security Requirements: Use if security policies or regulations require an on-premise system.

End user skills: The end users are capable of managing their own devices; security, browser configuration, email configuration.

IT Skills: The IT department has the skills to manage the technologies (Microsoft SQL, Microsoft IIS web server, etc.)

Need to have a rapid deployment deadline.

IT department has capacity to meet the deployment schedule.

Compared to other cloud vendor solutions you have peace of mind that your data is secure and only accessible by you, not intermingled with data of thousands of other companies by using the SalesLogix Cloud. You own and control your data right from the start and can switch from a cloud-based solution to an on-premise solution.

There is a need to have both the Microsoft Windows desktop client and web client for running business applications.  Legacy Windows applications are primarily used.

Plays well with others since the SalesLogix cloud is built on a flexible, standards-based platform that enables integration with other business management solutions such as Microsoft Outlook on your desktop.

 The IT department endorses or requires modern, standards-based platform that enables integration with other business management solutions such as Microsoft Office.

You're in control of the CRM experience. The SalesLogix Cloud gives you control of upgrades so you can perform them when it's right for your business - not when the IT department or vendor decides.

Your IT department has the capability to create a cloned system so upgrades can be tested before placing into production.

Other Points of Interest:

  • You can move from an on-premise implementation to the cloud subscription implementation and receive credit for original purchases.
  • Likewise the cloud subscription provides the capability to back up the full database and deploy on-premise.

Involvement of Our Professional Services

You know how your business operates effectively and we know how CRM gets implemented successfully in various types of businesses.

Our value is in providing useful suggestions for improvement, transferring knowledge to your organization and eventually guiding the design, implementation and support of CRM within your specific business. We are change agents that work hard to understand your business environment: the people, processes and technology, so the business can make significant improvement with the CRM system.

The CRM investment does involve budgeting for professional consulting and implementation services and key areas that we'll collaborate with your CRM team on will include:

  •  Strategic and tactical planning meeting with executive management, mid level management, IT department and key end users.
  • Data migration:  Initial importing of data primarily from an accounting database such as a list of customers from accounts receivable. Other sources may include Exchange/Outlook, user spreadsheets and other in-house custom systems.
  • Business process review and improvement design primarily in the areas of:
    • Lead entry/import, qualification and conversion to contact/account.

    • Managing the business organizations: accounts and related contacts

    • Communications (externally with contacts and internally among staff): Handling meetings, phone calls, tasks, scheduling calendar, email, etc.

    • Creation, updating and closing sales opportunities

    • Sales processes(s) and related buying process.

    • Creation, updating and closing customer service tickets.

  • Data integration with other sources:  accounting, ERP, etc.
  • Deployment options:  Cloud or on-premise, 
  • User Interface deployment:  Windows, Web, mobile
  • Personalization and customization of data entry forms and the back-end database schema.
  • Reporting:  review existing, design new/changes, & implement. This includes user and management dashboards.
  • Roles and responsibilities of the Pilot team phase
  • Education of system administrator, power users and other end users
  • Go live switch over from pilot group and follow up support
  • Systematic review of progress at 60/90 days and any updates to apply for increased user adoption and results for management.

Of course, every business has different skills of their people, different operational processing, and different priorities that are considered in getting to a good solid fixed price for the professional services component.

Factors to consider when considering how much professional consulting services to buy...

Articles on Pricing your CRM Implementation 

Helpful questions to guide you...in determining professional services & other costs

Preparing for a successful implementation of CRM system that brings change requires that many thoughtful questions be considered. 

Use the following to help yourself as the "CRM Champion", to help the executive sponsor and to help your CRM project team get the most from CRM. 

Planning with these questions as a starting point will achieve your desired objectives.

Also consider examples of tailor-made customizations to have it Your Way....

  • Stakeholders - Do you have those involved in the use of and management of the information identified along with each of their outcome objectives and expectations?  How will the future be different?
  • Do you have a project manager and champion of this change initiative?
  • What will be the number of expected users, their departments and primary job responsibilities as it relate to CRM?
  • What is the expected “Go-Live” deadline?
  • What are the expected time requirements that your project implementation team is planning to devote to this CRM initiative?
  • What operational processes do you foresee being affected by this upcoming change initiative with CRM?
  • How will your people be held accountable to learn new capabilities of business management software?  Review the CRM user adoption principles....
  • What are your sources of data to be used to start up this CRM system?  What is the quality (number of records) of company accounts, contacts, addresses and sales opportunities?  What is the data quality and expected level of de-duplication that will be needed?
  • What is your current technology foundation:  Number of servers in networks, operating system and versions of servers, desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets?
  • What are the technical skills of all the users?
    • Heavily involved in using business applications
    • We have no dedicated IT, but have several power users.
    • All know web browsers usage and Microsoft Office productivity tools.
    • Minimum – know how to use browser to use Internet only
    • What other business applications are in use?  What version of Microsoft Office?
  • Are you having web leads come from a web site that needs to be imported regularly or automatically?
  • Do you have lead lists, trade show lists, etc. that need to be imported several times each year?
  • Will you have some internal power users defined as first line of CRM system support?