Gold, but modest, or the cost of CRM implementation

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Deciding to implement a customer relationship management, or CRM, system is an important step in the development of a company. And, as you know, progress is inextricably linked with investment.

So what types of costs should we consider when planning to introduce CRM?

CRM infrastructure

The first issue to consider is the location of the CRM. We can opt for a desktop version (a program installed on every computer in the company) or in the cloud (SaaS). Currently as many as 87% of companies rely on SaaS solutions. The main advantages of cloud CRM are greater scalability and flexibility, accessibility from any device, lower costs, and no obligation to maintain the system in-house.

Implementation, installation and personalization

Implementation and installation costs will vary depending on the level of complexity of the system. Simple CRM-class solutions with basic functions will not be difficult to adapt in a company. On the other hand, elaborate systems that include many functionalities will require more work to implement, and will therefore be more expensive. In addition, the more personalized the solution, the higher the cost of CRM implementation.


Installation alone is not enough. In the case of cloud solutions, we are usually dealing with a subscription model. The customer pays a monthly fee for a selected package, the cost of which is usually based on the number of users of the system. It is also important to pay attention to the functionalities that a given package includes. It is a good idea to use a trial version of the solution and check it for your needs. If you purchase more licenses as part of a tailored solution, it is possible to negotiate the cost with the manufacturer or supplier. Fees will also vary depending on the type of subscription plan you have. Importantly, the monthly billing model allows for greater flexibility. On the other hand, using CRM on an annual subscription is a long-term investment, with the main advantage of providing security and strategic planning for operations.

Data import

Implementing a CRM system also involves transferring customer data into it. They may be in the existing CRM or collected in various places like Excel sheets. When data is imported into the new system, it is standardized, adjusted to the new structure, and secured as required. This is a labor-intensive task, but it keeps the newly implemented system organized and can be used effectively. Often the data import service comes at an additional cost, so be sure to take this cost into account when considering the choice of a particular provider.


Integration of the new CRM with other systems in the company is also an important aspect to consider in the costing process. Usually vendors implementing CRM solutions offer such a service, for example, by establishing a relationship with their partner providing integration tools. Sometimes, however, the chosen solution will require the purchase of additional applications for integration.


Introducing a new system also requires training users on how to use it. Modern CRM solutions tend to be very intuitive, but it's worth familiarizing yourself with all the functionalities in order to get the most out of it. It may happen that people who will work with the new system on a daily basis will have trouble quickly learning how to use it, so training will be essential. Of course, this may be an additional cost, which is worth asking the supplier about. 


Even after a smooth Salesforce implementation, unexpected problems can arise. At the stage of selecting a particular vendor, it is worth clarifying whether support is included in its proposed price, and if so, to what extent. This is important, because it may turn out that the supplier under the term "support" understands a narrow range of services, and you will have to pay extra for additional support.


If you choose cloud CRM, the upgrade and maintenance costs remain with the solution vendor. This usually happens automatically and does not require user intervention. It also happens that the vendor, as part of after-sales care, conducts training sessions for users, during which it presents novelties and improvements. The situation is completely different if you decide on a local solution. Then the cost of updating the system and its maintenance is borne by the customer. Therefore, it is best to clearly define with the supplier the amount of all costs even before implementation. 

Additional functionalities

Any CRM will have basic functions, including the collection and storage of customer data and the ability to manage it. However, modern systems offer many more capabilities. Before deciding on a particular CRM, it is important to pay attention to what is included in the chosen plan. Perhaps the functions you care about are not available in the basic version of the system. A popular practice is to provide customers with additional functionality in the form of paid applications or extensions to the system.

An investment in a system for managing a company's customer relationships should be well thought out, so any doubts that arise should be addressed and answers to nagging questions sought. Considering the above aspects before implementing a CRM system will help you avoid hidden costs and facilitate budget planning.