CRM-systems: Buy vs. Build
But be careful, not all prices and rough estimates that are given on the websites are actually what they seem to be. In this article, we are going to talk about cost-forming factors that together and separately make up the final sum spent on a CRM system.
No software has ever passed flawlessly, even if the product representative is telling you otherwise. Years of experience show us that personnel always has trouble accustoming to new systems. Tutoring stuff is going to be another headache and item of expense. Moreover, in the beginning, the person in control is going to sacrifice their working hours to monitor and carry out regular checks of CRM, resolve issues concerning the new workflow, and see how they are dealt with.
At first, let's take a look at the cost of licensed software.
- Lifetime license;
- License (subscription) for a certain period of time (month, year, etc.);
- Copy of the software to install on your company's servers.
The lifetime license is useful as you have to pay only once and forget about it once and for all. However, you'll have to pay a pretty sizable amount for the product.
Subscription seems more legit. The cost is reasonable, but have to be paid on a monthly basis. But you can set up monthly billing to forget about it once and for all.
When comparing the cost of various offered CRMs, do not forget to read all information available on the website and be aware of marketing ploys. Lots of CRM providers often advertise the super low-cost service package deal that is going to activate under certain conditions.
For example, you see a subscription offer $40 bucks per user. However, if you are reading attentively, suddenly it's a real deal only if you purchase an annual subscription for 10 users or more.
Such specials are typical for IT-services. Therefore, you have to carefully consider every cost-forming aspect of the price to choose the most beneficial deal.
1. Install the software (when buying one there are lots of hassle with setting up servers, which can be avoided by purchasing a SaaS solution. Thus, some time will be lost for installing client programs into PCs, tablets, and smartphones);
2. Set up user groups and levels of access for every employee that is going to work with CRM;
3. Integrate with other services and programs (including collecting data from website, databases, social media, telephony and any other);
4. Transmit the data from other systems and software.
Usually, when calculating the final cost of a CRM, business owners often do not include the expenses on transmitting the data to the system, which ends up low blowing company's budget.
On the one hand, by paying for a SaaS product, you cannot access the source code meaning there is nothing to improve from the technical point of view. On the other hand, there are numerous opportunities for setting up different types of reports and forms, business processes, access levels, and the general look of the system.
In case of Stand Alone products you will have to take care of buying or renting a server, put it in order, purchase additional software, etc. By paying for a stand alone solution you get just a licensed copy of the software, but all further expenses regarding installation, settings and exploitation fall on your shoulders.
Essential functionality module for sales will look like this:
While abovementioned divisions can try to manage on their own, automating the work of support is a must. The huge volumes of requests and incoming information cannot be handled by people only without mistakes. Essential functionality module for Customer Support will look like this:
In this article, we have laid out several ways of dealing with CRM integration and calculating the cost. If you have decided to go with making your system for customer relationship management - IDAP would gladly assist you!