Running a small business can be expensive, and while implementing a CRM system saves you money in the long run, it may seem like a large expense at first. Here are 10 ways to trim the cost of your CRM implementation:
1. Managers First
The first users of your CRM system can be owners, managers and supervisors in your business. Once familiar with it, they can demonstrate the system to other employees, who can then become users themselves. Having a proper training program in place will speed up your implementation, and increase the cost benefit of your CRM system. A CRM system only works to it’s potential if everyone participates.
2. Compare Prices
When it comes to CRM systems, you want to get one that fits the size, needs, and budget of your business. You do not want your CRM system to cost you more money than it saves you through the proper management of your business and customers. Not only should you compare prices between different CRM solutions, but also look to see the different pricing plans your chosen CRM offers. They might have different editions of the software (which are more or less expensive) and they may offer monthly, annual, or perpetual licenses. Annual & Perpetual licenses are often discounted, but you may only be able to afford monthly at this time.
Be sure to check if your business qualifies for any discounts, or if you can try to haggle and get a better deal. Bulk orders, and those working in Education and Non-Profit organizations can sometimes receive up to a 20% discount on their CRM software licenses.
4. Partner Up
In addition to government grants, you can also pitch to investors in your area, or partner up with another business to become affiliates for one another.
5. Small Business Grants
In many cases, the government can pay for a large portion of your CRM implementation.
– Visit this website for a list of the top Canadian small business grants
– On this website, you’ll find information about small business loans and grants available in the United States
– This website will tell you all about funding your small business in Europe
– If you are an Australian resident, you can visit here for information about funding your small business
– Lastly, if you are a resident of the UK, you can visit here for grant information.
7. Don’t get Hooked on Labels
It can be tempting to go for the known names in any industry, but CRM is no different in that you will pay a premium for the brand. Browse your options and discover the newer or less established vendors. You will likely be able to get just as many features – if not more – for a much lower cost. For example, you can save up to 61% of your CRM costs by choosing 1CRM.
8. Don’t Customize Too Much Too Quickly
It’s usually better to get to the know the system first, and see how you end up using it within your business. Then, you will know what truly needs customizing to meet your unique needs. This may be time spent customizing the system yourself, or hiring someone to add a feature or integration you desire.
Organizations can be prone to adding unnecessary ‘frills’ to the system, or capabilities that later prove to be a big waste of money. Choosing a CRM that already meets the majority of your needs with its out-of-the-box capabilities can be a very effective way to cut costs.
9. Buy to Fit Your Functional Needs
Before you get dazzled by fancy UI’s and customer success stories, create a detailed list of your requirements. What are the main pain points of your business? Perhaps it’s manual entries, lost data, or customers just aren’t being followed up with. Try to decide what functionalities you do (and don’t) need from your CRM software. Understanding your needs and matching them with the most appropriate CRM can save you from spending all your profits on a lavish suite of capabilities you don’t require.
10. Implement your CRM Properly
It can be easy to assume that each CRM system can be intuitively used right out of the box, but that’s not always the case – especially if you’ve never used a CRM before. There are many features you won’t know how to use, and just need a briefing on how it all works. Make an effort to read the user manuals, watch the training videos, and if necessary, purchase implementation and training services from your CRM provider. It’s also essential that your team is fully on board with the CRM implementation. These actions will greatly reduce your chances of either not using the CRM at all, using it incorrectly, or purchasing another CRM system to learn.
We hope that these tips have helped you in your efforts to cut the cost of your CRM project. Do you have more tips for fellow business owners? Share them below!