CRM TCO Calculator – Discover the Hidden Costs of CRM (Total Cost of Ownership)

CRM TCO Calculator – Microsoft Dynamics vs ACT vs Sugar vs Salesforce vs Saleslogix

How do I compare ACT vs Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs SugarCRM vs Sage CRM  vs SalesLogix vs Salesforce.com? Does the CRM TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) provide the answer?

Evaluating the right CRM for your business includes many factors. Total cost of ownership is but one of these factors. However, the importance of TCO increases when you consider the lifecycle of the CRM deployment.

Choosing an inexpensive, entry-level CRM may initially seem a smart choice. But if that system cannot grow as your business grows, the investment can prove more costly in the long run. Also, while some products seem to be licensed at a certain price, be sure to ask deep questions regarding additional fees to integrate that CRM tool with other systems, or for mobile access. We will help you define these questions and thus calculate the proper TCO.

With so many comparison options available for CRM, what are the keys for selecting the right CRM for your business?

  1. License Price. This is typically per Named User. Some CRM solutions allow for concurrent licensing. This can  be very valuable for shift work. For example, if you own 100 Concurrent Licenses, you can have many 200+ Named Users, but only the first 100 can log in. Every user after that will not be able to log into the system..
  2. Upgrade Assurance. Some CRM tools allow you to purchase future upgrades at a discounted price now.
  3. Technical Support Plans. You might need to pay extra to get real help beyond your initial 30-60 day window.
  4. Maintenance and Support. Often handled together, some handle these items separately. Be aware that some CRM solutions will not allow you to purchase additional licenses if you do not pay the annual Maintenance and Support. Even if you OWN the license. Read the fine print. Better yet, just call us for the details.
  5. Server Costs. This means hardware, software and virtual. What about Terminal Servers? What about Web Servers and Sync Servers. There’s a world of options out there. Just make sure you clarify things before investing! If you need advice, give us a call.
  6. IT Support. If you plan on installing and running your CRM within your own IT environment, don’t forget to consider the additional IT Support costs this carries.
  7. Database Costs. Some CRM solutions require a separate server license for every unique database! Think long and hard about how many separate databases you need. If your need multiple databases, then call us to find out what your best bets are!
  8. Installation and Upgrade. One of the most overlooked costs is the annual (or quarterly in some cases) hardware upgrade. You might think that you won’t need to touch your computer to upgrade your licenses for the next 3 years – and you might be right. How can you tell? take a survey of how new your laptops are, what version of Microsoft Office you are on, and how many mobile devices you have used in the last 3 years.
  9. Time. We recommend planning your costs for at least a 3 year period of time. Even if you just need a starter kit, take time to consider all the questions on this list. These items may very well become relevant within the firs 2 years.
  10. Cost of Extracting Data. What happens if you want to switch CRM tools? Not always easy. This is especially true if you are on a “free version“. Some free versions do not allow for data extraction. That’s their hook! If you want to ever remove your data, you will need to upgrade (for at least a year) to a cost-based plan. That means paying up front for a year - even if you simply want to extract your data now.
  11. Mobile Integration. Not everyone offers the same Mobile synchronization possibilities at the same price. Do you need it for a one-time cost of $50 or less? Or do you prefer more features for a monthly price?
  12. Reporting. How difficult is it to get those reports you need? Do you need to pay a Crystal Reports consultant for each report? Or is there a simple, user-friendly reporting tool or dashboard built in?
  13. Customer Portal. Not all CRM packages include a customer portal. And the prices vary quite a bit.
  14. Quoting Integration. Some built in quoting tools sound good until you start using them. Our advice is to test them before investing.
  15. Campaign Management. Rarely are true campaign tools free! So if you need this, find out what your options are before selecting! Usually there is a limit to how many emails you can send out before being charged more.
  16. Usability & Adoption. You might invest into the slickest CRM available. But if it isn’t intuitive, you might have just wasted your money. The most overlooked factor in most CRM implementations is user adoption.

Download the CRM TCO Calculator

Click here to download our CRM TCO Calculator

Do you need a complete survey of CRM options to be aware of? Call us for a free consultation!

If you need to download SugarCRM or would like to install SugarCRM, let us know. If you need more information regarding free CRM or other CRM software systems, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Mark Shaw

Director at Accent Gold Solutions
Author: Mark Shaw, Director of Accent Gold Solutions, is certified in a number of CRM systems - including SAP CRM, SugarCRM and ACT! Having studied Business at the University of Massachusetts, he went on to consult several large Energy Utilities in the US and Europe - including designing a Sales Database for the largest European provider of Natural Gas. Using his unique combination of sales and marketing experience, Mark has set up and led successful sales teams for several firms, including Xerox.
Read more about Mark on our About Us page. Google