Save Money on CRM Software With These Purchase Secrets
As customer relationship management (CRM) software becomes more complex and features start to pile up, it can be difficult to determine which features are right for your business. There are many reputable vendors who will charge you a premium for their product, even if it’s essentially the same as what you can find elsewhere at a much lower price.
If you’re looking to get more out of your CRM software, you’ll want to purchase from the best source possible. The best CRM tools can be incredibly helpful in managing your relationships with your customers. Hence, it’s important to choose the right one that fits your business needs, budget, and culture.
So how do you save money on CRM software purchases? Here are 10 secrets to help you do just that. These purchase secrets will also help you figure out which features you actually need and how to negotiate with the CRM software vendor to get the best deal possible.
1. Look for free trials
If you’re looking for new CRM software tools, start by checking out what’s available as a free trial. While these won’t be able to provide all your tools, they can give you a chance to test them out before paying anything. Most likely, you’ll find more than one tool that fits what you need in your business. And depending on where it’s hosted and how much access it provides, you could end up with several great options without making any permanent purchases.
2. Get a personal recommendation
If you have a business associate who can provide you with CRM software examples because they use one of these software packages, ask them for a recommendation. Whether they use it personally or not, chances are they know someone else who does and can recommend what to look for.
That recommendation will be worth its weight in gold when you go shopping. Otherwise, if your business associate doesn’t use any of these tools but knows someone else who does, introduce yourself and ask if they would mind making an introduction.
3. Buy single-user licenses instead of multi-user licenses
Some people choose to go with expensive single-user licenses, believing that they’re purchasing a better product. The truth is that for small businesses, it’s simply not necessary. Look for software products that allow you to purchase single-user licenses at lower prices.
For example, when searching for the best CRM systems for small businesses, be sure to look into reasonable offerings. A single-user license doesn’t cost any more than a multi-user license. Unless you’re certain that everyone will be using it all at once—which is unlikely—single-user licenses are usually just as suitable. You can also consider using open source or freeware solutions if your needs are simple enough.
4. Go with subscription plans
When purchasing CRM software, one of your first decisions will be whether you’ll go with a subscription or pay-as-you-go plan. Subscription plans typically cost less per month and offer more value upfront—such as data migration services—than pay-as-you-go plans. That said, you may end up spending more over time if you sign up for a long-term contract.
Thus, it’s important to consider whether your business needs will change drastically during that period. Statistics from ProfitWell also show that businesses using subscription plans are twice as likely to stick with their service than those who use pay-as-you-go plans.
5. Pay in installments
Most CRM tools charge a monthly or annual fee, but some will let you pay in installments. Your business is growing, and every dollar counts. Hence, signing up for an installment plan lets you spread out your fees over several months (or years) so that you aren’t paying too much upfront. Plus, it can be good for your credit rating! Just be sure to look for any hidden fees that might come with signing up for an installment plan, though.
6. Choose cloud computing over software CDs or DVDs
Cloud computing is a great way to store and access your data, but many SMBs don’t realize that they can get all their software online, too. So when purchasing CRM software, your best bet is to choose a cloud-based system that gives you control over your documents without taking up too much space on your hard drive. As per SuperOffice’s statistics, 87% of businesses are now using cloud-based CRM.
You can also save hundreds of dollars per year if you download cloud-based applications instead of purchasing and installing software CDs or DVDs. For example, a basic version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is over $1000 per user. However, through a monthly subscription service, that same user can access all of Microsoft’s products for roughly $60/month.
This includes not only Dynamics CRM but also OneDrive cloud storage and Skype messaging services. If you know you’ll need a particular piece of software in the next year or so, consider purchasing an annual subscription instead of paying upfront for one-time use. Remember, it’s always more cost-effective.
7. Check customer reviews
Before you pull out your credit card for a new CRM software purchase, be sure to check out customer reviews. Positive and negative customer reviews are an excellent way to get an idea of how well a product will work for you before buying. They’ll also give you a better understanding of what are CRM tools used for.
But if there aren’t any available reviews or they seem too promotional, look elsewhere. There are plenty of other options out there. Just remember, it can take time to find which platform works best for your company. So, don’t rush through it—find what’s right for you and your business.
8. Try open-source systems
While commercial systems are designed with powerful functionality in mind, they don’t necessarily have to be expensive. For example, an open-source CRM system can offer some of the same functions as other top-notch programs but at a fraction of the cost. With access to CRM software tools for free and no need for programming resources, you can save hundreds of thousands of dollars when opting for open source over proprietary systems.
9. Search discounts and coupons online
Before you make a purchase, search for discounts and coupons online. There are lots of websites that offer coupons for most consumer products, so it’s usually worth a quick search before making any big purchases. You can also sign up for email lists from some retailers. This way, you’ll get notified when there are sales or coupon codes available. After all, it’s always better to save money than spend it!
10. Remember to ask about recurring fees
One of your most important considerations when purchasing any type of software, including CRM tools, is whether it’s priced with a subscription or one-time cost. If you choose a recurring cost model for your new software, you can expect to pay a monthly fee for as long as you use it. This means that if you want to stop using the product (maybe it’s not working out), it may be hard or impossible to do so.
Hence, choosing a one-time payment option gives you more flexibility and allows you to cancel at any time without penalty. Plus, it saves you money in the long run because there are no additional fees to worry about.
Purchase the Most Valuable CRM Software in the Market
As a small business owner, the key to increasing your sales lies in having great CRM software. More specifically, it’s important to purchase the most valuable software so you can accurately track every prospect, manage customer relationships, and focus your marketing efforts accordingly.
There are many CRM software available in the market, considering that its current market size is over $47 billion as per Statista’s report. However, not all of them are as good as they claim to be. So how do you pick the best one?
The best way to save money on CRM software purchases is by purchasing discounted versions. Free, freemium, and trial versions don’t offer all of a software’s features, but they’re also great options for companies that aren’t sure if they need those extras.
Try out a few different platforms with limited functions until you find one that matches your needs perfectly. Most importantly, don’t forget to follow our CRM software purchase tips above!