Cost Of CRM: Get the details here


The cost of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the size of your business, the features and functionality you need, the number of users, and whether you choose an on-premises or cloud-based solution. 

When businesses lament about the cost of a CRM, they are usually referring to “legacy CRMs.” Legacy CRMs like Salesforce are heavy, complex systems that require a large amount of resources to implement, integrate and maintain. Modern CRMs like Insightly and others, are built to be flexible, affordable, and scalable. Since Salesforce dominates the market, it often dominates the reputation of CRMs, casting them all in a shadow of costliness. 

It’s easy to look at the pricing page of a CRM provider’s website and calculate a price per seat per month as. the cost of CRM. You’d think that simply multiplying the number of people who’ll need access to your CRM by that monthly per seat fee would be the end of the discussion.

You’d be wrong.

In fact, that monthly fee is just the beginning of the cost of a CRM. Consider these costs:

Factors in CRM Cost

Here are some factors to consider when assessing the potential expense of a CRM system:

  • Type of CRM: There are various types of CRM systems, including basic, mid-range, and enterprise-level solutions. Basic CRMs tend to be more affordable but may lack advanced features. Thanks to advancements in cloud delivery of CRMs, most mid-range and enterprise-level CRMs offer considerable functionality and customization options at a reasonable cost.
  • Deployment Model: Cloud-based (Software as a Service or SaaS) CRM solutions typically have a subscription-based pricing model, where you pay a monthly or annual fee per user. On-premises CRMs, which are slowing in popularity, might involve higher upfront costs for software licenses, hardware, and implementation, but lower recurring costs.
  • Features and Customization: The more advanced features and customization options a CRM offers, the more it might cost. Some CRMs provide basic contact management and communication tools, while others offer email marketing, sales forecasting, analytics, and integrations with other software. Again, cloud computing is closing this gap as more features can be added to modern CRMs that are reasonably priced. 
  • Number of Users: Most CRM cloud providers charge on a per-user basis. The more users you have, the higher the cost will be. Some CRMs may offer volume discounts for larger user bases.
  • Integration Requirements: If you need your CRM to integrate with other systems, such as your email, marketing tools, or e-commerce platforms, you’ll need to build these integrations. Legacy CRMs have heavy costs associated with integrations, but modern CRMs have low-code/no-code integration tools for this purpose. 
  • Implementation and Training: The cost of implementation, data migration, and training can add to the overall expense. These will be higher for legacy CRMs that are highly complex. Modern CRMs are easy to learn and often provide self-service implementation options, with optional professional services as desired.
  • Support and Maintenance: Consider ongoing support, maintenance, and updates when you are looking at buying a CRM – but especially with a legacy CRM. Modern CRMs typically deliver updates seamlessly.
  • Industry and Use Case: Some industries have industry-specific CRMs tailored to their needs, which could impact the cost. These tend to have fields and objects that are custom to your business, so that could sound appealing. However, since they are a single vendor, there can be limited competition in this space which can drive up costs. Since modern CRMs are fully customizable, the need for industry-specific CRMs has decreased in recent years.

It’s important to do thorough research, compare different CRM providers, and assess your business’s needs before making a decision. While some CRMs can be expensive, they can also provide significant value by improving customer relationships, streamlining processes, and boosting overall efficiency and profitability. Make sure to factor in both the initial costs and the potential long-term benefits when evaluating the expense of a CRM system.

Data migration costs

Depending on the size and complexity of your CRM database, you may need to hire a consultant or spend additional staff time to migrate data to a new CRM. This is usually the case with large legacy CRMs. If you want to save on data migration costs, choose a modern CRM provider, like Insightly, that will migrate all your data at no extra charge. If this is your first CRM or if you are moving from spreadsheets, this cost will be minimal. 

User training & ongoing support costs

If you choose a legacy CRM like Salesforce, be prepared to spend on user training and ongoing support. Salesforce is complex and even if your staff has used it before, chances are those implementations were highly customized, so very little of that knowledge will transfer over. With so many CRM options on the market today, you are no longer limited to choosing from among the complicated and costly legacy systems like Salesforce and Zoho. The new generation of modern CRMs offers easy-to-use, scalable, enterprise-grade solutions that don’t require extensive user support or consultants. And, if you still want an option with support, choose a CRM that offers plans that include ongoing user support and training at no additional cost. This way you gain access to expert support without receiving an unexpected bill every time you use it. 

Customization costs

As you calculate new CRM costs, make sure all your customizations are factored into your plan from the get-go if you’ve selected a legacy CRM like Salesforce or Zoho. These platforms are difficult to customize, often requiring a programmer or outside integrator to assist. Not surprisingly, these resources can be costly. Modern CRMs like Insightly make customizations easy with a logical approach to features like custom objects and custom fields.


Again, with legacy CRMs, integrations can be expensive. You’ll need a developer to create them and to maintain them. When they break (and they will when apps are updated), you’ll want a resource on hand to fix them. With a modern CRM like Insightly, there are native integrations built-in to the platform, plus you can access the AppConnect tool to build drag and drop integrations that are low-code or no-code. Your CRM can be the heart of your business without an expensive integration process. 

CRM Pricing Comparison

Graph of cost increasing with the cost of CRM

You might be asking yourself, “What is the average cost of a CRM system?” This answer depends on a variety of factors, including the number of users, whether you choose a cloud-based or on-prem system (most choose cloud), how much customization you want, and how many advanced features you require. The best option is to contact a few CRM providers and have them quote you a price based on your needs. 

You can also do a CRM pricing comparison on product review websites. For instance, you can go to G2, TrustRadius, or Capterra and request Salesforce CRM pricing, or a Zoho CRM pricing comparison. On some sites, you can compare up to three competitors side-by-side. If you compare Insightly CRM vs. Salesforce CRM vs. Zoho CRM, you will be surprised at the power you can get from Insightly with a low monthly fee and total cost of ownership.

CRM Implementation Cost

As noted above, one of the biggest expenses of your CRM will be the CRM implementation cost. A common question is “How much does it cost to implement a CRM?” and more specifically, “How much does it cost to implement Salesforce?” since Salesforce is a widely used CRM, along with Microsoft Dynamics 365 even though these are considered legacy CRMs vs. today’s modern CRMs

The CRM implementation process includes set up, data migration, customizations and training. Depending on the size of your organization, your existing data set, and the complexity of your operation, these could cost anywhere from zero dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Again, you’ll want to focus on a few CRM providers that you are considering and have them quote you a specific price based on your needs. Don’t let them skirt the question – it’s vital to have the full picture of costs up front to make a decision. 

CRM Cost Per Month

The average CRM cost per month can vary depending on various factors, such as the specific features and functionalities included in the CRM system, the number of users, and the chosen pricing model. According to Solutions Review research in 2023, the average cost of a CRM system for a small business (self-employed or up to 10 employees) can be as low as $12 to $20 per user per month. In contrast, for mid-sized companies (up to 100 employees), that goes from $100 to $200. CRM cost data from Software Path is similar, although they present it as a 5 year cost of about $7,500 per user in 2023 or $125 per month, which can be helpful when budgeting long-term. 

However, it’s important to note that these are just average estimates, as there are CRM solutions available with both lower and higher price points. To get a precise understanding of CRM pricing, it’s recommended to consult a CRM price list provided by different vendors, as they offer various packages and pricing options tailored to different business needs and budgets. Overall, CRM cost per month is determined by the specific CRM solution chosen and the level of functionality and customization required by the organization.

Once you establish your CRM implementation costs, you’ll want to know about your ongoing costs, or likely your CRM cost per month. It’s important because the CRM software cost for small business can be overwhelming if you over-buy with a platform built for enterprises. (You should look for a CRM designed for growing businesses that scales with you, like Insightly.)

When you do your CRM software pricing comparison, be sure to look for companies around the same size as yours and ask specifically what those firms pay monthly to the vendor. Another example is Zoho CRM pricing, which can appear to be affordable, but the system tends to be complex and therefore requires a lot of costly training sessions. 

Is CRM Software Expensive?

Dollar sign standing out from the background.

The easy answer to this is that the most expensive CRM software is Salesforce. (That tower in San Francisco isn’t going to pay for itself!) However, the answer has more to do with buying the right software for your business. Sometimes CRM software costs for small businesses eat up way too much of the company’s operating budget because the business over-invested in a CRM that is overly complex. A simple CRM software pricing comparison during the research phase can avoid this scenario. When researching vendors, ask your sales representatives, “What is the average cost of a CRM system with your organization?” and have them lay out the total cost of ownership of a CRM with them, including initial and ongoing costs. (Speaking of Salesforce, this Salesforce cost calculator can help.)

CRM Cost Meaning

When shopping for a CRM, there are a lot of terms used by vendors. When you think of costs associated with a CRM – initial and ongoing – there may be confusion about CRM cost meaning, all the way down to the CRM definition and the benefits. In the context of marketing and sales, the acronym CRM will always mean customer relationship management, and usually the platforms associated with it, like Salesforce, Insightly, and Zoho are all CRM system examples. In business in general, the CRM system meaning or just a CRM meaning in business will also be customer relationship management, and again referring to the platforms that perform the function. The CRM meaning in marketing and sales will also be customer relationship management. The customer relationship management definition by authors of business, marketing and sales articles will be centered around CRM platforms that consist of CRM tools, like contact management, workflow automation, lead routing and email management. The CRM definition and benefits include faster lead responses, a more efficient sales force, and revenue growth.

CRM Pricing Models

CRM pricing models play a crucial role in the decision-making process for businesses looking to implement the best CRM solution. Understanding the different pricing models available is essential for conducting a comprehensive CRM pricing comparison. Various pricing models exist, including per user, tiered, and usage-based pricing. The per user model charges a fixed fee per user, which can be beneficial for small teams. Tiered pricing offers different feature levels at varying price points, enabling businesses to select the package that best suits their needs. Usage-based pricing is based on the volume of data or transactions processed, making it suitable for larger enterprises with high CRM activity. Considering these CRM pricing models is crucial in identifying the most cost-effective solution that aligns with a company’s requirements.

Your CRM pricing model will first depend on whether you choose a cloud-based system or an installed/on-prem system. Most of today’s modern CRMs are cloud based and therefore are much more economical to run. Be sure you look for a system that was initially built for the cloud, vs. a system like Salesforce that was retrofitted for it. You’ll find faster load times, faster response times, and more flexible features from systems, like Insightly, that were built for the cloud first. 

After you select your platform, you’ll need to look at the total cost of ownership for your CRM. This is important since many people get wowed by advanced features they’ll never use and therefore overbuy their CRM. The end result is that the CRM software cost for small business stalls growth because it’s so expensive and complex. 

Initial costs should be identified (set-up, data migration, training, customizations) and then you should separately look at ongoing costs (monthly subscription fees, maintenance costs, staff resources, external consultant fees) These two together will show up as your total cost of ownership of CRM. 

For instance, Insightly CRM pricing, Monday CRM pricing, Salesforce CRM pricing, and Zoho CRM pricing will all vary based on the number of users since they are priced per seat, per month. They all have different levels as well that include features that you may or may not need, so don’t feel compelled to buy the highest level until you review the features associated with the entry levels and determine exactly what you are going to use. 

CRM Software Pricing Comparison

CRM software pricing comparison involves evaluating different CRM platforms to determine their costs and features. When conducting a CRM software pricing comparison, it is essential to consider factors such as the functionality and scalability of the software, as well as the requirements of your business.  (Psst….Insightly has done a lot of the work for you in this free CRM comparison guide. It details the top CRMs on price and features.) By comparing the pricing plans of various CRM software providers, you can make an informed decision about the best CRM solution for your organization. Additionally, consulting a CRM price list can help you understand the different pricing structures and packages available in the market. Conducting a thorough CRM software pricing comparison can ensure that you find the best CRM software that meets your business needs within your budget.

CRM Software Cost For Small Business

CRM software cost for small business varies depending on the specific needs of the business and the features included in the CRM system. The price of CRM software can range from free to several hundred dollars per month. When selecting the best CRM for a small business, it is essential to consider the features provided and the price value. Some CRM software options offer a free or basic plan, which is suitable for small businesses with limited budgets. However, these plans often have limitations on the number of users and features available. For a more robust CRM system, small businesses may need to invest in a premium plan, which typically comes with a higher price tag. It is essential to consult a CRM price list and conduct a CRM pricing comparison to ensure that the chosen CRM system aligns with the business needs and budget of a small business. On average, small businesses can expect to spend anywhere from $12 to $150 per user per month for a CRM system.

Get started with Insightly

One way to get a solid picture of cost is to start off with a free subscription. Insightly is free forever for up to 2 users. You can try before you buy and decide if it’s the right system for you. 

Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, or request a personalized demo to see how our solution can help your company achieve its business goals.


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