If you have any kind of sales department, you probably know what Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is, why it’s important, and why you should use it. CRM usage has increased over the past few years, from 56% in 2012 to 74% in 2013, and it shows no signs of stopping in 2014.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer, or looking to switch systems, there’s one important factor on every shopper’s mind: price.
Based on our research on the most popular CRM systems, I’ve come up with this comparison of the pricing models for five CRM software products. So instead of opening a million tabs on your Internet browser, just look over this handy CRM pricing guide.
One of the most well-known and popular solutions, Salesforce has been around for 15 years, with products that serve the sales and marketing functions of a business. Features include mobile access, analytics, contact management, forecasting, and opportunity management.
They offer many different pricing options, making it easy to figure out what you need for the number of users you’ll have.
As you upgrade from each level, you receive all of the features from the levels below yours, ending with the Performance level. Billing is the same across all levels: per user, per month, billed annually, and an annual contract is required.
Some key differences between each price level are:
- The number of users: the first two price tiers only allow for up to five users, while the next three tiers allow for an unlimited number of users.
- Storage: the Contact Manager and Group packages only provide 1GB of data storage for the entire organization, while the Professional and Enterprise packages limit storage by user, 20MB each. The Performance package is the same, but offers 120MB per user.
- Customization: as you upgrade to each level, more customization options are available to you. For example, in the Contract Manager level you can customize your reports, but in the Professional level you’ll be able to customize your sales dashboard as well. At the Performance level, you can create an unlimited amount of custom applications, to improve your business’s overall sales process.
A full list of features included in each price tier can be found here.
Sage is a large business software company that serves many industries with a variety of products, including accounting, human resources, and ERP. Sage CRM is used primarily by small and medium sized businesses. Features include reporting, opportunity management, mobile access, campaign management, and social integration.
Sage CRM offers two options, each priced differently: cloud-based or on-premise. Each has its pros and cons, but it depends on your business needs.
While Sage CRM does not publish its prices for the on-premise option, according to CRM Search, “pricing begins at $1,495 per server and $495 per user license plus an annual support plan in the range of 15% to 21% of the retail price.”
Other than its installation process, the differences between the two pricing options include more customization options and advanced email management with the installed version, as well as integration with Sage’s ERP solution.
Zoho provides over 25 different online applications for businesses, including CRM software. Zoho CRM is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product, with features to help you automate your sales and marketing tasks, such as opportunity tracking, social integration, mobile capabilities, and Google Apps integration.
There are four main price levels, all billed per user per month, on a pay-as-you go service.
One differentiating factor Zoho CRM has from the other popular solutions is the fact that it offers a free version of the product. As you upgrade to the different levels, the number of features increases.
Some important differences between the four solutions are:
- Number of records: the Free version provides 5000 records, but for just $12 more, you can have 100,000 records. And, if you upgrade to the Professional level, you’ll have the ability to keep unlimited records.
- Analytics: all four versions come with standard reports, but only the Standard, Professional, and Enterprise versions include custom reports, as well as both the standard and custom dashboards.
- Integration: the ease of integration with other products increases along with the price. The Free version doesn’t integrate with anything. The Standard version integrates with a few Zoho products, including Zoho Reports and Zoho Projects. The Professional version integrates with even more, such as Microsoft Outlook and QuickBooks. Finally, the Enterprise version integrates with many more features, including Zoho Support and Zoho Creator.
A side-by-side comparison of all four versions can be found here.
Everyone knows who Microsoft is, and of course they have a CRM solution! Known as Microsoft Dynamics, it’s sold either as an online solution or licensed as an on-premise solution. Features include mobile access, sales automation, workflows, social tools, and reports.
There are three main versions of Microsoft Dynamics: Essential, Basic, and Professional. For the online versions, you are billed per user per month; for an on-premise version, licensing prices are determined based on which version you purchase and the type of license you want. Examples of the potential costs are below:
The Professional version for online use is priced at $65 per user per month. This is the full version, with all sales, marketing, and custom applications, such as customer service automation, marketing campaigns and lists, and customization of the entire system.
The online Basic version is $30 per user per month. While it doesn’t include everything, it does provide you with the basic CRM functionalities, such as the ability to read and write accounts, contacts, cases, and leads.
The bare minimum version of Microsoft Dynamics is the Essential version. It’s $15 per user per month, and basically allows you access to the Dynamics CRM capabilities, such as activity management and feeds.
The Microsoft Dynamics website also has this cool tool, allowing you to compare their system to Salesforce and Oracle, so you can figure out which is the least expensive depending on your unique needs.
A differentiating factor for SugarCRM from the others I’ve listed is that they show both the costs per month and per year, though the yearly option requires a contract. Both are billed annually, and features include mobile capabilities, reporting, dashboards, sales automation, and forecasting.
SugarCRM offers three editions: Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate.
For the yearly contract, Sugar Professional is $420; Sugar Enterprise is $720; Sugar Ultimate is $1,800.
Some key differences between the three options are:
- Storage: Every option gets at least 15GB of storage, but moving to Enterprise quadruples that number to 60GB. The Ultimate level provides 250GB of storage.
- Support: Only the Enterprise and Ultimate levels seem to include any type of support. With Enterprise, you get phone support; however, with Ultimate, you get 24/7 support. This is incredibly important if you think you’ll need a lot of help implementing and using the system.
A comprehensive list of all features available on all three options can be found here.
With almost 400 CRM solutions out there, I couldn’t go over every single one. There are several other CRM alternatives that are ideal for small businesses, starting at less than $25/user, such as Base CRM, Pipedrive, and Nimble (to name a few).
What do you think of the CRM solutions I’ve listed here? What others would you recommend? Share their pricing info in the comments section below!
Looking for Customer Relationship Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Relationship Management software solutions.