3 Steps to an Affordable CRM Program

Unfortunately, many companies are keen to start a CRM program, yet woefully underestimate the cost. With IT budgets being slashed in many companies, your business might not be able to implement CRM without very careful planning. By following the three steps below, you can save a tremendous amount of money on your new CRM program.

  1. Audit Your Customer Database – Before you even begin to weigh your CRM software options, you need to organize your customer database. Ensure that every file is located in a central place. Then, you should have an administrative team comb over the details. Customer information should be updated, which may be time consuming. However, it is absolutely necessary for a successful CRM install.
  2. Prepare Your Employees – Again, your new system will fall apart and cost you major money if you aren’t organized. Invest some time in training your employees to gather the proper customer information and file it according to the newly audited system. CRM should be enterprise-wide and not left up to one department.
  3. Closely Compare Software Prices – Don’t just make a few inquiries when it comes to purchasing your CRM software. You need to really scrutinize how much each system will cost your company in the next several years. Be sure to ask vendors what each system offers in the way of features, as well. You don’t want to purchase something on the cheap that can’t handle your customer volume and CRM needs.

Implementing a successful and affordable CRM program starts months before you even choose the software. Remember, the technology is only part of the system. Once you have determined exactly what you want from the new CRM department, you must then prepare for the software. A company that hastily jumps into an expensive CRM endeavor will not only hemorrhage money, it will fail to see any positive changes with customer relations.


Heather Johnson is a freelance business, finance and economics writer, as well as a regular contributor at Business Credit Cards, a site for best business credit cards and best business credit card offers. Heather welcomes comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: heatherjohnson2323 [at] gmail [dot] com .

11 thoughts on “3 Steps to an Affordable CRM Program”

  1. When you prepare your employees, be sure that you point out the benefits to them, not just to your organization. Otherwise your user adoption will suffer big time.

  2. Check this affordable CRM solution for SMB: TPI CRM. http://www.infowarelab.com.
    1. Extremely cost effective
    2. Customer centric and collaborative
    3. Easy and ready to use while flexible to adapt to business
    4. Secure and reliable hosted solution
    5. Powerful forecast and reporting help SMBs make better plan and decision

    It has 30-day free trial. The free portal site also brings you abundant resources.

  3. A good option for small business that want something more along the lines of ACT or Goldmine but cost-effective is http://www.octopuscity.com. They offer a free contact manager, online, with ACT-type functionality, plus a business network. They also have other great free business services like free teleconferencing.

  4. Since this article has been written, many online CRM vendors have come to light. Web Based solutions are highly cost effective, with no cost of implementation, so budget is no longer an issue when implementing an online CRM system. To learn more about the main differences between On-premise and On-line CRM solutions check this whitepaper written by Intelestream at its web page, whitepapers section, under the name of Online CRM or On Premise?

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