In today’s subscription economy, there are a number of ways to save on the total cost of CRM software. Below are five of them. The same advice can apply to almost any type of enterprise subscription software.
1. Don’t commit to a CRM subscription before you’re ready
This may sound obvious, but don’t sign a contract before you’re ready. We’ve heard of several companies that got a great deal on CRM licenses by committing by a certain date — but the user licenses ended up sitting on a virtual shelf for over a year.
2. Even if you’re ready, don’t necessarily buy all user licenses up front
Keep in mind that there’s always a CRM implementation phase — or at least there always should be. If you have 100 CRM users, you may only need five user licenses for the first three or more months. It’s easy to add user licenses at any time. With a term commitment, you can only subtract user licenses at contract renewal time. If a deep discount is offered for buying all the users licenses up front, it’s still worth doing the math based on savings and time horizon.
3. Increase the length of your contract term
Most CRM vendors will give you a better deal if you commit to a two year contract term instead of one year. You’ll get an even better deal if you commit to three years. However, there are risks associated with longer term commitments. If your company downsizes or if CRM adoption isn’t as widespread as expected, you’ll still be on the hook financially for the full user license count until the end of the contract period.
4. Think through any recommended add-ons
Sometimes, a CRM vendor will offer you ketchup with your french fries. But do you really need that ketchup right now? Before committing to more software, consider the business reasons for layering on paid add-ons or entire product offerings at the time of CRM purchase.
5. Ask for a better price
Everything’s negotiable, even with subscription software. Just because pricing is published on a web page doesn’t mean that it’s cast in stone. Even if negotiating is not in your nature, there’s no harm in asking for a better deal.
There may be certain forces such as budget cycles that preclude some of these tactics, but it’s usually worth pausing to ask yourself, “could I be getting a better deal for my organization?”