How Much is Your CRM Really Costing You?

We hate to break it to you, but you’re spending too much on your CRM. You might have just scoffed at that or nodded your head in agreement (who wouldn’t want to spend less on enterprise subscriptions?), but the truth is that most companies are overpaying for their CRM software. If you belong to the camp that is in disbelief of this fact, then this blog post is for you.


Like many things in life, you’ll find that what starts out as a good deal can quickly turn into a drain on your resources and CRM software packages are big culprits in stealing the hard-earned allocated software resources of key account management departments across the globe.


Today, we’ll take a look at a few of the things that are wrong with CRM platforms, including their costs, along with the hidden expenditures you hadn’t considered. By the end of this blog post, you should come away with a clear picture of how much you are really spending on your CRM every month along with the ideal solution for your key account management needs.


First Thing’s First

So, as a key account management SaaS company, it goes without saying that we aren’t big fans of using generic CRM platforms to manage your most valuable customer relationships. These days, the modern key account management team should try and stay as far away as possible from old fashioned CRM platforms.

The primary reason is because they don’t really do much, yet providers will slap a high price on the service because of a smooth user interface and fancy branding. The truth is they are more of a glorified Rolodex than anything else and can’t give you real insight into the health of your accounts beyond the sale.


If you’re just trying to reach out and keep track of contact information, then a CRM has the tools you could find useful, but why should you stop there when the right tools could give you the competitive edge your key account management division needs?


So, to summarize before we dive into the numbers, CRMs are okay tools for sales, but past the sale, they aren’t worth much. They simply weren’t built with the modern key account manager in mind, yet CRM providers will charge you practically just as much regardless. If you want your clients to see you as their Trusted Advisor and deliver real results using your services in the end, you need the right tools for the job. All a CRM is really good for is keeping contact information and these days, and you don’t even need to spend a penny to do that anyway.


$$$$ It’s More Than You Think $$$$

How often do you consider the costs of your software tools? While you were shopping around for them, you might have looked at every penny and considered how it affected the bottom line, but now that you’ve subscribed to one CRM platform for a few months to a year, there are bigger things on your mind.


It’s understandable, but just because you aren’t thinking about it doesn’t mean that your CRM isn’t practically stealing money from your budget. In our experience, we’ve found that many sales leaders considerably underestimate how much their CRM truly costs. They think that all of the costs are related to the sticker price and the monthly fee, but there are sharks swimming beneath the waters, and it’s costing your company thousands every year.


Similar to how you keep paying for a video streaming service that you never use, software for enterprises can be a hidden expenditure that accounting deals with when the decision-makers should be looking at ways to optimize their department through new, better, and more valuable tools. So, how much are you overpaying for your CRM?


Let’s take a look at some of the most common hidden fees to look out for that can all add up to a big subscription bill in the end.


The Costs Are in the Details

Software companies have sneaky ways of getting you to spend more than you really think. They might offer you a price that sounds good and makes financial sense, but once they have ahold of your card information, you soon find out that you’re paying for a bunch of additional stuff that you don’t even need, or you’ll find yourself with no other choice but to pay extra.


The key to this overpayment is in the add-on package and the extras that should be included in the base price, yet you find yourself having to pay a premium for. Even simple things like standalone app integration or automated features cost extra a month, and CRM developers know that the modern business just can’t compete without these features. It’s a sneaky trick, and it works.


Then you get to the consulting fees. The CRM might have seemed super simple to use after watching a demo video, but once the rubber hits the road and you start importing your contacts, it’s clear that you need some additional guidance. Surprise, surprise – there’s a consulting fee for that too. Shouldn’t you be able to just watch a YouTube video or something?


What’s more, you can end up paying more for the same CRM platform than someone in a different part of the country thanks to regional fees. The list of hidden fees and ways that CRM providers get you to spend more without realizing it every month is endless. The worst part is that it seems like providers are finding sneakier ways to hide these fees, and they are creative with the add-ons and integrations they offer to convince you to spend more on their products.


Look, business is business, and the developers have to pay their people for the work they’ve done on the application. With that being said, you shouldn’t feel nickel and dimed at every turn just to see some results with your account management platform. The worst part is that those aren’t even half of the hidden costs as the real shocker still lies ahead…


It’s Complicated

In a perfect world, all you’d need to do is pull up your administrator account, and you’d see what the total cost of the CRM is but this isn’t in the developer’s interest. Instead of advertising and offering CRM platforms in easy to understand, one price packages, you have to mix and match different features to build the system that you want. While it is nice to have this a la carte option, in reality, most companies end up paying for features and add-ons they don’t need.


For example, if you want a specific API, you might have to buy a package that include Outlook integration that you don’t need. That’s just the name of the game in the subscription world unless you choose a software like Kapta that features everything in one package without having to play the confusing and expensive mix and match game.


The Price of People

Did you think that the extra costs were only coming on the developer side of things? Think again. When you consider the price of people and what it costs you to run your CRM platform, the costs start really adding up.


Do you know how much a full-time CRM Application Administrator earns in a year? According to, the average CRM Application Administrator makes between $75,276 and $106,620 per year, with many of them falling on the higher end of the pay scale. A CRM Application Administrator is essentially the owner of the CRM program and the person that keeps it all running on track, administrating updates, optimizing the workflow, and essentially figuring out how to make this outdated technology work for your modern needs. In reality, they aren’t often needed when working with a key account management SaaS provider.


Besides the administrator, you also have to consider how much you’re going to need your IT support team. Even if you’re working with a SaaS provider that gets the ball moving for you, installing, updating, and maintaining the old CRM technology takes considerable time and resources from the IT department. They are there to make your network as strong, reliable, and modern as possible – not to put a bandage over a bigger problem using a CRM platform.


When you take all of these salaries and people into consideration, it becomes pretty clear why many account management leaders believe that they are paying two to five times as much as their monthly fees from other areas of their business. Are you one of them?


Can You Get Clarity?

With all of this in mind, is it possible to get down to brass tax with a clear understanding of every penny your CRM is costing you? Absolutely! Forewarning, however – the numbers might not make you happy. Head over to this CRM Cost Calculator courtesy of CRM Switch. The company specializes in educating sales and marketing professionals about their strategies and tools so they can find areas to optimize and improve.


Your software investments are a likely area where you could cut or optimize, with many companies using ad-hoc technology and separate platforms and applications to do the same thing. Although you might not like it and you might have more important things to worry about, your CRM could be costing you as much as tens of thousands more per year than it should. So, don’t be afraid to click the link above and get to the bottom of your costs. You might not like the answer, but once you have a rough cost, you’ll have clarity on one of the most expensive divisions of the company.



When you subscribe to a CRM or other software package, it’s easy to just let the monthly recurring payments fall to the wayside and down to the accounting department. The thing is, if you want to optimize your key account management program and get more done for less, you need to take a good hard look at the tools that you’re using day in and day out.


You might think that your CRM is a great deal because the monthly subscription price is relatively low, but when you consider the hidden costs, it all starts to add up. Did you use the calculator above? If so, what’s the damage? If you’re like most, you probably now realize that you are paying far too much for your CRM. That’s okay because CRMs are terrible for key account management anyway. Instead, you should switch to a platform that was built for you, your team, your work, and, most importantly, your clients.


How Kapta Can Help

Kapta is an all-in-one enterprise key account management platform that enables you to do more for your biggest clients. Rather than being stuck switching between app to app, Kapta offers all of the tools that key account managers need in one place. With this convenience in mind, by integrating Kapta into your daily workflow, you can spend less time bogged down in spreadsheets and more time talking to your clients and building and nourishing your relationship with the people that matter most to your business. Built for key account managers by key account managers, Kapta takes the CRM model and elevates it with premium features like Voice of Customer (VOC) Insights and the account health score feature, so you know where you stand with your accounts at any moment.


To try a free demo of Kapta, schedule one here.




CEO at Kapta
Alex Raymond is the CEO of Kapta.