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CRM Pricing Models Comparison: An In-Depth Guide in 2024

Updated on May 27
4 min read
Written by
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

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Understanding the cost of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a critical factor in the decision-making process for most businesses. In fact, research shows that 54% of CRM buyers consider the pricing plan offered by the vendor as the top decision criterion while making a purchase.1 While some solutions are more cost-effective and tailored for small businesses, others are more robust and require a significant investment, particularly for enterprise-level operations.

This CRM pricing guide provides a pricing benchmark on the available CRM software in the market and explains factors influencing CRM costs.

CRM pricing models from the top 12 CRM platforms

VendorsFree TrialRatings*Number of reviewsPricingPricing options
Pipedrive14-day free trial4.3/54,948Starts from 14.90$ per userAnnually
Creatio14-day free trial4.6/5390Starts from 25$ per userMonthly
Salesforce Sales Cloud30-day free trial4.3/536,475Starts from 25$ per userAnnually
ClickUpUnlimited free trial4.6/513,118Starts from 5$** per userMonthly and annually
HubSpot Sales Hub14-day free trial4.4/511,340Starts from 50$ per 2 usersAnnually
Zoho CRM15-day free trial4.1/59,661Starts from 49$** per userMonthly and annually
ActiveCampaign for Sales14-day free trial4.3/52,317Starts from 49$ per userAnnually
Freshsales21-day free trial4.3/51,761Starts from 15$** per userMonthly and annually
Quickbase30-day free trial4.5/51,724Starts from 30$ per userAnnually CRM14-day free trial4.5/51,096Starts from 27$ per 3 usersAnnually
SAP Sales Cloud30-day free trial4.1/5858N/ACustom pricing only
Zendesk Sell14-day free trial4.1/5548Starts from 19$** per userMonthly and annually

*Average ratings on G2, Trustradius & Capterra

Note: With sponsors at the top, we sorted vendors based on number of reviews in a descending order.

**These prices are relevant when paid annually. Monthly billing options are also available for a higher price.

Here, we looked at the pricing models of vendors offering CRM tools. We narrowed our vendor list using various criteria as there are many CRM providers on the market. We used certain criteria in calculating companies’ market presence because these factors are transparent and verifiable.

Therefore, we set certain limits to focus our work on top companies in terms of market presence, selecting firms with

  • 600+ employees
  • 400+ reviews on review platforms G2, Trustradius, and Capterra

Note: The data is based on vendor claims from their websites.

If you are interested in CRM software, check out our comprehensive vendor guide.

How much does CRM cost?

Our benchmarking study showed that the basic CRM plans start from 5$ per user. However, determining the cost of a CRM system is not as straightforward as looking at a single price tag. The expense varies significantly based on a multitude of factors, such as the features you require, the size of your business, and the pricing model you choose. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider not just the upfront costs but also the long-term value and ROI the CRM system will bring to your organization.

What are the factors influencing CRM pricing?

1- Features provided by the vendor

The range of features offered by a CRM vendor can significantly impact the overall cost. Basic CRMs usually offer only the essential functions like:

  • Project management
  • Workflow automation
  • Email tracking
  • Task management
  • Lead management is usually available in lower-tier plans.

However, advanced features such as:

Businesses should carefully check whether the basic plan offered by vendors includes any advanced features. They should also assess their needs and only opt for plans that offer features they will actually use to avoid unnecessary expenses.

2- Size of the business

The size of your business, often measured by the number of employees who will use the CRM platform, is another significant factor in determining costs. Most CRM vendors offer tiered pricing based on the number of users. Larger businesses may also require more advanced features, like enterprise-level security and scalability, which can add to the cost.

3- Pricing model

CRM vendors offer 3 pricing models:

Annual payment

Many CRM providers offer annual payment plans, which usually come at a discounted rate compared to monthly plans. These are ideal for businesses that have a stable customer base and are looking for long-term solutions.

Monthly payment

Monthly payment plans offer more flexibility and are generally more suitable for startups or businesses that are still scaling. Businesses do not have to invest all of their money in a CRM system at once; instead, they can pay monthly and quickly cancel their membership if their needs are not met. However, they can be more expensive in the long run compared to annual billing.

Custom pricing plan

Some CRM providers offer custom pricing plans tailored to the specific needs of a business. These are often negotiable and may include additional services like training, data migration, and dedicated support.

4- Level of customization required

Some CRM solutions offer a high level of customization to fit the unique needs of a business. While this can be a significant advantage, it often comes with higher initial setup costs and may require ongoing maintenance. Customizable CRMs may also involve additional costs for specialized modules or add-ons.

5- Customer support and employee training

Quality customer support and employee training are crucial for the successful implementation and ongoing use of a CRM system. Some vendors offer basic support and training as part of their standard packages, while others charge extra for premium support services, such as:

  • 24/7 availability
  • Dedicated account managers
  • In-depth user training sessions.

For those interested, here is our data-driven list of CRM software.

Transparency statement:

AIMultiple serves numerous emerging tech companies, including Creatio.

Further Reading

If you need help in the vendor selection process, we can help:

Find the Right Vendors
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Cem's hands-on enterprise software experience contributes to the insights that he generates. He oversees AIMultiple benchmarks in dynamic application security testing (DAST), data loss prevention (DLP), email marketing and web data collection. Other AIMultiple industry analysts and tech team support Cem in designing, running and evaluating benchmarks.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Sources: Traffic Analytics, Ranking & Audience, Similarweb.
Why Microsoft, IBM, and Google Are Ramping up Efforts on AI Ethics, Business Insider.
Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are, Washington Post.
Data management barriers to AI success, Deloitte.
Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit, World Economic Forum.
Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU, European Commission.
Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge, McKinsey & Company.
Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing, TechCrunch.
We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million, Business Insider.

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