What is the ROI of Investing in a CRM for Small Business Teams?

One of the main factors that goes into the decision to invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software is: what is the return on investment (ROI)? Is the cost of investment worth implementing a CRM tool, and if so, what is the rate of return? In a constantly-evolving world heavily focused on net profit and optimization, ROI and rate of return make or break many business decisions.

There are a few key factors that should be taken into account when considering the ROI of implementing a CRM solution for you or your business team. Here are some questions to research that will help you calculate ROI before sealing the deal:

Why Does Your Company Need a CRM?

CRMs help to establish an optimized workflow within your sales and marketing strategies and can amplify your business by helping your work smarter, faster, and better — wherever your job may take you. The right Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) helps organize business processes and to identify the necessary leads or prospects to engage with in order to grow to scale.

For example, Nimble works within your existing Office 365 or G Suite apps to unify you and your team’s inboxes, calendars, social platforms, customer data, communication histories, and more into a single database.

What is the ROI of Investing in a CRM

CRM tools aren’t just beneficial for sales teams. They can also help support your customer service team, accounting department, marketing campaigns, and more. Some other key benefits of CRM software are:

Manage your sales leads:

Identify, record, and categorize contact information on leads, prospects, and current customers in one easy to use platform.

Improve your customer support:

All conversation histories, customer interactions, and customer information are saved in one place that all the team can review as needed; making it possible to provide faster, more effective customer support.

Improve collaboration between departments:

The right CRM helps to unify business teams while providing them with the means to optimize their own department-specific responsibilities. With integrations with over 130 SaaS applications, Nimble is equipped with everything you need to streamline communication between virtually any department.

Increase work speed and productivity:

A CRM solution can also help you and your team stay on top of every day to-do’s, such as follow-up emails with prospects or social media posts.

Give your sales a boost:

Track and manage you and your teams’ deal pipelines or sales funnels in one unified platform. You can then analyze each opportunity to brainstorm forecasts and strategies.

The question is not whether you or your business team needs a CRM – it is why you haven’t implemented one already.

What is the ROI of Investing in a CRM

How Much Does a CRM Cost?

Based on the size and needs of your business team, the price of a CRM system varies across the board. More robust CRMs such as Salesforce can cost a pretty penny and might have too many features that your team has no use for.

On-premise CRM software installed directly onto your company’s server can easily cost several thousand dollars. Consider the gradual cost of maintenance and the steep expense of installation, which will certainly require the assistance of a third-party company. This may just be a one-time payment, but it’s also a one-time payment you can avoid entirely by going with a cloud-based CRM solution.

Cloud-based CRMs (such as Nimble) typically charge per user per month (or sometimes per year). The prices vary depending on how many features are included with the CRM, and whether you commit to an annual or monthly plan.

CRM solutions can cost anywhere from $5/user/month to $500/user/month, but the average amount companies spend of a CRM is $30/user/month. Nimble charges $9 a month when paid annually for its basic contact plan, and $19 a month when paid annually for its upgraded business plan.

Some CRMs even offer free basic plans or free full plans for a limited number of users (e.g. up to 10). The caveat of these free CRMs is that they don’t typically offer many of the features businesses require out of their Contact Relationship Manager.

How Long Does it Take to Launch a CRM?

This factor of CRM implementation also varies based on how robust your CRM solution is. Depending on the size of your team and the number of features you will be integrating with your CRM, the launch can take a matter of days or months.

To envision a realistic timeline, your CRM provider will need as much information as possible on what goals you want to achieve using your new CRM system. They will need to know about your business, your overall goals, the software you and your business team use on a daily basis, and the complexity of your needs.

This is why the typical answer to “how long does it take to launch CRM software?” is: “well, that depends.”

Cloud-based CRMs (such as Nimble) are generally less painful to launch. These types of CRMs can typically be launched in two to four weeks. If you and your business team require a plethora of configurations and integrations, the process can very well take up to three months. Some CRM launches can even take longer than that; where there is a lot of development or customization work required (for multi-site projects with high numbers of users), they can take a little bit more time.

What ROI Should I Expect from a CRM?

The price tag and effort required for implementing a CRM solution might cause some business owners to question whether the time and investment are worthwhile.

The initial cost of the software, routine maintenance, development resources, and the necessary training for your business team versus the increase in performance and speed speaks for itself. A CRM solution undoubtedly increases customer satisfaction and sales results across the board.

If you’re looking to get an even better ROI from your CRM software, then you may want to consider a multi-purpose CRM solution that addresses other departments as opposed to focusing on sales and marketing. Many CRM solutions (such as Nimble) have app integrations that assist with accounting and project management. You’ll be able to eliminate some of the other solutions you’ve been using, and therefore increase your team’s productivity substantially by being able to manage every aspect of your business from one, unified platform.

Recent studies show that the average rate of return for every dollar spent on CRM software is $8.71. Although calculating the ROI formula of your new CRM can be tough without historical data, you will surely experience the benefits as your team becomes more accustomed to the software as a whole.

If you want to calculate the ROI for your particular type of business for a given CRM expressed as a percentage, there are calculators available online that let you do just that.

What Types of Industries Should Invest in a CRM?

Want the short answer? Any business looking to optimize how their team engages internally as well as externally.

At Nimble, our users include:

  • Fast-growing individuals and business teams
  • Sales, Marketing, PR, Business Development, Insurance, Real Estate, Investment Advisors, Financial Services, Technology Companies, Mortgage Bankers, Consultants, Digital Agencies, and more

Many business teams across the world already know the value of a CRM system, and how the right one helps optimize relationship management and unify disjointed company contact databases. And yet, somehow there are still so many businesses who have yet to adopt a CRM solution.

This could be due to cost and/or lack of resources, or the lack of support from senior management buy-in. Knowing the impressive ROI and key benefits of these types of solutions should persuade the decision makers in your company to invest the time and money in a CRM.

They’re perfect for individuals and teams managing their contact information and sales pipelines within spreadsheets, email, on social media, or on scattered sticky notes. After transitioning to a CRM, teams are able to focus on selling more, quickly connecting with more prospects, and optimizing internal processes.

According to recent studies, finding the right CRM is a top priority for IT companies in 2018, as businesses are growing to focus on engaging their network in a more meaningful way. Do you really want your team to fall behind?


Although implementing a CRM is an initial investment of time and effort, it is definitely worthwhile considering the impressive ROI and the benefits of optimizing communication between your siloed departments.

As we have illustrated, the right CRM can help to establish a streamlined workflow across all departments while amplifying your business by helping your work smarter, faster, and better — wherever your job may take you.