How much the SFA application costs, a question of price


– One more thing: how much will it cost?

A question no salesperson wants to hear in a first meeting, and a potential client wants to ask it as one of the first. There is no surprise for either side.

In the case of IT systems, the advisor wants to accurately estimate the cost of implementing the solution at the client’s. This is necessary in order to accurately plan further activities related to the project and avoid unnecessary misunderstandings at a later stage. After all, the team’s time has to be secured, resources have to be reserved, work has to be planned. Nobody likes it when the cost of a project suddenly swells. Believe me: SFA providers also like to operate on concrete and certain figures, including in this respect.

The purchaser wants to know from the outset how much the SFA application costs. In order to secure an appropriate budget and run the company’s internal processes, a price is simply needed. No one is surprised by the planning of company’s expenses. It is necessary to keep the company’s finances in check and to estimate whether we can realistically afford this type of investment. These types of decisions are usually not taken overnight and are preceded by a detailed profit and loss analysis.

Is it impossible to answer the question of how much a sales rep application might cost? How do you properly prepare for a quote and such a conversation? What influences the cost of the solution? Let’s try to talk about it – openly.

Need to wait for a quote?

Let’s try to dispel a myth right from the start – the issue of this, the price, or more precisely the pricing. Someone once said that, pricing a system at the first meeting is impossible. This is not quite so. A salesperson, despite having so many talents, is not able to tell fortunes from tea leaves or a glass ball – and precisely such skills would be needed to say with 100% certainty how much an SFA application costs at the first meeting. Just because it is difficult to provide a precise figure does not preclude an initial estimate of the cost of the project.

If you are already talking to a company that provides applications for sales reps, it is almost certain that this is not their first implementation. They already have dozens or hundreds of implementations behind them, which may differ from what you want them to do. However, focusing on individual elements and solutions, such as: the number of application users, the number and type of systems with which the ordered application is to communicate or the variety of modules, you can give an approximate cost of implementation.

The approximate cost is usually given as a price range. In order to make the initial estimate more realistic, it is necessary to prepare well for the meeting with the salesperson. It is worth gathering the necessary information about the number of users of the system, the functions that are key to our process, or the integrations that will enable the execution of orders or tasks. Every piece of certain information makes it possible to reduce the difference between the initial and final quote.

Project quotas vary from stage to stage, and now that we’ve mentioned it, let’s talk about what it looks like.

Let’s talk about implementation stages

The investment in an SFA system can be divided into several stages.

  • implementation,
  • maintenance,
  • service.

Implementation

is the first, most important and time-consuming stage of implementing an SFA system in a company. At this stage, the configuration of the entire application is prepared. This is where the system is modelled so that it best meets your expectations and contributes to the greatest possible increase in the productivity of your team. This is the stage that involves the most people on the configurator side: developers, project managers, configurators, analysts, integrators – all working to ensure that the application meets your expectations in 100%.

Although the system is mostly built from pre-prepared elements and modules, they need to be connected in the right way and made to communicate with each other efficiently. Elements that require development work and non-standard integrations between systems, which are not in our system, have to be written additionally, which (as you can guess) prolongs the whole process (between you and me – such situations are extremely rare). All this makes implementation often the most expensive stage of an SFA system investment. The implementation fee is a one-time.

Maintenance

Once the system is up and running, the maintenance phase begins. Here the costs are significantly lower. As the name suggests, the customer pays a regular monthly fee to maintain the continuity of the service. The main factor that influences the monthly subscription fee is the number of positions. This is nothing more than the number of people who use the application on the client’s side. The maintenance fee also includes elements such as the support of the helpdesk team. Those are also the hours of the Project Managers’ team to be used for developing the system and constantly adjusting the solution to the needs.

Service

Those are optional costs. In short, it can be summarized in all additional system support elements that are not covered by the contract. It may turn out that as your company and international sales team grow, it will be necessary to create and program additional elements. Sometimes these are features that were not predicted in the original system design. Other times it may be about integrations with new distributors that cannot be achieved within the hours of the maintenance fee.

How much does the SFA application cost? Get ready to talk

The most important piece of information that should stay with you after reading this text is the importance of the first meeting with the representatives of the company you will entrust with the implementation of the SFA system. The more information you prepare for them, the more detailed you discuss your company’s processes, the more you can count on a precise quote at the first meeting.

A small hint: try to prepare information before the meeting itself, such as the number of employees who will ultimately use the solution, what a model scenario for employees’ visit to the point looks like, what responsibilities they have and what tasks they have to perform.

It is even better if you can collect them in advance and send to the sales team before the meeting. This way, during the meeting you will focus only on the modules and functions that you and your company really need.

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