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How much does an Economic Development CRM cost?

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

With a CRM system, the main factors that affect your price are:

  1. Number (and type) of software licenses.

    1. some systems give you unlimited licenses - typically these are systems from small companies with limited capabilities. Companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, Zoho, Oracle, and HubSpot will have a per license price.

    2. We like the idea of blending paid licenses with Free licenses - this is not possible for every client but it might be for you. It's one of the reasons we're a HubSpot partner.

2. Implementation - this means setup, configuration and training.

3. Internal costs to maintain and support the system - you might need to hire a CRM software administrator.


There are two categories of software providers...

Publicly Traded - Powerful and Well Supported Systems are available from HubSpot, Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, Sage CRM.

Advantages: continual research and development to make the software better, technical support, online communities, easy to find employees that have used these systems in other jobs, direct support (at least with HubSpot). Better support, online videos, etc.

  • you'll want to work with a partner that understands economic development. These partners exist for salesforce, Microsoft and HubSpot.

  • if you heart is set on salesforce, we'll tell you which partner to talk with (we have 2 that we recommend and there are about 6 partners with economic development solutions.

  • if your heart is set on Microsoft Dynamics CRM - we have 1 partner to refer you to with a track record of success.

  • HubSpot - we're the only HubSpot CRM partner with a solution but there are a number of marketing agencies that work with HubSpot and Economic Development.

Smaller, Private Companies (Executive Pulse, EDLeadTracker, Pipedrive, Nimble, Keap, etc.)

Advantages - you work with the software company directly. Executive Pulse is widely used so they have lot's of clients, can be less expensive. Most of these companies are not optimized for economic development.

Our Quick Comparison of the Big System


*With HubSpot, you can get direct, live support from HubSpot - we typically get their Irish support team on the phone or in a zoom meeting within 5 minutes. In fact, this happened on 9-24-2020 with one of our economic development clients in Florida and the total time to resolve the issue was 12 minutes.

2. Make sure that customer support is on your scorecard.

  • who handles support calls?

  • turn what is the response time?

  • what is the cost?

  • can you get support directly from the software provider?

  • what forms of support are there?

HubSpot Support

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Academy

Dynamics CRM direct support *minimum of 20 licenses (it's at the bottom of the attached in the small print). Try this out before you buy Dynamics.

Professional Direct Support for Microsof
Download • 220KB

Salesforce Support - "success plans".

Add 20-30% to your software cost.

Try this before you commit to the licenses.


Salesforce has 4 license types for CRM $25-$150 and a host of other subscriptions you'll want to consider. We like salesforce for large, complex organizations with hundreds of employees.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has 2 license types (first 2) and several things you can bolt on to the subscription. Microsoft is a good fit for large, complex organizations with multiple teams, departments, and a great deal of complexity. As a former Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner, some of our projects cost more than a million dollars.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing explained...


3 Hubs

  • CRM-Projects/Investors/Grants/Property Development

  • Service - BRE-Industry Support-Disaster Recovery

  • Marketing - website forms, online chat, chatbots, social engagement, email marketing, marketing campaigns, marketing lists, marketing automation, etc.

In each Hub, there are 4 license types (1 of which is free). We have some clients using just the free version and others that mix paid licenses with the free version).

All of our clients work with all 3 Hubs: CRM, Marketing and Service.

In essence, our clients are getting an Economic Development Version of HubSpot right out of the gate.

  • Projects

  • Incentives

  • Grants

  • Investors

  • Incubators and Accelerators

  • Workforce Development

  • Annual BRE meetings

  • Project Compliance Tracking

  • Tracking all business support services

  • Disaster Recovery

License Tiers

As you start to research CRM companies, you'll soon find that every software company has their own terminology. It's not easy to get an apples to apples comparison. And you have to look closely at the gotcha's.

Example: SalesForce Essentials - this looks like a great deal! Here are some limitations (link)

Mar 05, 2019

What do you like best? This version was quick and easy to get up and running if you are willing to use it with little customization. It gave you a basic step by step guide on how to get started and how to import your contact and company data. You are also able to link it to Outlook and log emails into the system, however, tasks and calendars do not sync. This is an affordable solution for small business and they recently updated to allow for 10 users on this version. Review collected by and hosted on

What do you dislike? Most of the add-on apps do not work with this version of Salesforce but it is still new so hopefully, that will change. You are also not able to import opportunities. I tried several workarounds to try to import historical closed won opportunities and none worked. Also, most of the training and information online is not geared to this version and it very unclear what options are available with this version. Salesforce has many add on options, most of which don't work with Essentials and are very expensive and if you happen to research any of them online a salesperson calls to try to get you to upgrade.

HubSpot - here you can see a partial view of the differences in what they call the Sales Hub. Note: HubSpot has a Free CRM that is the foundation of their platform. The paid versions of the software "extend out" from the Free Version (which is limited).

HubSpot FREE - You may look at this and say "Tom, this is exactly what we had in mind and Free sounds good to me - let's go with that".

And... you might be partially correct. We may find that some of your staff can use these licenses. However, for most companies, one of the 3 paid packages will make more sense. In fact, unless there are compelling circumstances, we won't work with you if

- you are using only a Free Account (this is just too limiting for most EDO's)

- if you start with a Free Account on your own and then convert to a paid license with HubSpot, and if we don't get the Partner Credit - our hourly rate jumps to $225/hour (no exceptions) and our EDO Accelerator doubles in cost. We rely on the Partner Credit Profit. So, if you're serious about HubSpot - start working with us from Day One.

With that said... Here's the Free Version pieces for the Sales Hub. Contact management Build views and run automated actions to easily manage your contacts and data. Contact website activity Get insight into what a contact is doing on your website. See page views, form submissions, sales activity, and more, all in one place. Companies Store records for every company in your database. View all your company details and communications in a single place. Deals Store, track, manage, and report on the deals (sometimes referred to as “opportunities”) your sales team is working. Tasks & activities Store, track, manage, and report on the tasks and activities that make up your relationships with customers. Company insights See useful insights about companies you're dealing with appear in your database. So your sales team can spend more time selling and less time digging. Not all companies are supported.

Gmail and Outlook integration Connect HubSpot CRM to your Gmail or Outlook inbox to send email from the CRM, set up a shared team email account, and access dozens of other useful, time-saving tools. Support for select versions of Outlook. Gmail integration involves connection with other G Suite tools.

App Marketplace integrations Explore the HubSpot App Marketplace and connect your HubSpot account to other tools that you love to use. Custom support form fields Add custom fields to your support forms to gather the right information for your team, and generate tickets. Ticketing Log customer issues as tickets. They can then be assigned to team members, organized and prioritized, and tracked in a central location. Prospects Use the prospects tool to see which companies are visiting your site, and see any available insights about them, too. Forms Create standalone, pop-up, embedded, and collected forms to gather the contact details that your business needs. Ad management Connect accounts from supported ad networks to your HubSpot account. Create audiences from your HubSpot CRM, and see which ads are generating customers. Requires native accounts and ad purchases through each individual ad network. Access to contact list audience functionality is dependent on your account health as determined by us, and is subject to the terms and conditions as specified by each ad network. Limited to two connected accounts across any supported network, with up to $1k spend limit for 30 days. Website audience creation only.

Conversations inbox Set up a shared inbox — for all incoming email and live chats — that your whole team can work from, easily managing 1-to-1 communications at scale. Limited to 1 inbox.

Reporting dashboard Get data on your marketing, sales, and customer service performance. Use the data to know how you're doing and where to improve. Up to 3 dashboards, each with 10 reports per dashboard.

Email tracking & notifications Track one-off emails to contacts. Receive real-time notifications when emails are opened or clicked. Limited to 200 notifications per month.

Email templates Save and reuse your most helpful emails. Share them with your team for faster and more consistent communication. Up to 5 email templates per account. Able to view and use only the first five templates that were created.

Canned snippets Create a bank of reusable answers for frequently asked questions that you can quickly add to live chats or emails to save time and help customers people faster. Up to 5 snippets per account.

Documents Build a library of resources and collateral that you can easily share with contacts. Get insight into when and where they are most engaged. Up to 5 documents per account.

Calling Call customers through VOIP from inside your HubSpot account. Calls can be recorded and auto-logged on the contact record for future reference. Up to 15 minutes of calling per user per month. Not supported in all countries.

Meeting scheduling Share a link with contacts that lets them see when you're free and book meetings with you, cutting out those tedious 'what time works best for you' emails. Maximum of 1 non-customizable personal meetings link.

Conversational bots Use a bot to connect visitors to the right rep, route visitors to the most helpful content, and scale 1-to-1 communications. Limited to ticket creation, lead qualification, and meeting booking bots, with no custom branching logic.

Live chat Chat 1-to-1 with visitors as they browse your site, and give them the information they need about your business. Team email Connect team-wide email addresses to your Conversations inbox. Turn incoming emails into tickets, or send them straight into your shared inbox. No more questions slipping through the cracks. Deal pipeline Keep track of deals and predict future revenue based on how likely they are to close. 1 deal pipeline per account.

Landing pages Create responsive landing pages built to convert using our drag-and-drop editor. Up to 20 landing pages with HubSpot branding. Simple templates only. Does not include custom domains.

Email marketing Send bulk emails that are tested and optimized for different devices. Create better emails with a drag and drop editor and personalization tokens. 2000 email sends per calendar month, with HubSpot branding.

List segmentation Create static or dynamically updating contact lists based on various criteria using HubSpot CRM properties. Use them to power more personalized content in email, on the web, and more. Up to 5 smart lists and 25 static lists. List segmentation criteria limited to form submission data, contact property information, and marketing email activity.

Form follow-up emails Send automated emails after pop-up and embedded form submissions to start nurturing and converting leads. Up to 1 automated email per form.

Facebook Messenger integration Automatically capture contact information, have two-way communications with your audience, create chatbots, and report on chat volume through Facebook Messenger. Custom properties Associate specific data points with contacts, companies, and deals. 10 custom properties.

Quotes Create and share professional-looking quotes in just a few clicks. Not tied to a product library. Does not include eSignature or Stripe/payment integration.

HubSpot mobile app Work and sell from anywhere with the HubSpot mobile app. Highlights include business card scanning, caller ID, and more. Available for iOS and Android.

Additional Limits in HubSpot CRM

  • 100 contacts associated with each engagement

  • Additional limits not listed above may apply and be designated from within the product itself.

Implementation (setup, configuration, training)

This cost is variable from all providers and the factors include:

  • number of people to be trained

  • degree of customization

  • complexity of your organization

Microsoft and Salesforce - you'll need a Project Manager and a small deal of developers.

HubSpot - no developers needed

*Developers are expensive and tend to overbuild-over complicate things.

We've seen implementations range from $3,000 to over $250,000.

I've even seen EDO's pay over $1,000,000 to build software to manage incentives and compliance that affected utility pricing.

Unfortunately, the only way for you to get this number is to go through rounds of software demonstrations and to get proposals. Some will give you sticker shock! Some will be quite inexpensive. The important thing is start by identifying what you need.

Here's a link to help you to identify your needs.

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