I recently dug up these two interesting and contrasting graphs on the hidden costs of CRM software. The actual software itself is a miniscule amount of the total cost to fully implement and support the technology. Though cloud deployments, the SaaS model, and simpler software helped reduce that cost, the implementation (systems integration, support, training, change management) still adds a significant cost to a CRM program. Those costs are anywhere from 30 to 45% of the total program costs, and that number has not really changed much over time.
There is an opportunity to improve this state of affairs however by reinventing CRM. If we can build products with a more intuitive user experience, better integration of data and process, enhanced insight, and real-time interactivity of those insights, we can begin to make a dent in the implementation costs of CRM. There is no reason with current state of technology, that CRM has to cost so much and provide so little value.