Get a quick quote with our pricing calculator

New research: 75% of organizations had unexpected additional costs when using multi-party CRM vendors

Single vendors deliver more value for money (7.1/10) compared to multi-party vendors (6.3/10) 

Workbooks, a leading CRM solution provider, has recently conducted a groundbreaking survey unveiling critical insights into the experiences of participants during CRM deployments. The study sheds light on often-overlooked factors contributing to the success or failure of CRM implementations. 

Over the past two decades, the popularity of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems has soared. Despite this, a significant number of businesses continue to invest substantial time and money in ineffective decision-making and inefficient processes. Global studies indicate that companies worldwide collectively waste $1 million (£725,300) every ten seconds.  

Participants were asked to assess their overall relationship satisfaction throughout their CRM deployment, with single vendors consistently outperforming multi-party engagements. 

The survey revealed that 64.9% of businesses currently favor the single-vendor approach, establishing direct relationships with their CRM providers. In contrast, 35.1% opt for the multi-party route, engaging external partners to enhance their CRM deployments. 

Notably, businesses engaging in multi-party deployments reported lower satisfaction levels compared to those with direct relationships. The survey showcased a strong preference for single-vendor partnerships, with the least satisfactory experiences linked to engagements with ‘other technology vendors’. 

Survey participants highlighted that single vendors outshine multi-party vendors in crucial aspects essential for successful CRM deployments, with ratings on a 10-point scale as follows:  

  • Value for money dominance: Single vendors outperform multi-party vendors, delivering superior value for money (7.7/10 vs. 6.3/10). Additionally, 53% of participants experienced unexpected additional costs, with a notable 75% of those using third-party vendors facing additional expenses. In contrast, 56% of participants using a single vendor expressed satisfaction with the deployment costs.  
  • Setting up for success: Single vendors excel in providing quality insights and decision-making support (7.2/10 vs. 6.5/10), significantly enhancing the likelihood of achieving deployment goals. 
  • User activation success: Single vendors surpass expectations in delivering against the plan on user activation, ensuring participants are content with the number of activated and utilized user licenses. 

In comparing single vendors and multi-party vendors, the study underscores a clear link between choosing to work directly with a vendor and experiencing the most substantial impact on success. 

  • Customer experience: Single vendors secure a rating of (6.8/10 vs 6.6/10), showcasing their ability to enhance the overall customer experience. 
  • User satisfaction: Participants who choose a single vendor report higher levels of user satisfaction, with a rating of (7.1/10 vs 6.8/10). 
  • Customer acquisition: Those opting for a single vendor witness more customer acquisitions, scoring (6.9/10 vs 6.4/10). 

In conclusion, the study highlighted the significance of the ‘reputation of deployment support,’ receiving an average score of 7.9/10, underscoring its importance in the CRM landscape. Despite its importance, deployments can often become a major determinant of CRM success. The quality of a deployment, whether positive or negative, can directly impact costs, time efficiency, and overall confidence in achieving business goals.  

The research emphasized that the type of vendor chosen is a key differentiator between a successful and unsuccessful deployment. The findings strongly advocate for the advantages of establishing direct relationships with CRM providers for successful and satisfactory deployments. This insight urges businesses to consider more than just features and functionality when evaluating CRM options. 

As businesses strive to optimize their CRM strategies, the survey outcomes serve as a crucial guide for decision-makers. Understanding the potential pitfalls of unexpected costs, particularly with third-party vendors, highlights the importance of careful vendor selection and clear cost structures. 

Dan Roche, Chief Marketing Officer at Workbooks, commented: The CRM industry is one of the most mature technology segments. But the fact there are still so many failed deployments is a sorry indictment on vendors and service providers. 

So, we’re really pleased to have unearthed what could be the silver bullet to ensure CRM success. If this proves to be the case, buyers of CRM software can virtually guarantee outcomes. This could have a game-changing effect on customer experience and productivity improvements.”

Additionally, Workbooks was recently voted best CRM software platform for midsize organizations by TechRadarPro. 


Read the CRM Deployment Report January 2024 


Methodology: Workbooks surveyed CRM deployment leaders within mid-sized businesses, which included senior leadership, C-suite, business owners, and other experienced team members across sales, marketing, operations, IT, finance and customer services. Participants were based in the US, UK and Canada. 402 people took part, and over half were involved in a CRM deployment within recent years.

Participants were targeted using an email list to keep responses fair and representative of the global CRM marketplace.