Costs and Pricing Models of Sales Software

Category: Sales Software

Sales software solutions were one of the very first cloud based apps that adopted a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. In contrast to on-premise software, where the app is installed directly on your company’s computer or server and you own the license for it, SaaS allows you to gain online access to the service through a monthly subscription. While you don’t get to have the product license, you exchange that for more flexible features and reliable customer support that, especially for small businesses, are otherwise very expensive.

SaaS pricing can come in various forms though, so let’s review the costs and pricing models of sales software that are widely used today.


Many top sales software vendors offer a freemium package to hook you into subscribing. Freemium is different from free trial or demo version, which gives you free access to the software’s full features for a limited period only. A freemium lets you use a limited set of features for as long as you want, and only pay once you need more advanced features. A freemium works best for a freelancer or small business with a minimum sales software requirement for the meantime.

Once the business grows, so does your sales software needs grow. Here’s a quick comparison of the typical costs and pricing models of sales software for paid subscriptions.

By number of users

A basic plan usually starts with a per user fee for up to five persons. This is often used by businesses with a small staff. The next plan may cater to a sizeable sales team, which is often the case for mid-sized businesses. More advanced plans are geared towards companies with multiple sales teams in various territories. Some of these plans require a quote to custom-fit the software for a large set of users.

By number of features

Parallel to the number of users, the number of features is also a standard basis for the costs and pricing models of sales software. The more features you use, the higher the subscription. The most basic plan usually only include simple features, such as, account and contact management, task and event tracking, and customizable reports. On the other hand, the most robust plans may include: report history tracking; custom app development; and workflow approval automation.

By number of add-ons

Add-ons are different from features by the nature of their use; add-ons are not integral to let the sales software to function properly. For example, a mobile app can be an add-on because, while the sales software can function without it, the mobile version adds flexibility to how you use the system. In such case, vendors can price their software by bundling add-ons with a discount. But be wary of these bundles as they may cause you to pay for things that you don’t need (at least not ye). It’s important that you can distinguish features from add-ons so you only get what you need.

Read more:  Sales Performance Management Software

By degree of support service

Although helpdesk is standard in most sales software, some vendors offer more support for a fee. Paid helpdesk often lets you to call a vendor or you have a longer access time to its customer reps. If you’re a newbie in using cloud service, or you don’t have a an in-house technical person, it’s recommended to get a paid helpdesk at least while you’re trying to get the hang of the software.

By length of subscription

The costs and pricing models of sales software can also depend on how long your subscription. Annual fees have lower pricing because you’re paying in advance, while monthly rates, although costlier, give you more flexibility in the cash flow.

Hidden fees

Aside from the usual pricing models, watch out for hidden fees that come with the subscription. Hidden fees are your clues that the vendors are less than ideal to trust, so check out for these usual traps:

  • a fee is charged every time the software is upgraded (even automatically) by the vendor in the guise of giving you better performance
  • a separate license is charged per user on top of the user fees you’ve already paid
  • a geographical fee is charged in locations “outside” of the vendor’s scope of operation
  • a regular downtime is implemented (this incurs cost because you’re paying for less time)


By getting a review of the typical costs and pricing models of sales software you get an overview on how much the sales software will add to your operating expense. In fact, your sales software should not incur you cost; rather incur you more revenues as it should do.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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