When you're just starting out, you probably don't need a CRM. A notebook, a spreadsheet, a whiteboard will probably do the trick.
But at some point, you'll come to the conclusion that you need some way of staying organised. A central repository for this information. And you'll hear that a CRM is the best way to do this, so you'll get on the phone to your friendly CRM consultant, they'll give you a quote and you'll faint.
Because a CRM is so important, there are hundreds of different ones out there. And all of them are configurable to a greater or lesser degree. Some CRMs are designed for small companies, some designed for big companies. When you pick up the phone to that consultant, they're almost definitely working with a CRM designed for bigger companies. Those CRMs have more options, more flexibility, more configuration possibilities, which is why you need a consultant to set them up. But big companies have big needs, as well as big pockets.
That's why your consultant made you faint.
Luckily, those huge systems aren't your only option. The smaller ones are generally a great fit for smaller businesses - but you need to do the setup and configuration yourself. Which, in turn, means understanding what you want to get out of the system.
So, the cost of your CRM can range from free (most of the smaller systems offer a free getting-started tier), through to a few dollars per month up to thousands, ten of thousands or even hundreds of thousands to get up and running.
Take action: What does your business need to get out of its CRM system? Do you have something in place to handle this already?