According to Salesforce, the use of CRM software can help increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34%, and accuracy of sales forecasting—by 42%. From targeting improvement and marketing automation to activity tracking and manual work minimization, a CRM can add true value to your business.
Since CRM systems offer plenty of advantages, they are being widely used by companies of any size and speciality. The questions are: What to choose—a turnkey solution or a custom one? What functionality should a CRM application have? Where and how to start the project if decided to build CRM from scratch? In this article, we’ll answer all of the questions above. So, let’s begin!
You’ve probably heard of such world-famous CRM solutions as HubSpot CRM and Salesforce CRM. Besides them, the market comprises hundreds of other CRM systems—either cool or not. Although they cover various business needs, there are some pitfalls for their use.
It can turn out that what is an advantage in one case may be a disadvantage in another. Imagine that you are the owner of a medium-sized retail company. You’ve already created a mobile application and adopted beacons in order to alert customers about shares and discounts when they are near your shops. This way, your aim is to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.
Well, now you want to improve marketing operations including the launch of advertising campaigns, user segmentation, targeting, and so on. In this case, you just won’t need other functionality (except marketing-related features) provided by market-ready CRM solutions. In fact, custom CRM development will be a great choice in this case.
When choosing between custom CRM and market-ready solution, you should consider the following things:
1. Your tasks and goals
You should clearly define your needs and requirements and make sure that a market-ready CRM covers them all. If so and you’re satisfied with the cost, try to apply it in your processes.
However, If you want a CRM system to perfectly fit your business-specific requirements, it’s better to build it from scratch. While turnkey solutions generally offer multiple features for different departments, in case of custom CRM development, you define processes to be improved and tailor it to them.
CRM software developers will include only those features that are really needed for reaching your goals. Instead, there will be a risk of paying too much for unnecessary functionality.
Surely, custom CRM development costs money. The more complex it is, the higher the price. The plus is that you pay once and that’s all. In the future, you will have to maintain your CRM system, perhaps—scale it. In the case of a market-ready solution, you choose a suitable subscription plan (6 months, 1 year, etc.) and start using it after making a payment.
However, the more functionality your CRM provides, the more expensive it is. In addition, sometimes you have to pay a certain amount of money per user a month which means the cost dependency on the number of employees who will need access.
Therefore, you should calculate your budget and analyze whether it’s better to spend a lot of money one time or spend less but after make payments on a regular basis.
3. Business strategy
When choosing between custom CRM development and a turnkey solution, take into account your plans for the future. Are you going to scale your business? Are you going to hire new people or extend your CRM system by adding new features? If yes, the creation of a custom CRM is more likely to suit your needs.
As you can see, the choice depends on several important factors. There are also cases when it’s better to create your own CRM. Take a look at what are they.
So, what are the cases when a custom CRM application wons? Well, it’s more reasonable to build a CRM system from scratch when:
1. You need to have a high level of customization—a CRM system has to perfectly fit your business needs and goals.
2. You want to develop a CRM and then use it as the core of other enterprise web applications. So, there is a need for a CRM system that will be easily scaled and modified.
3. You’ve analyzed the market and understood that there are no market-ready solutions that will meet your requirements.
4. You’ve found a turnkey solution that seems to solve your tasks but it’s too expensive. You see that it’s easier for you to pay once and build CRM from scratch.
5. You have a large enterprise and plenty of internal business processes to be controlled and optimized. And you want to integrate a CRM web application with other software and ensure their smooth interaction.
Before building a custom CRM from scratch, the first thing to do is to think through its functionality. To this end, you should define the key tasks your CRM application will perform. This will help you clarify the possible ways and features that will allow to solve them.
Come into the world of your employees. Ask them what interrupts their work, which operations require a lot of time, what manual tasks they do. By taking a deeper look at their challenges, you will see what things can be improved and automated. When business-specific needs are determined, it’s much easier to properly create a CRM system.