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Why your business needs a custom CRM

Off-the-shelf CRM software might not be the best fit for your business. A custom solution can give you more control and cost you less
Jan 10, 2020 • 5 minute read
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Building a custom CRM can be a better fit for your business, and it's cheaper

Success and failure for a business come down to the customer base that it can generate. But customer conversion is just the first step of the long-lasting association known as customer relationship management.
Managing client relations and building a loyal customer base that increases your revenue is of utmost importance for new as well as established businesses.

Why you need a CRM

You don’t have to wait for your customer base to be of a significant size before incorporating an effective CRM software into your operations. In fact, CRM is designed to eliminate the need for any physical or digital standalone files that are cumbersome to maintain. And this process can begin even on a smaller scale. Apart from dealing with client data, an efficient CRM can also help you generate leads for future business. You can use the collective client data analysis to create appropriate campaigns, improve customer satisfaction and run a tighter ship.
CRM is also an equally important tool for your business generation teams. It can help the sales representatives align meetings and build effective interactions. Moreover, with all the data in one place, it makes for excellent reporting and analysis.

Why a custom CRM can beat off-the-shelf solutions

Off-the-shelf CRM platforms are the more traditional choice. But your business isn't generic, which means your processes and data aren't generic. A custom-built solution could be better suited to your business.
Smaller businesses and startups may not utilize all the features of a mass-market CRM, which are often more expensive solutions than custom-built software. It may make more business sense to choose a custom developed CRM solution that can bring agility to your startup.

Unique requirements

The idea behind mass-production is to create products and solutions that suit most businesses. More often than not, these designs don’t take into consideration startups and their unique needs. With a custom-built CRM solution, you can create something that is less complex and more suited for your unique requirements.

Closer integration

Custom-built CRMs can work seamlessly across departments. From lead generation to sales and after-sales support, you can have a single system where all interaction is documented. This can become a challenge with the bigger players like Salesforce and NetSuite.

Scalability

Scalability is a common concern across startups, and you're likely to be scaling quickly your first few years in business. It makes sense to custom develop a CRM app ecosystem that can scale up and grow in tandem with you. For example, as a startup, you may just begin with basic CRM features like sales tracker, lead generator, and a repository of documents, and grow this platform as your business requirements grow. It's nearly impossible to achieve this kind of flexibility with say, a solution from HubSpot or Zoho CRM.

Better control

No one knows your organization, processes, operations and employees better than you. So how can a solution that's designed for mass-market production ever 100% suit your requirements? In fact, when you use an off-the-shelf CRM platform, you're more likely to modify your processes and operations to suit its functionality than vice versa. CRM platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot or NetSuite come with pre-defined features that tend to take the control away from you. So, a custom-built CRM is the ideal way to remain in the driver’s seat.

More consistent

A pre-packaged CRM solution is usually incapable of automating specific processes and workflows as quickly and easily as you require in a startup environment. On the other hand, with a custom-built CRM, you can incorporate enough automation to reduce — maybe even eliminate — human errors. With increased consistency, you can also reduce gaps in processes as per your requirements and serve your customers at a much faster pace.

Insightful

This is probably the most underrated feature of a custom-built CRM solution. Data and analysis are the key areas that can help increase sales and revenues. However, a packaged CRM platform often fails to deliver data as per your specific requirements. In comparison to this, a custom-built CRM solution allows you to filter data, sort it, and create customizable reports in no time. Even better, these can be created differently for every team and department. These reports can help you lower business risks, assess the market situation better and help you react faster.

Reduced implementation time

A mass-market CRM platform comes with its own set of workflows, and this can result in longer transition times. It's never easy for employees to switch over to new workflows. You can experience operational delays even with elaborate training sessions. But because a custom-built CRM is designed on existing workflows, there's hardly any transition delay. And it can help you minimize training costs.

Less expensive

All these advantages add up to a less expensive solution that's flexible, scalable, usable and custom-built. Out-of-the-box options like Salesforce, HubSpot or even Zoho are definitely more expensive, and not ideal for a startup or a small-sized business. With a custom-built CRM, you pay for what you need; no more, no less. You aren't burdened with the mammoth costs of a solution that you may or may not utilize entirely. And, you can spread your expenditure over a larger timeframe by adding more features as you grow.

Mass-market CRMs vs custom-built CRM platforms

Description
Mass-Market CRM Solutions
Custom Built CRM Solutions
Fit
Mass-market solution Lesser flexibility Designed for larger firms
Tailored to fit specific requirements. Unique solution Reduced complexity
Integration
Difficult to integrate across departments. Data integration challenges
Seamless integration across departments. Easier data integration
Scalability
Offers more than what you require as a startup. Limited scalability as you grow.
Begin with exactly what you need. Scale up as you grow.
Control
Lesser control due to its off-the-shelf nature. Employees require training to use.
Designed specific to your requirements, allowing you to remain in control. More user-friendly
Consistency
Unable to automate all the required processes and workflows. Larger room for human error.
Easy to automate the required processes and workflows. Reduced chances of human error.
Insights
Pre-built reports and analytics. Difficult to customize every aspect.
Create reports that you require. Easy to add on more reports in the future.
Implementation
Low implementation times Difficult workflow integration. Longer training times
Average implementation times for a startup. Faster workflow integration. Lesser training required
Cost
More expensive for a startup. Higher cost of training
You build what you require. Lower training costs as workflows remain largely the same.
In conclusion, if you own a startup and you're shopping around for a CRM platform, then nothing comes even close to a custom-built solution. It's flexible, customizable, scalable, user-friendly and can incorporate your workflows, processes and operations with ease. To top it all off, it's more cost-effective than a mass-market CRM platform.
If you need a custom CRM, you could consider hiring a freelance software developer. Many developers actually specialize in creating custom CRMs for businesses. It's a cost-effective way to get a CRM that's the right fit for your business.

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