In the past, businesses had no other option but to manage their customers using spreadsheets, manually calculated data, and more. But thanks to the advent of operational software, your business can use CRM software (customer relationship management software) to simplify customer tracking, analysis, and communication, among other things.
Maybe your business hasn’t adopted a CRM yet, or perhaps you’re using an off-the-shelf system, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho, but you’re here because you’re considering a custom CRM system. That said, you've likely recognized that, while off-the-shelf systems are a great fit for many businesses, they’re not for everyone.
Here are 10 reasons why going with a custom CRM often provides the best results. You can use these reasons to determine if custom CRM development is for you.
1. No more limitations.
When you purchase an off-the-shelf CRM, you are often restricted to a specific set of applications, storage, and more. While these CRMs often offer the potential for upgrades, even upgrades present their own set of limitations.
On the other hand, when you build a custom CRM, the possibilities are endless. You can build whatever you please, as long as your budget allows. Got a limited budget? Have your software developer create a CRM with the minimum functionality you need, and build upon it in the future.
2.Designed around your workflows.
There’s a reason why off-the-shelf CRMs are often referred to as “cookie cutter” CRMs—they are designed around what’s standard. In this way, these CRMs are designed to accommodate standard workflows, but what happens when your business's workflows don't fit within these parameters?
While this may work for most businesses, it may not work for yours, which can slow you and your employees down significantly. But when you go custom, you can build your CRM around your workflows, rather than adjust your workflows to fit your CRM—this makes your CRM a help rather than a hindrance to success.
3. Automation for what you want.
You’ve probably heard that business process automation, along with marketing automation, is a great method for saving time and money. While most CRMs have built-in automation tools, just like those built-in workflow tools, these automation tools may not fit within your particular processes.
With your custom CRM built around your ideal workflows, possibly even designed to fit the needs of specific employees, you can customize what you want and how you want to automate certain tasks. As such, you’ll save time in the way you need to, not in the way your CRM thinks you should.
4. Integrations for every tool you need.
In the same way that off-the-shelf CRMs cater to the most popular workflows and processes, they also often only provide integrations for the most in-demand apps. Without all the integrations you need, you and your team may find yourselves bouncing between your CRM and other programs to complete tasks.
Just as automation can save your business time by completing tasks for you, you can save time by putting all of your favorite apps into one piece of software. The best way to do this is by going custom. Your custom CRM will allow you to transition seamlessly between programs, so you can complete tasks more quickly than before.
5. Keep the learning curve to a minimum.
In many cases, when you start using an off-the-shelf CRM, you’ll quickly discover that you need to develop several workarounds to complete tasks and reach your business goals. Figuring out these workarounds and teaching them to new staff members, however, can make things more complicated than they need to be.
When your CRM is designed in a way that makes sense for your business, from the workflow to the tools you use, it will be much easier for you and your employees to manage. Plus, onboarding will be a much simpler process, as the steps to completing a task will better align with your business’s needs.
6. Scale and grow as needed.
Most out-of-the-box CRMs are designed for small businesses, and if you have a small business, that’s great. But what happens when you outgrow the offerings of your CRM? Well, you and your team might start feeling a bit confined to what your CRM can do, limiting your opportunity for future growth.
As there are no limitations for what a custom CRM, there are also no limitations in how much it can grow. Whether your CRM needs to accommodate a growing number of employees, customers, or both, you can extend your CRM to fit your needs as it expands.
7. Gather better insights.
There’s no doubt that off-the-shelf CRMs provide their share of analysis and segmentation tools. However, to fit the needs of most businesses, these tools must be designed based on assumptions about your business.
You can eliminate the guessing game with a custom CRM. By communicating to your developer about your unique business model and needs, he can work with you to determine how to tailor your tools to offer the most insightful customer data.
8. Pay for the software, not the user.
Most CRMs are subscription-based SaaS tools, which are often priced per user as well. For a small business, paying per user may not be too costly, but at the enterprise level, the cost can certainly add up. Not only that but at the end, you won’t even own the software you’ve been paying monthly fees for.
While the upfront cost of building your own CRM is certainly higher than a subscription-based CRM, larger scale businesses may still find themselves saving money in a year’s time. Plus, your CRM will become an asset that you can continue to improve, along with your business, over time.
9. Gain a competitive advantage.
If you act the same, look the same, and do the same thing as everyone else, you’re going to have a difficult time standing apart from the crowd—the same can be said for your CRM. If you’re using the same tools as your competitors, can you ever really be better than them?
Remember, your ‘customer’ is at the heart of your CRM. When your CRM is built with your stakeholders in mind, you’ll be able to offer them better customer service and support. Moreover, you’ll also be able to develop more accurately targeted marketing campaigns, putting you ahead of the competition.
10. Tailored to your business’s needs.
Last but not least, a custom CRM offers better results than an off-the-shelf CRM because it’s custom! Just like a custom-tailored suit will fit you best, your custom CRM is tailored to fit your business better than anything else on the market.
We’d like to note that going custom isn’t always the answer. An off-the-shelf CRM is often a great option for businesses just starting out, especially those still in the process of identifying their CRM needs.
But if you’re already on track for going custom, look no further for help. To create a custom CRM, get in touch with us today.