Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an integral part of any business, whether you’re a solopreneur working out of your garage or the founder of a large corporation, like David Kiger of Dallas. . It can be used to keep track of sales leads, your current customers, and even your business’s marketing campaigns.
Cookie-cutter CRM software offered by vendors like SalesForce, Oracle, and SAP may offer solutions right out of the box, but Caspio.com reports that these solutions often present difficulties upon implementation and extra expense as you add features relevant to your business.
Instead of relying on these enterprise-type solutions that cannot be easily tailored to your business, industry, or team’s needs, why not build a custom solution that offers the features you’ll rely on day in and day out?
Follow these tips to build your own custom CRM and reap the benefits right away.
Benefits of Custom-Built CRM Software
In an article published by ReadWrite.com, Gartner forecasts that businesses will spend $37 billion on CRM-based solutions in 2017.
Out-of-the-box CRM software typically comes with features that most businesses don’t want or need. Unfortunately, to get the most out of this software, you still have to spend time, money, and resources setting up and deploying the entire system. You’ll spend even more time training your employees on how to use the system and features that may not have any relevance to their business or processes.
Custom-built CRM software lets you choose the features your business needs to function. Looking for a suite that functions heavily around your business’s marketing campaigns? You can design a system that integrates tools to track and measure the performance of your email, social media, telephone, and direct mail campaigns. Don’t need the software to track customer appointments or integrate your social media accounts? Custom-built CRM software allows you to pick and choose the features and applications you and your teams will rely on, removing the bloated features you’d find within a cookie-cutter solution.
What About the Expense of Custom CRM Solutions?
Sure, implementing your own custom-built CRM system can be a costly endeavor. However, there are services that help reduce the cost by customizing the software around its core features.
Job Nimbus helps smaller businesses afford a custom-based CRM by utilizing a system that is already 66 percent pre-built. Since over two-thirds of the software is pre-built and available for use, you’ll find a quicker turnaround time for their developers to create custom components, less bugs to work out, a more stable foundation, and less risk knowing that the core of the software is already proven and being used by businesses.
Customizable CRM Options
If you don’t have the budget or resources to develop or outsource a custom-built CRM, consider options like SugarCRM, which gives you the foundation and allows you to customize the application with drag-and-drop functionality. In addition to the lower cost of implementation, you’ll still have full control over what features to include in your day-to-day operations. If your business grows and the system needs additional capabilities, software like SugarCRM can grow with you.
If you have the resources, budget, and technical know-how, developing your own custom-branded CRM system is never beyond reach. Consider the time it would take to develop, the costs involved, and the amount of time it would take to train employees and work out the bugs.
You can find software developers on sites like oDesk, Elance, or within your own IT department. Custom-building a customer relationship management system can take a considerable amount of time to design and implement, so keep this in mind when weighing your options. You’ll also have to budget for maintenance of the system and enhancements in the future.
Custom-built or customizable CRM systems could end up saving you time, money, and resources in the future. Make sure you weigh your options and compare the features that out-of-the-box solutions offer. You may find it’s cheaper in the long run to custom-build a CRM solution rather than pay the per-user fee that most pre-built software suites require.
You may also find that pre-built CRM systems offer all the functionality and customization your small business may need. The choice is ultimately up to you and the needs of your business.