Custom CRM solutions: 5 reasons why off-the-shelf CRM’s might not fit

To be successful, your business needs to function as smoothly and efficiently as possible. At this point, you have probably either looked into purchasing a customer relationship management (CRM) system, or have already implemented one to help manage your sales, marketing and customer data. Having the right CRM can make all the difference in the success of your business. In fact, market research studies show that companies that use a properly made and implemented CRM will typically experience a 50% acceleration of sales conversions.

Now that you’ve decided to implement a CRM system into your business, you need to decide which system is right for you. If you’re thinking about going with a generic CRM, you need to ask the important question: Can you get everything your business needs from an off-the-shelf CRM package? Maybe not.

Your business is unique, and you might need a system that reflects its individual requirements. According to Zach Klempf, Silicon Valley CRM and digital marketing expert, “Fit is the single most important CRM criteria; your CRM needs to align with your sales culture, workflow, deal processes and business goals.”

Fit is not something that you’re likely to find when you choose a generic CRM system. To highlight this point, we’ve listed 5 of the main downfalls businesses commonly encounter when they purchase an off-the-shelf, rather than a custom-built CRM.

Buying an off-the-shelf CRM can be a problem because:

You’re one of thousands. With generic packaged CRM, you are one voice among the thousands asking for help, and you’ll probably end up waiting in line to speak to someone who can answer your questions. The person you end up speaking to won’t know your history or be familiar with your specific business needs, and each time you need help you will have to explain your situation all over again. When it comes to managing your business, you don’t have time to waste.
With a custom CRM, you have the advantage of a one-on-one relationship with the people who build your system. Your needs are important to your CRM architect, and they will be willing and able to respond more quickly to your requests. When you run across an issue that needs to be solved now, you have the contact information for a real person who knows your custom CRM system, understands your individual needs, and can get to work on the issue straight away.
Your office probably doesn’t have padded walls. If you’ve ever attempted to learn how to navigate a generic CRM system on your own, you’ve probably felt like banging your head against the wall once or twice. Off-the-shelf CRM’s can take a long time to learn, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself lost down a rabbit hole trying to figure out how to set things up the way you want them. You may invest a lot of time and effort into setting up one function, just to discover after the fact that there’s a better way to do it.
With custom CRM’s, you’re not thrown in the deep end and left to fend for yourself. You get to play an active role in designing your CRM’s layout and architecture so that it makes sense to you and fits with your workflow. When your system is complete, your programmer will make sure you have exactly what you need, and will take the time to show you how to use it, saving you a lot of time and avoiding a massive headache.
There’s too much of what you don’t need. Pre-packaged CRM systems are built to cover as many scenarios and requirements as they possibly can in order to fit a wide variety of business needs. This means there will be a lot of extra pieces that you don’t need, which you’ll have to sift through to find what you’re looking for. In these circumstances, you may find yourself changing your business strategies to fit the options you have available to you with your CRM, and those may not be the best strategies for your business.
Your CRM should be molded to meet your needs; it doesn’t work the other way around. A bespoke CRM will cut out the unnecessary bells and whistles and leave you with a lean, streamlined system that works for you.
There’s not enough of what you do need. At some point, you’ll likely realise that your business requires some functions which your off-the-shelf CRM simply cannot perform. Instead of the specific functions that you really need to help you run your business more smoothly, you’ve paid for a handful of features that you can’t use. In addition to purchasing the costly base package, only a portion of which is actually relevant to your business, you will still end up paying more for the add-ons you need, if they are even available.
With bespoke CRM you only pay for what you need. You get to build your system from the ground up, using the pieces that will benefit your business and serve your purposes, leaving out the pieces that don’t fit.
They don’t grow with you. As your company grows, your generic CRM probably won’t. At least not to the extent that you will need it to, and not in the ways that work for your unique situation. Even if an off-the-shelf CRM was enough to get you started in the beginning, it probably won’t be able to keep up with your needs once your business starts to expand. When your system reaches its limits, it can be detrimental to the momentum you’ve worked so hard to build.
A custom-built CRM can be easily altered when your business starts to change. When you start with a bespoke CRM, you don’t have to worry about changing to a whole new system at your busiest and most crucial moment, risking complications that will slow you down and cost you money. You can work directly with the designers who created your individualised CRM to make the appropriate changes and keep you up and running.
When choosing the right CRM, you need to think about all the aspects involved: Does it have all the features you need? Is it user-friendly? Will it work with your business in the long-term? Does it fit in your budget? Don’t sacrifice quality and functionality because you think an off-the-shelf CRM is the only affordable option. It may end up costing you more in the end

Contact Code Dock London today and discover what a custom CRM would look like for your business. We specialise in creating custom CRM’s and other user experience driven management information systems. For more information, contact us at or give us a call at +44 (0)20 3637 8870.

Marcelo Lazaroni