Customized CRM or custom-built?
Forgive this play on words. Do you want to have a customized CRM; build on your CRM- add features: views, workflows or reports? Or do you want to build the CRM ground up, custom-built for you?
I guess we all know the second option is very expensive. But, assume for a second that money is no object and the expected benefits- cost savings, sales upswing etc- far outweigh the costs. Would you then all vote for the second option?
Before you go further, please vote in the poll above. It is completely anonymous. And we have no biases- we do both.
Now that you have voted, let me share why building a CRM ground up might soon become as rare as tailoring your shirt. It will not disappear but will find very few takers.
First, the cost. Not just money but time and effort and expensive management time at that. The time will go in preparing a vision document, spelling out the detailed requirements. Then the vendor selection, evaluating capabilities, comparing costs etc. As an aside, comparing service vendors is tougher than evaluating product offerings.
Then, the uncertainty regarding outcome. By choosing to go it alone, you have chosen to disregard the collective wisdom of many customers who are using the CRMs in the market. If you buy a CRM in the market, you will end up buying a CRM which is already tested by users in their thousands even millions. Your own product maturity curve will be, on the other hand, steep and the learning even steeper.
The counter- flexibility and “just the way I want it”
But what about the flexibility and customizability that is going to be your prize if you chose to go the custom built way?
Modern CRM products are increasingly going the way of platforms- they wear customization as their badge of honour. While you may not be able to have one platform cater to retail and loyalty and B2B, the very chance of your needing a platform for such a diverse end-use is remote.
So, buy your CRM and then customize it
So, we think you (and that means the vast majority) are better served by selecting a CRM product that meets you more than half-way in terms of your business needs, creating an adoption road-map and work with the vendor to customize it. A customized CRM is just what you need.