What do customers mean for a business? No matter how big your company is, customers will always be the key source of your success - it was true many years ago, and it is still true now. The only thing changing with time is the way you manage relationships with the target audience. There is no need to store a huge database with information about your clients in Google Spreadsheets anymore - the age of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions has begun.
In 2019, the decision company owners will make is not whether they need such a solution or not - it’s whether they’d like it to be tailored to their business goals. A standard or custom CRM? That is the question. Let’s figure out what they can bring to your business and why custom solutions will be at the top next year.
Standard vs. Custom CRM Solutions
Standard (or out-of-the-box) CRM tools are built for a wide business audience. Typically, software creators gather the data about the basic needs of any company, no matter how big it is. Such a product can be installed and launched within several hours - it’s completely ready for being used. But let’s get back to the CRM functionality. Imagine you have a startup and you buy a CRM system. The most well-known ones are built for enterprises, so would you need all of their features? At the same time, many companies require much more than a standard system can offer.
Custom CRM tools, on the contrary, are created for a specific company, considering its industry and individual needs. Nowadays, innovative startups appear here and there, and it’s not that easy to find a solid standard solution for them. Plus, if you have a list of features in mind, there’s no better way to implement them than building the custom CRM software.
5 Reasons Why You Should Start Custom CRM Development
If you are reading this, you probably have already started giving thought to the advantages and disadvantages of custom software development. We’re here to help you out - be ready to add some strong benefits to the list.
1. All You Need in One Place
We’ve already mentioned it, and we’re ready to say it again - only custom solutions meet all of your requirements. You won’t conquer the world with a heavy and unnecessary solution that’s slowing down your employees. The same goes for standard CRM systems - they are bulky, shiny, and beautiful, but… Is this what you’re looking for?
In most cases, an out-of-the-box CRM system needs some customization, and you can add new features if needed. But it might be a slippery slope as such changes usually have a high price tag. If you need to customize CRM, you’ll have to hire consultants. The hourly rates of such specialists vary depending on the company they work for and your location. Add the cost of making changes themselves - and the price may turn out to be higher than the cost of building a CRM system from scratch.
On the other hand, you can send requests to the development team that created the CRM you are using. But there is no guarantee they will accept the changes you suggest. Or, you may have to wait for years to see the changes implemented.
Our final advice regarding this point is to make a list of goals you want to achieve with a new CRM system. Does the market have what you need, no more no less?
2. Seamless Integration
So, you have a solution, now how are you going to integrate it with your main business software? The system should get the data and pass it back. If it happens smoothly, the productivity of all departments will increase hugely - they will get the data necessary to grow your company. Usually, modern CRM systems are also integrated with third-party solutions, such as Google apps or Office 365.
The integration process becomes extremely challenging if a company has several eCommerce solutions linked together and also linked with other solutions. Custom CRM development considers every aspect of your system’s work, so you’ll surely improve your business record.
And you should also keep in mind that certain out-of-the-box systems have API integration as an advanced option. You’ll have to buy a huge enterprise solution even if your platform is not that big - this is another example of how vital features are mixed up with the unnecessary fuss.
3. Flexibility for the Future
Short-term goals are changing regularly, so what you need now may not be enough in the near future. Market conditions are always full of surprises, and you’d better be ready for them. Will your CRM system be ready as well? It depends on you.
The biggest companies selling ready-made CRM tools are interested in broadening functionality. If you’re a small or middle-sized business, you’re out of the main focus. Only enterprises buying the full range of features are the target audience of well-known CRM providers. This is a so-called product-oriented approach. As a result, adding new features in the future for your company may be a challenging task.
Think about what a well-fitted solution you will get if you choose to turn to developers for a customizable CRM solution from scratch. In this case, you keep all the initial information. Besides, such a system is designed to be tailored to your needs, and this can be a huge competitive advantage.
4. Smooth Data Migration from the Old CRM System
There may be lots of reasons why companies decide to change their CRM provider or build a new solution from scratch. But in either case, you have to consider how to migrate the data you have to the brand-new system. We must say that data transfer in standard systems is a tricky process. You should consider the following:
- How the features of the two systems match. There’s a tiny chance the functionality is the same, so you will probably need additional customization. We’ve already mentioned how much money and efforts it requires to change a standard CRM system.
- What third-party services you used in the old version. Will all the services work smoothly in the new version? The more additional tools you use, the more you would benefit from custom CRM solutions.
- Whether you need the old version as well. This is not a common case, that’s why not many out-of-the-box solutions will help you manage two systems at the same time.
- Who will deal with data migration. Let’s say you have a massive operational CRM with the data gathered over the past several years. Where will you find an expert for migrating this data? Before buying a ready-made product, ask several providers about data migration services.
5. Custom CRM Data Security
While new malware appears on the web every day, reliable solutions should be protected with a ten-layer armor. What a great temptation it is to choose a cheap open-source CRM system! But are you ready to share the code with anyone out there? These solutions are the most vulnerable on the market. Yes, you will pay less at the beginning, but nobody knows for sure what price you will have to pay in the aftermath of a hack.
Also, the plugins we’ve mentioned before are often built by third-party companies, which doesn’t make the system safer. If one plugin is compromised, your business is also in danger. But on the other hand, you can turn to custom CRM development for in-house deployment, and your code will be solely in your hands. Moreover, experienced developers use all possible options to protect the product they build.
How Much Does CRM Cost?
According to the report published by Apps Run The World, Salesforce was a market leader in 2016, that’s why we’ve decided to take this provider as a pricing example.
Exhibit 1:2016 CRM applications market shares split by top 10 CRM vendors and others, %
- Adobe Systems
- Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories
- Nice Systems
- Verint Systems Inc.
Usually, the standard CRM software price is based on the cost per user, per month. The simple formula to count your spending: (Price x Number of users) x 12 - this way, you will find out the yearly price. Salesforce offers 4 packages:
- Starter ($28)
- Professional ($85)
- Enterprise ($170)
- Unlimited ($340).
Let’s say you opt for the Professional package and you have 20 users. The overall price you’ll have to pay at the end of the year is $20,400. At the same time, the Unlimited package for 100 users costs $408,000.
The custom CRM development cost is based on the requirements and list of features. There are three main parts you need to develop for a new solution: sales, marketing, and support. Depending on the module, the CRM software cost may vary:
- Sales module: $8,000-$40,000
- Marketing module: $8,000-$11,000
- Support module: $5,000-$9,000
The prices differ a lot because of the modules’ features. For example, if you all you need is a database and the dashboard to store and manage contacts and requests, it will cost you not more than $12,000. If you need an advanced dashboard, accounts, and pipelines, be ready to spend over $30,000. You should remember the individual approach is a key element of your partnerships with developers. You can create whatever you want and feel completely safe using a new solution.
What are your plans for the new year? Let the new CRM be your new beginning. You have two options: buying a ready-made system or building a brand-new solution. The more competitors appear on the market, the more tasks you need to solve within one tool. Building a CRM system from scratch gives you a chance to consider every aspect of your work and increase your team’s productivity.
You don’t have to look through the Craigslist custom CRM development candidates - all you need is to contact the Axisbits team. We’re experts in CRM development, and we’re proud of every product we’ve built.