Running a company in this day and age takes a lot of money with funds going towards employees, inventory, office maintenance, and many other points of expenditure. So it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs might be hesitant to spend money on a custom-built CRM when there are quite a few cheap alternatives out there. However, we think that funding the creation of a CRM from scratch, tailored just for you, is the kind of investment that’s sure to pay off. So, today, we’ll compare and contrast the two options and, hopefully, prove to you that custom CRMs matter.
- Advantages over basic CRM
“A business absolutely devoted to Customer Service Excellence will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
-Sir Henry Ford
A Quick Refresher
What Is a CRM?
Before we dive in, let’s lay out what exactly a CRM solution represents and why it’s even a necessity. Even 10 or 20 years ago, most businesses handled the info on their customers and interactions with them by simply writing it down on piles and piles of documents. The more advanced ones used things like Excel to store spreadsheets with all the info. This is, of course, highly inconvenient and often leads to loss of valuable data and mismanagement.
In direct contrast to it, a custom CRM solution keeps the information well-organized and provides quick access to it. Using one single program, you can see how every employee in the company interacted with a lead or a customer and whether a follow-up is needed to turn the coveted lead into a loyal customer. All things considered, the one word to describe a CRM system is efficiency. It makes work processes faster and it delivers results, which is key in any customer-facing business.
“You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.”
A Suitable Analogy
Comparing Basic and Custom
Imagine that you’re going to buy a suit for your son, something for the junior prom. Walking into any store, you’ll likely find one or two suits that seem pretty good right on the rack. The colors are nice, the fabric is reasonably soft, and the price is pretty appealing. Your son tries them on and they’re… okay? Yeah, a bit stiff in the shoulders and the pants are a smidgen too short but the price is great and it’s pretty much all on display for you, a quick solution. So, not wanting to spend too much time or money on this small purchase, you settle for the mass-produced suits.
A few years roll by and it’s time for senior prom and your son is all grown up. He tries to put the suits on and they just don’t fit that well anymore. The sleeves are way too short and the seams on the shoulders are fit to burst. The pants are up high and, overall, it’s clear that the initial appeal of an okay fit and the low cost isn’t going to cover up these flaws. Time to either invest in a new suit or make the best of your flawed one.
Now, imagine you went ahead and ordered a tailored suit. It wasn’t exactly cheap but the fit is impeccable and the quality is top-notch. And then, even several years on, as your son puts this suit on, he might have grown but the fit is still good and, since you’ve already found a good tailor, they’re happy to make any adjustments on the cheap. In the end, the cost of both suits becomes pretty level and you can see how the tailored option is the more lucrative one. You pay the same cost but end up rocking a product that’s better and more suited to your needs.
What we’ve been trying to show with this example is that paying for a basic CRM isn’t always the most affordable option, especially long-term. As your business grows, a mass-market CRM might fall behind in scalability and lack features that you need. Besides, when you’re working with a company that builds a CRM for you, you can always turn to them for updates, maintenance, and an expansion of the solution’s capabilities.
Entrusting an outsourcing company with developing a custom CRM can save you from a major headache down the road. And, remember, getting a new outfit is easy while investing into a whole new CRM for your company is a huge money sink and takes time. There are marketplaces where a team will improve your ready-made CRMs but that just turns the whole thing into a subpar version of a custom CRM solution. That one can be changed on a whim and also comes with higher quality right out of the gate.
“How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.”
Supplying an Example
Why You Need a Custom CRM
If an indirect analogy isn’t convincing you, let’s go for a more direct example. Suppose you’re running a company that handles supply chains and imports or exports goods for customers all over the world. Without a good CRM solution, your employees will go mad from the literal and figurative paperwork tied to the logistics and trying to follow up with every single supplier, customer, and transporter. Besides, appearances are important and a company that manages its customers via an expansive, well-designed, and convenient system will always look more competent than its shabby competitors.
A custom CRM can help you organize the people and companies you interact with into subcategories. Assigning priorities to them, labeling particular customers or suppliers as important ones, tracking your interactions with them – all of this makes work easier for all employees in your company. Moreover, if the CRM is tailored to your chain of command and your workflow, you can automatize most of these processes, speeding up work and ensuring that all data is gathered and labeled properly.
Besides, a logistics company is very different in structure and business goals from, for example, a restaurant chain. Sure, there is a bit of overlap that regular CRMs bank on. However, when the time comes to analyze data and factor in your customer interactions, only a custom-made solution will display the information you need and give it the right weight in the final calculations.
Last but not least, remember that your lead generators and marketing specialists have to work side by side with each other and other departments to maximize sales and customer satisfaction. However, that’s often tougher than it has to be since all departments are using different software and can’t collaborate directly. A well-made CRM unites your specialists and lets them work together and help each other on any task, streamlining solutions to all tasks at hand.
“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”
All Is Not Cost
The Issue of Price
Now, you might be looking at our examples and reasons and, even if you agree, still feeling that nagging itch in the back of your mind – the price issue. It’s worth investing into a tailored CRM for sure but how could a small company front the cost of custom development? Well, if you outsource to the right devteam, it’s actually not that expensive.
Outsourcing to countries such as Ukraine allows for a reasonably priced yet high-quality solution to be made. It’s a fast and not too pricey process that’s going to reap benefits for you many years on. It does, of course, require finding a skilled development team that can use frameworks to optimize the development process and deliver a solution faster. But that shouldn’t be a problem in a country that’s in the top 10 of European IT providers and offers prices well below what you’d get from competitors such as Poland, Austria, or Israel.
A big chunk of the development cost oftentimes comes from how long the work takes. This is remedied by using a dedicated team and utilizing frameworks but you can’t always know if you’re hiring professionals. Here at Incode Group, though, we have experience in such projects. One of our proudest achievements is the Cleversource system, done in a short time period. As you can see, we know a thing or two about working fast and working smart. Plus, we make sure that you can work fast as well thanks to our microservices architecture keeping the software running smoothly.
A Few Parting Words
In the end, it’s clear that the investment into custom CRMs is the right way to go for any business that aims to succeed. It’s not as pricey as some make it out to be but it’s certainly as effective as you could possibly want. Relying on a skilled team of developers, you can improve your company’s workflow and customer relations, all in one well-designed CRM package.