3 Reasons Why Off-the-Shelf CRM Is A Bad Idea for Large Businesses

In  Development

In our modern world, businesses can choose from countless off-the-shelf customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This solution is a mass-produced software already available for numerous types of companies. Because of this matter, many business owners are hesitant to invest in custom CRM development. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that there is no one-size-fits-all development business solution, especially for large businesses and renowned brands. We will dive deeper into why and how a shelf product can harm a company. Read onward to understand better why the mechanism of custom development fits like a glove to your business requirements, how you can improve customer experience and increase revenue.   

What Is Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)?

Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)

Customer relationship management or CRM is software designed to facilitate and improve customer interactions. A CRM stores data about your current and potential customers and provides valuable information to all your departments. We stand by the statement that a CRM is a vital part of your business strategy as it allows for a timely and fruitful relationship with existing clients and sets up a welcoming environment for new customers. Besides that, the sales team, customer service, business development and marketing departments have a more synchronized path. They can share data between them and easier collaborate to achieve business goals.

The benefits of a customer relationship management system boost the success rate of your business and bring your marketing efforts closer to your goals. According to Salesforce, the rate of accurate forecasting can increase by 42%, and your sales can rise by 29% when using a CRM. 

Shortly, a CRM is a database that keeps track of each customer, such as registration date, purchase history, complaints, geographical location information, etc. This information gives you the advantage of personalizing promotions and offering unique products to your customer groups. 

More than that, business owners are turning to implement a system that will help them optimize their business process, increase customer satisfaction and improve their overall relationship with customers. Therefore, increase the company’s revenue.

Still, facing the choice of which CRM is a better fit for your company: box solutions or custom solutions can be challenging. With this article, we will facilitate your decision making, answer your questions and help you pick the ideal solution for your business.

What Are the Types of Customer Relationship Management Software? 

Besides the primary focus of CRMs to improve customer relationships, they are designed to boost business operations in general. This powerful tool can be used to create personalized marketing campaigns to achieve business goals. We can classify the CRMs based on their purpose and implementation. 

Based on their purpose, we can split this type of software into three categories: 

  • Operational CRM is focused on storing all the information about the customer base: orders, calls, website behaviour, etc. and updating all the data in real-time. This type of software automates all data. It is an excellent tool for all the departments connected with the clients, such as the marketing team, the sales representative team, customer service team, sales managers, etc.   
  • Collaborative CRM keeps all your employees updated regarding the customer life cycle. This type of CRM stores and synchronizes all the user communication through different channels such as phone, social networks, chat or email. A collaborative CRM is a fantastic way to keep all departments on the same page and help them build trustworthy relationships with customers. 
  • Analytical CRM helps business analysts and the financial department have a complete overview of your business economic activity. This type of CRM provides rich data about the sales pipelines, the sales cycle, and the short-term or long-term goals set for your users. With this information, you can build a complete and comprehensive business strategy.   

Even if we divided the CRM by type, you should know that it is scarce to find them in a pure, unmixed form. Generally, these features overlap. Especially when we talk about large businesses, they need all the functions together to achieve extensive business purposes. 

Despite the way you choose to use a CRM, based on their implementation manner, you have two options: an off-the-shelf solution or develop a custom CRM software from scratch. In the following section, we are going to compare and look at them more in-depth.

Custom CRM Software vs Off-the-Shelf Software Solutions

Custom CRM Software vs Off-the-Shelf Software Solutions

First, we are going to define the two types of CRMs, and we will make a comparison between them. 

Off-the-shelf CRMs are also known as boxed solutions. They are already-built software solutions that include basic functions. They usually encompass standard business operations and are not customized to fit a specific market or industry. Our opinion is that they are fit for small businesses that don’t have a complex business model or require unique features. You can find flexible subscription plans or even free versions of this software on the market. 

A custom CRM solution is a product that includes all your project details and considers all the elements of your business model. No matter the project complexity, the software developers, will deliver you a highly customizable, scalable, and easily adaptable solution. We strongly recommend this implementation for middle-sized and large businesses with particular business logic, need specific features or work on confined niches.   

These being said, let’s see the particularities of each piece of software: 

Off-the-Shelf Software

  • You can get a free trial of the system and switch to another provider if it doesn’t fit your business needs.
  • You get all the basic automating functions to work with your clients. 
  • The software has been tested and used by multiple businesses beforehand. 
  • You can contact the support team at any time. Usually, they offer 24/7 support. 
  • You can start using the software fast as the installation is quick
  • You might not get all the features you need.
  • You might overpay for features you don’t need and use.
  • You will pay a monthly subscription and pay extra for each new account. 
  • You don’t get training on how to use the system.  

Custom CRM Solution

  • No monthly fees or other payments are needed, leading to long term savings
  • You can add new features and scale your software on the go, based on your needs.
  • Seamless integration with third-party services. 
  • You can choose the development agency and the development team.
  • You can use all the system’s capabilities to boost your business growth. 
  • It will take several months to build your custom software.
  • It can be expensive to develop. 
  • Any big issue or mistake can delay the launch of your project. 

We wrote a more extensive article about off-the-shelf software vs custom CRM that will explain the differences between the two implementations in great detail.    

3 Reasons Why Off-the-Shelf CRM Is A Bad Idea for Large Businesses

When a business decides to pursue custom software development, it will design and execute the whole project from scratch. You will have complete control over the user interface design, create the sales funnel, personalize your customer journey, etc. The interaction between your business and your customers or a potential customer is a decisive factor in user experience. We firmly stand by the fact that custom-built CRM improves the user experience and an off-the-shelf CRM is a bad idea for large businesses. Here is why:

1. Limited Features That Disrupt Workflows

Limited Features That Disrupt Workflows

An off-the-shelf solution is built to accommodate as many businesses as possible and as many industries as possible. Therefore, they include a wide range of features that you won’t need or won’t fit your business model. Choosing a boxed solution, you will pay for all the features, even if you use them or not. 

Being a large company with an already well-established customer base, you cannot afford to lose clients by not offering them precisely what they want from you. Also, each company has unique needs and a different sales process that require specific feature implementation. We strongly recommend you implement a custom CRM because you will build the software according to your business workflows, and more than that, you can design them however you like. This will give you an upper hand not only on the market but with your customers as well.  Why change your business workflows because of software when you can have a solution adapted to your needs?

2. Limited UI Design That Disrupts User Experience

Limited UI Design That Disrupts User Experience

Boxed CRM solutions are not very open to personalization and branding. Big businesses and renowned brands usually have clear branding guidelines regarding their logos, colours, fonts, image aesthetics etc. Customers are used to seeing a clear and consistent branding image. By not complying with your already established image, customers might think that they are not interacting with your business but with a copycat. 

A custom CRM solution allows you to design it according to your branding guidelines. Therefore, the overall feeling of your software will increase the trust in your business, and you can even change it if you go through a rebranding without disrupting their experience. Keeping your business image consistent across all platforms and software will guarantee a high level of trust, loyalty and you won’t need to worry about not meeting your user’s expectations.      

3. Limited Third-Party Integrations That Disrupt Business Operations 

Already-built CRMs offer limited third-party integrations. As a large business, you work with different platforms such as marketing automation solutions, real-time communication, artificial intelligence assistance, etc. Boxed CRMs cannot be integrated with every third-party solution on the market, leading to business operation software changes. Looking for new platforms, implementing new software, training your staff and adapting to the new solution will focus your financial, time and human resources in the wrong place. 

With a custom-built CRM solution, you don’t have to worry about this kind of distraction because you don’t have to change any business processes. The custom solution is built to integrate fast and easy with any third-party platform and help your team focus on the things that matter to keep your business strong on the market.  

The benefits of custom CRM do not stop here. You can read our article about the top 5 advantages of a custom CRM platform for an in-depth understanding of this type of software.  

Our Expertise

Flowmatters Team

Our approach when building CRM platforms is to focus on the industry-specific elements and integrate your business’s core features. First, we need to listen to your ideas, business needs and objectives. We will work together to ensure that the final result is 100% what you desire. From task automation, multichannel support, industry-specific modules, branded UI, and custom reports, the CRM we will build for you will check all your boxes.  

More than that, the scalability of the project is essential. As your business grows, the software will grow with you. Also, more improvements are more features can be added over time as your business goals evolve. Flexibility is one of the key features that we base our custom development on. The CRM will change for you and not the other way around. 

One of our custom CRM projects was to build a solution for an industry-leading company in the real estate market. The platform’s focus was to store all the information gathered over the years and make it accessible to all employees and end-users. More than that, the project was developed for all devices at once. This means that the company’s employees and the customers could access the needed data from their mobile devices, tablets, laptops or PCs, with no restrictions. You can read more about this project by reading our case study on real-estate custom CRM development

Finding a custom CRM development team that understands your business and your needs can be challenging. We are a reliable and trusted partner with over 13 years of experience in this field. We are among the top B2B companies in Romania in the development category. You can check out our customer reviews. You can contact us today and start building a solution that will perfectly fit your business model and help you achieve the results you always dreamed of.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective CRM?

Depends on the size of your business, workflows and goals. We recommend a custom CRM solution for middle to large size businesses. A boxed solution can accommodate a small business.

When is a custom CRM most recommended?

When you have specific business processes that an already-built solution cannot fulfil.

What type of CRM can you build?

We can build any type of CRM, based on your business needs.

What kind of reports can I get from a CRM system?

With boxed solutions, you have limited types of reports, but with a custom CRM, you can create any kind of report you need.