Build CRM vs Buy - What to Choose?
So, your business needs a customer relationship management system (CRM). However, you are not sure which is better: buy a turnkey solution or develop CRM from scratch? To answer this question, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option in relation to your particular business. To do this, you need to study your business and give answers to seven questions.
According to Accenture surveys, more than 50% of sales representatives said that their off-the-shelf CRMs were not able to adequately meet the needs of their business. In most cases, this is due to the lack of necessary functions or limited settings, as well as the fact that many CRMs "are designed to monitor performance, not improve performance." “Our business is unique, so our CRM must be the same,” they say.
In some cases, this position is true, but we urge you to take into account two things:
Obsolete paperwork is commonly found in government agencies, old banks and insurance companies. They rarely try to bring it to modern standards, since there is such a mess that it’s easier to burn everything and start again, so this business is forced to create a new CRM, rather than buying a turnkey solution.
In addition, you will have to create a new system if ready-made solutions:
If you use off-the-shelf CRM, then the software provider will deal with the update, which greatly simplifies everything. The only minus is that the developer may go broke or refuse to support the product, and then you will either need to switch to a new CRM, or to upgrade it yourself.
With technical support, a similar dilemma: when buying a CRM, a developer usually does this, when developing from scratch - your company.
Regardless of whether you buy a new CRM or create it from scratch, you need to organize staff training in working with new software. If your company has similar experience, then you know that this is not always easy, because you will need to distract employees from current tasks for a long time, find or train instructors and create a system for assessing the quality of training.
If your company has people capable of organizing all this at the proper level, then you can save a lot. If not, it will be necessary to outsource staff training, which imposes certain restrictions:
If you choose independent development, it is recommended to immediately involve part of those employees who will be direct users of the new CRM (bosses, department heads, ordinary employees, technical support) in this process and prepare them for consulting and / or training other staff.
All modern SaaS CRMs operate as cloud services that do not require their own server capacities. To work with them, you only need a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone and an Internet connection. Computing processing and the database were transferred to the cloud servers of the supplier company or the servers of companies such as Google or Amazon.
If you choose an individual CRM, you will most likely have to either create a local network, which means buying servers, finding a separate room, hiring personnel to service the equipment, or renting Google or Amazon servers. Both options involve additional costs (at the start and every month), which, depending on the size of your company, can more than exceed the monthly subscription to SaaS CRM.
Given the above, it can be assumed that in the case of developing a new CRM, larger organizations are more likely to be able to save on this, since they most likely already have free server capacities (either own or leased). Whereas for a small business, independent development carries additional costs, so from this point of view it is better to give preference to SaaS solutions.
Using their own servers to support the operation of network programs, enterprises need to consider the likelihood of downtime in the event of software failures, hacker attacks, or equipment maintenance. Giants of SaaS solutions, such as Microsoft and Apple, ensure the uninterrupted operation of their software due to the large number of redundant servers. The question is whether you can achieve uptime of 99.9%.
For 99.9% of companies, the answer is No. This does not mean that starting your own servers will be impractical, but it means that when developing your own CRM, you need to pretty much integrate reliable offline features into it, which will allow sales and support departments to work normally during server downtime, even if this happens in the midst of Black friday.
If, while creating an individual system, such offline capabilities cannot be realized or it will be too expensive, then you will have no choice but to use SaaS solutions. But this is right only in cases where a simple CRM leads to large losses or lost profits (typical for online businesses). If a simple CRM does not greatly affect revenue, then the downtime of the system can be neglected (offline sales for cash).
Creating custom systems requires a lot of time - from 6 to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the software and the size of the company. In addition, some time is still needed for product testing and staff training. Thus, if you are limited in time, then development from scratch is not your choice.
Longer periods are usually critical in the following cases:
Thus, when creating a custom CRM, you need to spend a lot of money at the start and allocate some more each month. When buying a CRM, you only need a few hundred dollars to subscribe, which is cheaper at the start, but not so profitable in the long run.