As businesses scale and new customers emerge, business owners look for a flexible solution to manage their growing volume of data. This is where custom CRM systems bring significant benefits to any service-based business, from e-commerce to healthcare to logistics.
If you’re reading this, you may have been thinking about developing a custom CRM system. Defining goals, assembling an in-house or external software development team, terms of reference, sketching out a roadmap—all of these things can seem very complicated at first.
In this article, we explain why outsourcing CRM development is preferable to using an off-the-shelf solution. We’ll also discuss whether it’s better to hire your team or contract with an outsourcing company.
What is a CRM system?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is software for monitoring and recording interactions with customers. Its main purpose is to attract new customers and to optimize work processes within the company. CRM software processes data from different sources, including website analytics, call history, email services, and social media analytics tools. It is primarily used by sales managers, marketers, support teams, and brand analysts.
Below, we outline the clear signs that you need custom CRM development:
With no strict existing classification, CRM solutions are mainly divided into turnkey and custom solutions according to their level of functionality.
Turnkey solutions are standardized products with limited functionality and little to no customization. They are designed to meet the demands of the majority of enterprises and do not allow tailoring a CRM to the logic of a particular company’s business processes.
Custom CRM software is a product designed with the peculiar features and specifics of a particular business in mind. Such systems are preferred by companies whose internal processes have fairly complex logic.
In the table below, we list the differences between turnkey and custom CRMs.
|CRM Software: Ready-Made vs. Custom|
|Ready-Made Solutions||Custom Software Development|
|Mode of operation||Application of a general scheme, without taking into account the company’s specific requirements||Designed with your business in mind and working accordingly|
|UI convenience||A number of additional functions complicate interaction with the system||Only the features you need, which helps save time and money on staff training|
|Integration with other services||Certain limitations on integration with third-party services||Provides integration with other systems, including messengers, IP-telephony, 1C, document management applications, and others|
|Adding users||You have to pay for every additional user in the system||You can add an unlimited number of users. If you boost your business, you won’t have to pay for additional employees.|
|Cost||Monthly fees||No monthly fees, as your company owns the system completely|
|Ease of use||Some tools are quite difficult to master without special training.||Using the software is intuitive and convenient for employees. Additional training is provided before implementation.|
|Customization||The set of implemented features cannot be changed or modified.||The feature set can be modified or expanded with the help of the software development company or your in-house specialists.|
In a nutshell, ready-made CRM solutions offer a wide set of features, have low maintenance costs, and provide a quick startup. These are likely the most significant advantages of this option.
But beware: although the monthly fee for off-the-shelf CRM may seem small, the total cost of customizing solutions and adding new users is often quite high, and you can’t completely customize an entire solution to your specific requirements.
When you develop a custom CRM, you only get the features you need. You pay once for the product, and you can use it without restrictions. It can be modified or changed at any time, so custom CRM software development will still fit your needs when your company grows when you need to scale up, or when you require a system to monitor employee performance.
It’s worth noting that there are two main ways to recruit IT specialists: hiring an in-house team or contracting with an outsourcing company.
If you have a technical director and a narrowly focused development team, you can choose this option. But keep in mind that all processes must be perfectly planned, all tasks should be evaluated, and engineers should have CRM development experience if you want services to be delivered on time. If you do not have enough developers, software architects, or quality assurance engineers, it’s likely better to outsource your project or hire a dedicated team.
CRM development is a rather massive project. It requires a team that will provide a full-cycle, custom CRM system development from scratch to launch. Outsourcing to a software company can streamline and control the process. In this case, the work can be done quickly because a whole team of developers will be dispatched to work on your project. The outsourcing company will provide official contracts, time-sheets, and consulting.
But when the time comes, other questions arise: should you choose an entire team or one freelance software engineer? Next, you should figure out what type of outsourced mobile application development team you need. Should you go for an onshore, nearshore, or offshore team?
Also, what should you pay attention to before choosing a development team? First, you should look at the company’s portfolio, case studies, and products. It’s a bonus if a prospective outsourcing company has developed CRM systems related to your idea.
|Outsourced CRM Development||In-House Team|
|Pros||The company is in the process of implementation, which saves you time
No need to hire new employees
Access to an exclusive talent pool
More technology to choose from
Easy to find a suitable team
Faster project delivery
|A deeper understanding of your business
Opportunity to develop your employees
|Cons||Vendor may not know your business as well as you do
Limited control of the process
Delays in communication may occur
|Responsibility for team building
Responsibility for project management
Lack of technical talent
Both in-house and outsourced CRM development options are effective. The one you should choose depends on what is better for your specific business requirements.
If your company has the resources to hire the necessary specialists and manage the entire process in-house, it’s likely best to choose in-house development.
If you do not have enough resources or experience in developing CRM systems, and you do not mind working with a third party, we recommend that you opt for outsourcing.
Now let’s discuss the key benefits of custom CRM software.
Despite all its advantages, CRM development outsourcing still has some limitations.
If you have questions about whether we can provide the CRM services you need, contact our team for more information. We’d be glad to share our expertise and help your company build a unique CRM that’s perfectly suited to your business.