As you might already be aware of CRMs, here we are going to take a look at the features, pros & cons of opting for a readymade CRM vs customized CRM. If you don’t know what a CRM is, or how it helps your business grow, you can check out our previous post here.

How CRMs work

A CRM system stores customer information in a structured & organized manner. With modern CRMs, you get a lot of functionalities such as business analytics, reporting, automated messaging, reminders, appointments etc. With an interactive user experience, CRMs make office processes smoother and easier.

A good CRM makes life easier for a business, especially its employees. Hence, it is really important for a CRM to match your business needs and work according to your office processes.

CRM systems can be divided into two main categories: Readymade & Customized. We’ll try to understand how both of them work and also see some basic differences between a readymade CRM and a custom-built one.

Readymade CRM

Readymade CRMs are ones that have been already developed by CRM providers and mostly use a pay-as-you-go or subscription model. These CRMs include all the basic tools & functions a business may need. They are usually not customized for specific industries or businesses. Readymade CRMs are great for small and even some mid-sized firms with general work processes that do not require unique functionality. CRM providers often have flexible tariff plans. Some providers may even provide a free version for micro-businesses with low turnovers/users.

Customized CRM

Customized CRMs are specifically built as per your business requirements. They have to be developed from scratch by a third-party developer, which costs a lot of time and money. But in the end, a custom CRM is your own software system. This gives it an advantage over readymade or pre-built CRMs, as here you have total control over the functionalities and you can modify or scale it as per your needs. A customized CRM is great for large firms or for those whose business processes are different from typical ones.

Side-by-side Comparison of Readymade CRM vs Customized CRM System

Below you can find all the differences between both types of CRMs so that you can get a better picture of how they differ.

Readymade CRMCustomized CRM
Try before you useOption to try the software system for free almost instantly to get an idea of how everything would workNo option to try anything for a very long time, until a large chunk of the system has been developed
Setup/Development TimeQuick setup time, ranging from a couple of minutes to a couple of daysLong development time, which may last from a couple of months to several months
Built forUsually built commonly for a variety of businesses & industriesSpecifically built as required by dictating the developers what suits your needs
Basic/Popular functionalityBasic & most popular functionalities come built-inEven basic functionalities have to be created from scratch
Additional functionalityMay provide tons of additional features which are not used. Required functionalities may have to be purchased as addons, requiring additional costsAll functionalities & processes are made as per requirements and hence can be used to maximise work efficiency. Doesn’t require major costs for adding functionalities
Quality TestingWell-tested & bug-free, and hence trusted by lots of peopleTesting has to be done after the completion of development. Has a high probability of having bugs & issues during the initial phases
SupportQualified & trained support team to resolve issuesNeed to rely on the development team for support, which may not be streamlined
CostsBasic Monthly or Yearly recurring fees increases with the number of users. Additional recurring costs get added for additional functionalities that may be requiredLarge initial capital is required to start development but saves money in the long run as there are no recurring usage fees
ComplexitySystems may sometimes be too complex and require training & support to understand how to use themLess chance of the system being complex as it is built specifically as per your needs
Information SecurityInformation is stored securely, but with a third-partyInformation is stored securely with you and no-one else
ScalingCan be scaled with some limitations, but costs can run very highCan be scaled to add new features as per your needs without incurring a huge cost
Integration with other platforms/appsLimited integration only as provided by the system providersIntegration with other apps or modules can be done to enhance the functionality
UpdatesRegular free updates & bug fixes, as released by the providerUpdates & bug fixes have to be done by developers, which would incur some costs
OwnershipOwned by providerOwned by you
MaintenanceHandled by the providerHas to be handled by you or the developers

Conclusion

You should choose a Readymade CRM:

  • If you are a small business with basic requirements
  • If you can’t spend a fair amount of time & money for custom development

You should choose a Customized CRM:

  • If you know what you want & it’s not available or it’s costing too much in readymade CRMs
  • If you are a medium or large scale business and can afford development time & costs