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 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 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 CRM||Customized CRM|
|Try before you use||Option to try the software system for free almost instantly to get an idea of how everything would work||No option to try anything for a very long time, until a large chunk of the system has been developed|
|Setup/Development Time||Quick setup time, ranging from a couple of minutes to a couple of days||Long development time, which may last from a couple of months to several months|
|Built for||Usually built commonly for a variety of businesses & industries||Specifically built as required by dictating the developers what suits your needs|
|Basic/Popular functionality||Basic & most popular functionalities come built-in||Even basic functionalities have to be created from scratch|
|Additional functionality||May provide tons of additional features which are not used. Required functionalities may have to be purchased as addons, requiring additional costs||All 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 Testing||Well-tested & bug-free, and hence trusted by lots of people||Testing has to be done after the completion of development. Has a high probability of having bugs & issues during the initial phases|
|Support||Qualified & trained support team to resolve issues||Need to rely on the development team for support, which may not be streamlined|
|Costs||Basic Monthly or Yearly recurring fees increases with the number of users. Additional recurring costs get added for additional functionalities that may be required||Large initial capital is required to start development but saves money in the long run as there are no recurring usage fees|
|Complexity||Systems may sometimes be too complex and require training & support to understand how to use them||Less chance of the system being complex as it is built specifically as per your needs|
|Information Security||Information is stored securely, but with a third-party||Information is stored securely with you and no-one else|
|Scaling||Can be scaled with some limitations, but costs can run very high||Can be scaled to add new features as per your needs without incurring a huge cost|
|Integration with other platforms/apps||Limited integration only as provided by the system providers||Integration with other apps or modules can be done to enhance the functionality|
|Updates||Regular free updates & bug fixes, as released by the provider||Updates & bug fixes have to be done by developers, which would incur some costs|
|Ownership||Owned by provider||Owned by you|
|Maintenance||Handled by the provider||Has to be handled by you or the developers|
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