5 reasons why a bespoke CRM solution is the best solution for a small business
A customer relationship management (CRM) is then next step on from using MS Excel to keep track of customer interactions. You keep data your in one place - often a database in the cloud - instead of storing it in multiple Excel spreadsheets. Reporting on data then becomes easier and your data quality is better - data validation in web forms means you’ve got more control over what people type in.
There are some very accessible off-the-shelf systems and many of them offer free trials. They can be tempting - low upfront costs - but they are not the only option available to a small but growing business that wants to escape spreadsheet hell.
A bespoke CRM solution can be a great alternative to an off-the-shelf solution because:
- You get exactly what you want - a custom CRM solution that is tailored to your business. Off-the-shelf systems can be complex. They’re often very configurable but that can make them hard to implement, particularly if you’re building in business workflow with different screens for different groups of users.
- A bespoke CRM solution may cost less than you think, particularly if you keep it simple at the start. Off-the-shelf solutions may charge on a per user basis and they can become very expensive as your business grows. Do you want part of the system to be public facing? Perhaps you take enquiries from potential customers online or existing customers can login to get updates? That kind of web access can bump up the user license costs of an off-the-shelf solution.
- You own the software - you have complete control as your business grows. You can add new screens, introduce new user roles, integrate other back office systems. You get more flexibility with a bespoke solution.
- The software development process - particularly the requirements analysis - will be useful. You have to think hard about what you really want. Your goal is to create a highly focused custom CRM solution that is simple to use (almost zero staff training).
- A bespoke CRM solution opens up new possibilities in a way that an off-the-shelf solution might not. You may begin to see ways you can use the new system to bring in more revenue. Or you might want to integrate with other back office systems.
You get flexibility and control with a custom CRM solution. You own the database that sits behind it and you can decide when and how you want to extend the solution, perhaps in ways that you didn’t anticipate at the start to create new opportunities