Customizing a CRM Solution for Your Business Needs
A CRM or a Customer Relationship Management software is a technology that helps businesses in the management of their interactions with their existing and potential customers right from the start of the customer journey to the final step. The ultimate goal is to use the data collected about the customers to improve customer relationships and ultimately boost the profitability of the business.
Having the right customer relationship management system software can do wonders for your business by helping you streamline and automate processes, and by helping you nurture relationships with your leads and clients. But just as good CRM software solutions can help the businesses hit their growth goals faster, a bad CRM tool can cause them to take a hit.
Choosing The Right CRM Solution
So, it all comes down to the question of how to choose the right CRM tool for your business? And before we dive into answering that, it is important to note that a CRM software that works for one business isn’t necessarily a good option for another one. To know which one of the solutions available in the market will be the best CRM for you, you have to become aware of your business needs. Once you are well aware of your business needs, you will know exactly what to look for in a CRM and you will reduce your chances of making a wrong or ill-informed decisions.
To become aware of your business needs regarding CRM system software, following are some steps that you need to take:
- Determine who are the key stakeholders of your business and who will be directly affected by the decision of investing in a CRM.
- Bring all the stakeholders on board. This should include the personnel who will be using the CRM soultion and not just the executives.
- Discuss the business needs, the technical issues, and how you are expecting a CRM solution to help with them.
- Make a detailed list of the features you are looking for in your CRM solution and write down those features in order of priority.
- Decide how much are you willing to invest in a CRM solution and what are your expectation in return.
- Once you have done that, start looking for the CRM solutions available in the market. You can also use a our CRM tool comparison to compare crm systems available in the market and have a look into their features and prices.
- Shortlist the CRM systems that match your needs the best. Look for the CRM reviews and CRM ratings of the shortlisted CRM solutions and choose the best option.
After going through this extensive process of choosing the right CRM software for you, there is a good chance that you will find a solution that is suitable for your business needs. However, if you still find yourself dissatisfied and want something that is better curated to your business needs, there is another solution for you. You can get a CRM solution that is customized for your business needs, but whatever kind of customer relationship management software you go for, it is essential to be aware of your business needs to make the right decision. Further in the article, you will learn about two different types of CRM solutions:
1. Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) that can be customized
2. Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) that cannot be customized
CRM Solutions That Can Be Customized
When it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions that can be customized, there are two types; open-source and on-site proprietary. Open source CRM solutions are highly customizable as compared to on-site proprietary CRM solutions. An open-source Customer Relationship Management solution is a type of solution that can be downloaded from the vendor’s website. What’s nice about open source solutions is that customers get two versions of the code, the compiled version, and the un-compiled version.
Having a compiled and un-compiled version makes the process of customizing easy. The downfall to customizing an open-source CRM solution, however, is finding product support services. Most on-site proprietary CRM solutions can be customized and are supported by the vendor. However, some on-site proprietary CRM solutions are out-of-the-box solutions and can only be configured, not customized.
CRM Solutions That Can Not Be Customized
Not all CRM solutions can be customized. For example, hosted CRM solutions can’t be customized. Hosted CRM solutions are also known as Software-as-a-Service, on-demand, and web-based solutions. These solutions are typically hosted by the CRM vendor and made available to customers for a monthly service charge. While hosted CRM solutions can be configured, they can’t be customized.
Hosted CRM solutions are typically well suited to small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have complex needs and requirements. These solutions cost less and are quick to implement when compared to on-premise or on-site CRM solutions. If you are well aware of your business needs and you know what exactly you are looking for when you are looking for a CRM, you can even find a hosted CRM solution that is well-suited to your business need and save some money that you would have otherwise spent on a customizable CRM solution.
Businesses that Need CRM Customizations
Large businesses generally require customizations more often when compared to small and medium-sized businesses. Large businesses typically have more unique needs, business requirements, and legacy integrations that need to be taken into consideration. The more customizations made to a CRM solution, the more complex and costly the solution becomes. Highly customized CRM solutions take longer to implement and upgrade. Customers must have large budgets to accommodate for the cost of a highly customized CRM solution.
Types of CRM Customizations Businesses Perform
There are all sorts of customizations businesses perform to make a CRM solution suit their needs. Some businesses customize the functionality to behave in a specific manner. Some businesses customize these solutions to interface with other company-wide solutions. Customizing software can be as simple as adding a field to a series of user-interface pages to store more detailed database information, or, as complex as changing the entire way the solution looks and functions. Some customizations become so complex that the CRM solution becomes difficult to maintain and upgrade, costing the customer millions of dollars in vendor or third-party consulting fees.