Building versus buying a CRM

The world is littered with companies that believe they can build their own CRM software. Stop before you act on : ‘I should have my own developers building our CRM because they understand our business better than any third-party vendor can’. It’s a common misconception that CRM is an easy application to program don’t fall into that trap.

Building a CRM is hard, and it’s very different from what most companies do. Having your team develop something technical that is not your core competency is a recipe for disaster.

This second decision should be easy, but if you insist on building your own CRM, be sure to expect it to cost 10 times more than what your developers tell you and take at least a few years before you have something you can use.

Why am I so biased against building your own CRM?

Because you have to get a lot of elements exactly right particularly if you attempt to build your own integrated CRM.

  • Infrastructure demands 

You need enough bandwidth and server horsepower to make your software fast enough for your employees to use it.

  • Upgrades

Times change, your requirements will change, technology will change, and if you don’t have a team dedicated to managing that change, you will be behind the moment you have a working prototype.

  • Support

As you implement your CRM to your employees, you will have to train your staff on how to use it, which will be expensive. If you want to ease the burden on your developers, you need to hire people to document and produce educational content.

  • Channels 

Developing a CRM may sound simple at first, but to make it useful your developers need to have a deep understanding of sales processes, marketing, and operations. Developers are never thought these business principles and have to interpret your business requirements which is a long, complicated process. They also need to link it these challenges together, which presents a spiderweb of knowledge connections that also have to be learned by your developers.

In short, if you build your own the CRM Glenn for it to take years and millions of dollars of productivity away from your core business.

Enough CRM platforms are available now it’s a rare case where building your own makes sense.

Software development is a science in and of itself. There are methods of development, managing development, communicating requirements, and building architecture, that are much deeper than most realize. Building a CRM software platform is no small feat and the number of moving parts required to make it work can take years. Given the speed that business moves building a CRM solution from scratch is taking a huge gamble.

Buying software is not something to be taken lightly either. Sometimes company of the attitudes of: ‘let’s just try this, and see if it works’. This lackadaisical attitude almost certainly ends in failure. After your organization makes the decision to move to a new CRM integration implementation, do it right. Decide which you need from the software, the partner to implement this new software, and go all the way through the process of adopting the CRM software.