A CRM, customer relationship management software, is often the bedrock of any business as it adds value for marketing and sales departments analyzing customer data. Despite the saturated CRM market, many companies still opt to create homegrown CRM systems to fill their specific functionality requirements. Deploying a DIY CRM initially requires a smaller upfront investment while the company’s in-house developers who’ve built the system are at hand ready to solve any issues. The blend of these reasons make self-made products seem viable.
Despite all the would-be benefits of a homegrown software, relying on such a CRM may fall short of your expectations once your business grows to a certain size or requirements in functionality or reporting become complex. Eventually, the tool designed to improve your business operations, enhance campaign planning, and give better insight into your clientele turns into an inefficient and unproductive solution for your employees and business.
The three major reasons a business would consider such a huge step as changing CRM platforms are: operational inefficiencies; lack of consistent sales force data and poor marketing campaigns data. So let’s dive into those reasons in a bit more detail.
- No holistic view of interactions with customers. Reps from different departments don’t have a 360-degree view of each customer meaning it’s impossible to track all the interactions with them (e.g. your sales reps end up pitching customers that have recently filed dozens of angry tickets with your support team).
- No data audit and rollback options. Your current solution doesn’t keep track of all changes you make to the system, so when accidentally altering system data (e.g. making false records or populating a field with wrong info) you are unable to trace and correct the mistakes.
- Slow and crashy system with no space for future growth. As you continue to add more data to the system, your homegrown CRM starts to lag with certain functionalities getting glitchy. Besides it can’t scale in line with your business growth as it remains unable to accommodate new system users, extend functionality and store new data.
- Poor UX and thin knowledge base. As different sections the CRM were built under the orders and management of different executives in the company it has now become unintuitive making it hard to educate new sales and marketing reps on how to use it. At the same time, documentation and user guides of the homegrown system are insufficient or missing.
- Software capabilities rule you. You have to create work-arounds due to limitations of the CRM software. For example as your database fails to store and work with all the data you’d like to track and manage you are forced to store chunks of data outside of the main database.
- Pricy in-house support. As your system grows and requirements start becoming more complex, adding enough developers to design and support self-made CRM becomes a costly expense. Should original CRM developers quit, there are software knowledge gaps and dark corners of the system everyone feels helpless about.
- Unavailable forecasts. You’re unable to forecast future growth or company revenue based on past marketing or sales campaigns and activities (e.g. you can’t access the pipeline of prospective deals and predict how successful their conversion is going to be within a certain period)
- Poor report-building tools. Building sales reports is difficult because your homegrown system is bare in terms of functionality and required data lies in external systems
- Poor leads & opportunities management tools. Your solution doesn’t provide robust leads and opportunities management tools and so neither sales nor marketing team can collect all relevant information across all stages of the sales funnel and are clueless as to how to properly capture and nurture the prospects
- Lack of single data source. You and your sales team have grown to the point where managing and keeping track of multiple spreadsheets gets out of control as you constantly have to make manual data updates and reconciliations
- Untrackable marketing efforts. Your CRM doesn’t allow the marketing department to evaluate effectiveness of their campaigns. Mainly because it’s hard to generate informative marketing reports when your homegrown CRM cannot pull together all relevant data and map leads to marketing campaigns.
- Poor integration with external products. It’s too difficult or time-consuming to integrate 3rd party business tools into your homegrown CRM (e.g. your current software provides no capacity for Zendesk or Mailchimp integration)
Should you have experienced at least 30% of the given situations and find warning signs relevant to your current application, it might be time for your company to consider switching to a enterprise-class CRM platform.
DIY CRM solutions frequently come with a misconception that it’s easier and cheaper to build. This may be true in the short-term; however, over time, homegrown systems fail to keep up with the needs of emerging businesses and are unable to streamline business operations deriving company’s employees of productivity and profitability.
If you’ve decided to move away from your homegrown CRM and migrate ta ready-made software, consider OroCRM as an option. Our open-source solution serves a viable alternative with out-of-the box functionality fit for most common business needs and at the same time it is flexible and easily customizable to tailor very specific business needs. Would you like to learn more about further benefits of using OroCRM? Feel free to get started with our free trial.