Relationships are the cornerstone of your business, and how you manage them will ultimately determine your success and the financial return you get for all your efforts
Customer relationships management (CRM) solutions make it easier to create productive, long-term relationships with your customers or clients, but not all CRMs are created equal. Few (if any) “out-of-the-box” CRMs cater to the unique needs or requirements of a business, regardless if you’re an enterprise company, startup, or SMB.
Custom CRMs, on the other hand, can provide the tools, workflows, and organizational efficiencies your business needs to make a positive impact on existing and potential clients and ultimately strengthen your ROI.
What is a custom CRM?
Like traditional CRMs, custom CRMs are used by sales and marketing teams to manage and grow relationships. However, custom management software or CRM apps are designed with one thing in mind: not all businesses are the same.
A custom CRM is a customer relationship management system designed to meet the highly specific needs of your business, industry, employees, and customers.
Why can’t an out-of-the-box CRM do that? One reason is based on the very different needs of not only businesses but industries as well. Healthcare or fintech businesses, for example, may need a CRM that is designed to accommodate very specific regulatory, compliance, or data storage requirements. In other cases, though data security and regulations are important, some industries require a CRM that is designed to drive robust customer engagement at different parts of the marketing funnel and across multiple engagement channels.
It’s possible that many of the top CRMs can do some of those things, but it’s increasingly difficult to find one that does each in the exact manner necessary to help your business flourish. That’s particularly true when competitive markets are factored in. It’s no longer enough to rely on the same CRM that your competitors are using.
If you want to set your business apart from the competition, you need a CRM that is tailormade to support your business in its truest form. That’s the level of detail and efficiency a custom CRM can provide.
7 Benefits of a Custom CRM
There are many reasons why you may want to consider custom CRM over any of the existing CRMs available today. After speaking with clients, we found that these are the number one drivers and subsequently the benefits of custom CRMs.
When you invest in a custom CRM you gain unparalleled in-house efficiency that lets your employees manage, analyze, and make informed decisions about leads, inventory, marketing initiatives, and other essential operations.
You’ll also be able to fine-tune the software to include only the functionality and tools you want without unnecessary extras. This fine-tuning will result in a smooth customer journey and unite the people and data necessary to connect and improve the efficiency of both individual departments and your organization as a whole.
Can your CRM handle this new customer outreach process? Will you be able to account for data and analytics the way you want? How much time will you need to spend understanding the intricacies of a program that wasn’t specifically designed for your business, and then, how much more time will it take to train or onboard new employees?
Because CRMs are built for the masses, they can be cumbersome to navigate, require more training and onboarding, and leave your employees without the tools necessary for strong lifecycle management. That can lead to a lower ROI, even as you pay monthly CRM service and licensing fees.
Another major benefit of custom CRM is that it’s built to meet the needs of the people who use it most—your employees. As such, a custom CRM can integrate with and improve existing workflows, eliminate inefficiencies, and make it easier for your employees to be successful. It also can improve and expedite onboarding and training for new and existing employees.
Unfortunately, when your business relies on the same CRM as the competition, you limit your ability to make curated, revenue-earning differences in how you manage customer relationships. That’s not to suggest you can’t be successful using those tools, but it can make it harder to gain a much-needed competitive advantage.
Leveraging a custom CRM makes it easier to create, manage, and strengthen client relationships in a unique way to your business.
No unnecessary service and licensing fees
That may not be problematic for new businesses, but over time, the price to scale your business can end up leaving you with significant immediate and long-term cost increases.
When you select an out-of-the-box CRM, you’ll likely need to choose a service tier. Advanced tiers may offer more services, not without advanced costs. Similarly, you’ll also have to pay licensing fees for each user who will have access to the CRM. In a small business with basic needs, that may not be a significant expense. But as a business grows or has more complex needs, those licensing fees can eat into profits.
When you invest in a CRM, you own the software and aren’t held to unnecessary or costly licensing fees. Further, because custom CRMS are truly scalable, you can have as many users as necessary without worrying about paying for the next tier of service or managing the price tag associated with more users as your company grows.
Though many CRMs have robust reporting capabilities, they aren’t designed to cover the finer nuances of a specific business. This can leave gaps in your data analysis and prevent you from making valuable decisions about how your company operates.
A custom CRM can fill those gaps by providing custom reporting capabilities that match the needs of your business. Beyond that, however, a custom CRM will make it easier to follow critical metrics through the entire client lifecycle, from lead to project completion. As such, you’ll find that your team is equipped with the data to make smarter, more impactful decisions and create stronger client relationships.
When you work with an out-of-the-box CRM, you’re accountable to their security standards and vulnerable to any breaches or data loss they experience. Further, the lack of customization will force your business to curtail procedures or management tasks to the limitations of the CRM, instead of making the CRM work for you.
When you use a custom CRM, you can control the data and the security metrics used to protect it. You also determine how data collection fits into the process and what functionality or tools will make it easier for CRM users to enter and manage data securely. As such, data breaches can be mitigated or minimized, shoring up your brand integrity and avoiding dangerous damage to your ROI.
Fully Owned Proprietary Asset
On the other hand, a custom CRM is a platform your business owner outright owns, making it a proprietary asset custom-created for your business. Not only can this help your business avoid unnecessary or unwanted disruptions in service, but it can also make your company even more valuable in the eyes of investors and lenders.
CRMs in the Real World
It’s easy to talk about the benefits of a custom CRM, but it’s not always as simple to see those benefits come to fruition in the real world. One way to bridge that gap is by looking to companies that have invested in custom CRM and have since witnessed the value it can add to not only their bottom line, their organization and customers.
When we started working with AMPCO, one thing became clear; their company had intricate needs that a standard CRM simply couldn’t handle. As a company that provides construction, demolition, environmental, and earthwork services, they needed a robust CRM that was curated to manage the demands of multidisciplinary construction practice.
To do that, we needed to seamlessly bring together sales, bid management, geographical mapping, and project management while also making it easy for end-users to navigate and utilize the CRM.
To do that, we worked with AMPCO to analyze their needs and workflows, ultimately building AMPlify CRM®, a purpose-driven CRM that allows employees across multiple departments to efficiently manage relationships from leads and bids all the way to project completion and management.
If your business relies on relationship management, then a CRM is a must-have tool. Today’s market is filled with CRMs that promise to enhance your bottom line, make employees and workflows more efficient, and your customers happier. Unfortunately, not every business can benefit from out-of-the-box CRMs and the promises they make. A custom CRM can help your business escape the status quo and improve ROI.
How can a custom CRM help your business?
We’d love to learn more about your needs and discuss if a custom CRM is right for you and how it can improve your relationships.
Schedule your Innovation Session today to get started.