When it comes to selecting a CRM, many business owners quickly realize that the “one size fits all” approach will not meet their needs.  Managers and owners typically have unique processes, procedures, documents or information they need to track and manage in a certain way in order to maintain and grow their business.  Instead of settling on a CRM system that meets only 90% of their needs, many look for a custom CRM solution.

CRM customization varies widely from vendor to vendor.  On one side of the spectrum, you’ll find out of the box solutions that assume all companies operate the same way with little or no room for unique situations.  And on the other side of the spectrum, CRM customers are forced to design something from scratch or get overwhelmed making the changes themselves in an over-complicated system.  When choosing a custom CRM, consider a solution that gives you the best of both worlds – one that has easy to customize user fields but that also offers affordable customization options provided to you (not by you).

custom crmEnd users should be able to customize many features on their own to make the CRM system work the way that they need to work and to track the things that they need to track.  End-users should be able to easily create unique field labels, customize the drop-down values (or lookup tables), specify unique processes for automation, and be offered a myriad of configuration options that allow them to turn on and off certain functionality.

When the need grows beyond those basic feature sets, custom development is the next step.  The custom CRM development options are endless.  Developers can create custom screens, add critical fields or additional modules, produce online portals, create specialized forms or simply design specialized reports. 

But buyer beware!  Often when an application is customized, companies are stuck with a particular version of the product for life - not to mention a large invoice!  When custom development is done with the right vendor, however, you will be able to keep your customizations affordable and take advantage of the public product upgrades for years to come without losing your customizations.  In some situations where your software requests have the potential to help other clients, shared development is another option.  Shared development is a win-win approach where the CRM vendor will incorporate your custom development ideas into the main product for a significant discount over the typical development cost.  This method allows the vendor to improve their product while providing you with an accelerated track for your requested features.

So, how do you select the right company to work with for your custom CRM needs?  Ask the right questions on your custom CRM search:  Do you allow for end-user customization?  Do you offer custom version of your CRM…..at an affordable price?  Do the customization stay with the product after upgrading from a public/commercial release?  Do you offer shared custom development?  If the answer is yes to two or more of these questions, you’re well on your way to finding a CRM that is a perfect match.  Custom CRM, like Results CRM, can be the answer to efficiency and improved workflow.  Don’t settle for a software that limits your potential to drive sales and manage and grow your business!