Q&A: Should I Build a CRM from Scratch?

It might be the question you have every time you want to eat pizza: should I order delivery, pick up, grab a frozen one at the store, or make one from scratch?

It’s a fair question. Each have their positives and negatives, just like the different types of CRM software you might find while browsing the web.

But, while a bad decision on a pizza can affect you in the near term, a bad CRM choice can affect your organization for years to come, especially when it involves a heavy investment of creating one from scratch.

How to Know What CRM You Need

The best way to troubleshoot this issue is to tackle it with some questions. Once you have the basic outline, you’ll be able to decide which is right for you.

1. Do you have experience with creating CRM software from scratch before? If so, how did it go?

We’ve talked to a lot of customers and have been able to hear many stories, generally of frustration and failure with CRM software of the past.

Quite a few of our customers have actually tried to build their own CRM software from scratch, either in house or by hiring it out. All of those custom CRMs didn’t turn out the way they had hoped.

Oftentimes, building CRM software from scratch can be a very daunting task. CRM is by no means a simple piece of software. There are so many things to think about and so many features that are required that the project almost always balloons out of control.

Either the product never gets finished, or it becomes too complicated and unstable for the customer to actually use. It becomes more than a giant black hole of time and money, but becomes a ball and chain that ties you down instead of lifting you up.

Now, that’s just the majority experience. If you’ve tried creating CRM software from scratch before and it worked for you, this might be a good opportunity.

If you haven’t and don’t have any experience of any kind, it’s most likely not for you and you should just continue to question #2.

2. Have you tried customizing existing CRM software? If so, how did it go?

Sometimes, an easier way to get what you need without all the risk and uncertainty is by doing a full customization of an existing CRM software. Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, and others are powerful platforms to build a fully customized CRM on.

But, this road is one less traveled as well, and many who travel it do not return without wounds.

See, customizing CRM software to certain specifications that might be beyond necessity can cripple both performance and usability to such a point that you might end up having to drop the project altogether.

In fact, fully customizable CRM software often suffers from the same ailments as creating CRM from scratch. Adoption rates are low and abandon rates are high.

If you’ve tried this before and it didn’t go so well, don’t press your luck that this next experience will be much different. It’s not for everyone and it will be just as hard for you this time.

Continue to question #3.

3. Have you tried a simple CRM software with minimal customizations?

In most cases, the best way to assure a solid adoption and a smooth transition into using a CRM daily is by choosing a tried and true software, tested by time and built to last.

JobNimbus, for example, is a simple CRM that has been used by many companies looking for customizations both large and small.

While we don’t offer a complete customization package, we do offer customizable fields, workflows, statuses, types, reports, documents, estimates, invoices, and portals.

This customization is generally all a our customers were looking for, some finding that out after they used our free 14-day trial.

It offers just the right amount of customization while also providing the right environment for successful CRM adoption, including a simple interface, mobile and cloud access, and unlimited customer support (things you wouldn’t get by creating a CRM from scratch).

Try JobNimbus First

If you’re still unsure and asking yourself, “should I build a CRM from scratch?”, I invite you to try JobNimbus first and give our customizations a full run-through. You might find that we have everything you were hoping for and a whole lot more.

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