CRM Development vs. CRM Customization: Which is Right?

The task of choosing the right software for CRM is what brings together businesses from different industries and of different sizes. In effect, statistics shows that over 90% of businesses with 10 or more employees use CRM software. One fundamental dilemma everyone faces at the point of choosing this software is whether to build it from scratch or use an off-the-shelf variant. Like in all dilemmas, each of the scenarios has its pluses.

CRM from Scratch

The decision to build a CRM from scratch should never be random. The smartest thing to do is to turn to a professional crm software consulting service. Their experts will study your case and suggest which way is best based on their experience. If they say building a CRM from scratch should be more favorable in your situation, you may hire their developers to design a custom system for your company. Under this scenario, you can justly expect that the system will perfectly fit every minor detail of your business’s workflow.

Of course, building a system from scratch is costlier. And yet, it has some cool advantages.

Optimal Set of Features

A custom CRM includes all the features you need and none that you don’t. In effect, you pay for its development, but you know that you are only spending money on what you plan to use.

Less Time for Training Employees

Yes, after you get your system, you’ll need to teach your employees to use it. And this may be quite an issue. Since a custom CRM is built with your business processes in mind, it implies fewer difficulties in terms of training.

If the developers do everything right, training shouldn’t take long. The system will look intuitive and familiar to your employees.

Potential for Further Enhancements

Of course, no one wants to change a CRM tool every six months or every year. But often you have to because your business grows and it turns out that the off-the-shelf solution you’ve been using doesn’t imply this growth.



With a custom solution, growth should not be an issue. You can ask the development team to build a design that is scalable. And then you can decide on the scope of scalability together.

Zero Hidden Costs

Custom CRMs are transparent in terms of cost. So, hidden fees for extra features or user licenses that often come with commercial CRM packages are irrelevant here.

Off-the-Shelf CRM

Oftentimes, a CRM consultant may advise you to use an off-the-shelf solution. It is usually a pre-built software that can be customized to a certain extent. They typically recommend this option to businesses looking for a quicker implementation. Such an approach has its benefits.

Faster Time to Market

Of course, ready-made CRMs are deployed much faster than custom-built ones. So if you need it urgently, that’s the only way out, in fact.

Market-Tested Techniques

Sometimes, businesses choose systems they have been recommended by colleagues or friends. Indeed, off-the-shelf CRMs have been tested by numerous users and refined over time.



This is why their design is usually optimal. Not optimal for a particular business but rather for a particular user type.

Balanced Pricing Models

If price is a sensitive factor for you, commercial tools may be a little bit more beneficial as they have various pricing models, including subscription-based and tiered plans. That is, you don’t necessarily need to spend a large sum at once. You can buy a monthly plan first and see how it goes.

Which CRM System To Choose: From Scratch vs. Off the Shelf

Now, here’s a quick summary of this comparison to help you decide which route to take.

Feature Custom CRM Off-the-Shelf CRM
Feature set optimal default (with potential for add-ons)
Training time minimal moderate
Scalability high limited
Implementation long fast
Reliability depends on developer proven
Pricing fixed flexible

Final Thoughts

So, does this comparison give us a clear answer as to which solution to choose? No. It gives us food for thought and a framework for decision-making. As you have seen, both solutions have something to offer. You need to decide, based on your context or with the help of a consulting service, which is the safest.