Customizing Your CRM Solution – Should You Do It?

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As you’ve been searching for the right CRM software solution for your organization, I’m sure that you have run across products, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, that boast about how easy they are to customize.  This sounds like a great thing; you can address your unique business needs and hopefully your user adoption rate will be better if people are able to continue using familiar processes. While customizing your CRM solution is often a necessity, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself before you run out and hire a programmer or start writing code:

  1.  What am I trying to fix – a software shortcoming or a faulty business process?

By implementing a new CRM solution, you are giving your organization a tremendous opportunity to become more agile and efficient.  Customizing your CRM software to accommodate all of your existing business processes can negate the positive effects of this opportunity, however.  If you think “it has to be this way because that is the way we’ve always done it,” then it may be time to evaluate that process.  Engaging a CRM partner who offers Business Process Reviews can help you determine which customizations will truly add value to your solution and which are simply entrenching old processes that ought to be revised. 

2.     Can I sustain the cost of this customization in the long-run?

Customization raises the value of anything.  This is especially true for CRM software.  You will not only have to pay up-front to have the custom code written and implemented, but you will have to repeat this process any time you upgrade your CRM software solution.  This can become costly very quickly.  If you aren’t prepared for these costs, having extensive customizations may prevent you from upgrading which could eventually land you on an unsupported version of your software, resulting in data loss or corruption and loss of business if your system goes down.  If this is a concern for you, you may want to look and see if there are third-party solutions or other alternatives to customizing your CRM solution. 

Selecting a CRM software partner that will guide you through the software selection process while keeping in mind a healthy balance of finding a solution that will fit your business needs and customizing a solution to meet your business needs can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long-run.  Conducting a Business Process Review early in your software selection experience can help you better understand how your new CRM solution can best be customized to fit your needs as well as how you can reshape your processes to get the most out of your new system while sparing you the expense of extensive customizations. 

By Socius, a CRM Software Partner in Ohio

2 thoughts on “Customizing Your CRM Solution – Should You Do It?”

  1. I guess the key is not looking at the number of things you can change but the number of things that need to be changed in order to achieve full functionability without compromising on the organisational prerequisites.

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