Should you Customize your CRM Software? When Out-of-the-Box May be Just Right

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Additional customizations to your software can mean big bucks, but in some cases it’s absolutely necessary.  How do you know if customizations are right for your CRM software?

There are many powerful CRM software solutions available that can be successfully implemented right out-of-the-box, including Microsoft Dynamics® CRM.  Occasionally, businesses might require a little tweaking of the software to meet certain needs.  Consider the following questions to see how best to implement your CRM software:

  1. What type of data do you need to capture and analyze?  Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other robust software platforms can collect data and report on many standard business operations.  Medium to large corporations with specialized operations or services can often mix and match add-on modules to meet their needs.  Global operations, multiple locations, different currencies, and other unique factors can be easily accounted for in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  However, sometimes a company will have to manage other important relationships, such as distributors, vendors, or other stakeholders, that may not be adequately captured in add-on modules.  Certain unique functions or relationships will require customizing the software.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed to allow customization, by approved software vendors, for these unique scenarios.
  2. How do you use your data?  While you might share many of the same business functions as your competitors, there may be something that sets you apart from the rest.  You might have unique data or analytics that aren’t reported in a manner that is useful to you with the standard CRM software.  The type of data, how it is collected and entered, how it is calculated, and how it is reported is important for a successful CRM implementation.  If the data doesn’t make sense to you, then the software will be abandoned quickly.  If the out-of-the-box CRM software isn’t easy to use or doesn’t report data the way you want to see it, then work with your vendor to make the necessary customizations.
  3. How dedicated is your IT team and budget?  Simply put, customizations cost time and money.  Your need an IT infrastructure, support, and budget that is able to handle the needed customizations.  Many businesses are choosing to use CRM out-of-the-box to avoid the delay and extra expense that a customization will require.  However, if your entire operation isn’t being tracked appropriately, how can you have an adequate handle on your financials, business relationships, and processes?  It’s better to make your software work for you and not work around your software.  Just add extra time and budget to your CRM implementation rollout.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a comprehensive business intelligent software solution that can be used right out-of-the-box or customized to meet your unique business needs.  Contact Cargas to see how you can successfully implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

By Julie Fuller with Cargas Systems, Pennsylvania Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner


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