Customizing a CRM solution for your business needs

By Kristine Hegglin
Updated: February 14, 2011

CRM Solutions That Can Be Customized

There are two types of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions that can be customized; open source and on-site proprietary. Open source CRM solutions are highly customizable. These types of solutions can be downloaded from the vendor’s website. What’s nice about open source solutions is that customers get two versions of the code, the compiled version and the un-compiled version, making customizing easy. The downfall to customizing an open source CRM solution is finding product support services. Most on-site proprietary CRM solutions can be customized and are supported by the vendor. However, some on-site proprietary CRM solutions are out-of-the-box solutions and can only be configured, not customized.

CRM Solutions That Can Not Be Customized

Not all CRM solutions can be customized. For example, hosted CRM solutions can’t be customized. Hosted CRM solutions are also known as Software-as-a-Service, on-demand, and web-based solutions. These solutions are typically hosted by the CRM vendor and made available to customers for a monthly service charge. While hosted CRM solutions can be configured, they can’t be customized. Hosted CRM solutions are typically well suited to small and medium sized businesses that don’t have complex needs and requirements. These solutions cost less and are quick to implement when compared to on-premise or on-site CRM solutions.

Businesses that Need CRM Customizations

Large businesses generally require customizations more often when compared to small and medium sized businesses. Large businesses typically have more unique needs, business requirements, and legacy integrations that need to be taken into consideration. The more customizations made to a CRM solution, the more complex and costly the solution becomes. Highly customized CRM solutions take longer to implement and upgrade. Customers must have large budgets to accommodate for the cost of a highly customized CRM solution.

Types of CRM Customizations Businesses Perform

There are all sorts of customizations businesses perform to make a CRM solution suit their needs. Some businesses customize the functionality to behave in a specific manner. Some businesses customize these solutions to interface with other company-wide solutions. Customizing software can be as simple as adding a field to a series of user-interface pages to store more detailed database information, or, as complex as changing the entire way the solution looks and functions. Some customizations become so complex that the CRM solution becomes difficult to maintain and upgrade, costing the customer millions of dollars in vendor or third-party consulting fees.

Featured Research
  • SMB CRM Providers Comparison Guide

    A good SMB CRM system can be an incredibly valuable asset for your business. As more businesses recognize this value, the amount of SMB CRM vendors is expanding quickly. Navigating the pricing plans, features, and service terms of all these can be a decision-making nightmare. more

  • CRM and Contact Center Integration

    One of the best ways to improve your customer service is to integrate your CRM and contact center software. Benefits of doing this include:Improved customer satisfaction through more personalized contacts, Better conversions on lead, and Increased employee productivity. more

  • CRM Providers Comparison Guide

    As more businesses recognize this value, the amount of CRM vendors is expanding quickly. There are well over 100 available in 2017. Navigating the pricing plans, features, and service terms of all these can be a decision-making nightmare. more

  • Your Guide to Social Customer Service

    Did you know that 67% of online consumers have used social media for customer service purposes?Unfortunately, many businesses ignore social mentions because they don’t know how to handle them appropriately. This is a problem because managing and responding to these mentions can make or break your brand. more

  • A Guide to Selecting a Customer Portal for your CRM

    This whitepaper provides a guideline for selecting the right customer portal solution for your CRM by following a three-stage process. By comparing in-house and third party SaaS products, we examine present business and technical portal requirements, which are then mapped against the upfront and hidden costs for development and future scalability needs. more