In a previous blog, we talked about when a bespoke CRM system is the only option for you. Perhaps you couldn’t find a CRM system on the market that matched your needs exactly, so you commissioned a bespoke CRM system for your business a while back. But over time, you may want to reassess your position, just to make sure things are on track. Here are some factors to consider.
Who is supporting this system?
Is it supported by the person that originally wrote it and if so, are they still readily available for the technical and practical support that you need?
If your business is reliant on a system that was built, developed and supported by only one developer, then you are in a very risky position if this person becomes too busy with other projects or decides to change or stop work altogether. Knowledge transfer is only possible if absolutely everything has been documented over time, and if the tools and skill-sets are there to support it.
How much ongoing development has there been over the years?
A proprietary CRM system has ongoing development funded by hundreds of thousands of users, as well as a team of technical and managerial people. Things like integration, dealing with customer service, relating suppliers and sister companies to a head office etc. has all come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. User feedback, R&D, competitive forces etc. play a crucial role in how CRM systems evolve. Has your bespoke CRM system kept up with such changes over time? If not, you could be losing out on your competitive advantage.
What does this system integrate with?
Modern CRM systems have very open interface structures and can seamlessly – and often at a very low cost – integrate with marketing automation tools, back-office systems, workflow & alerts systems etc. As your business grows and develops over time, is it capable of integrating with other systems to accommodate the changes in your business structure and work processes? Having a flexible CRM solution that can grow with your organisation is key to helping you successfully acquire, retain and develop your customers.
Does it help me deliver the agreed strategy?
Every business needs a Strategy, and Tactics to deliver the goals. Is the CRM system enabling or inhibiting those goals?
Does it fit my exit strategy?
And finally, something to think about as you get older, is whether a company looking to acquire your business will think that your systems are fit for purpose.
We often supply systems because the founders are looking at their exit strategy and realise that a company whose client acquisition, development and retention relies on “a system developed many years ago and supported by some bloke living in Wales” is not attractive to potential purchasers!
If any of this touches a nerve, then please contact us for an absolutely no obligation discussion with a member of our team.