When it comes to CRM software, there are two choices: custom or packaged. Custom CRM is bespoke—it’s built specifically for one customer. Packaged CRM is designed to fit the most common use cases across all customers.  Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the biggest pros and cons of custom CRM vs. packaged CRM:

Custom CRM

Custom CRM Pros:

  • Tailored to Your Needs: Custom CRM is designed specifically for your business, which means it can be tailored to your exact requirements and business processes. With custom CRM, you don’t have to change your process to adapt to the software.
  • Unique Features: Custom CRM allows you to add unique features that are not available in off-the-shelf packaged CRM options.
  • Scalability: You can easily scale custom CRM as your business grows and your needs change.
  • Better Support: Since the software is created specifically for your business, support is often more personalized and efficient.

Custom CRM Cons:

  • Higher Costs: Custom software development can be expensive due to the high costs of development and maintenance.
  • Longer Development Times: The development of custom CRM can take longer than packaged, which may impact your business's productivity.  Typically, custom software will take between 6 months to a year to complete, which is about double the time of packaged software. 
  • Dependence on the Development Team: You may become dependent on the development team to maintain and upgrade the software, which can lead to issues if the team is no longer available or has prioritization issues when a feature is going to be developed.
Custom CRM vs. Packaged CRM pros and cons

Packaged CRM

Packaged CRM Pros:

  • Lower Cost: Packaged CRM software is typically cheaper than custom software since development costs are spread across multiple customers.
  • Faster Implementation: Packaged CRM can be implemented quickly, which can improve your business's productivity.
  • Industry Standard Features: Packaged CRM software often includes standard features that are widely used in your industry. These features represent either the industry best practices or the most requested features from customers.
  • Community Support: Because it’s more generic, packaged CRM has a larger community of users to provide support and troubleshooting.

Packaged CRM Cons:

  • Limited Customization: Packaged CRM may not be customizable to meet all of your specific needs, which can limit your business's functionality. This may require you to change your processes to conform to the implied processes in the packaged solution.
  • Compatibility Issues: Packaged CRM isn’t always compatible with other software or systems that your business uses and therefore expensive integration may be required to make them work together.
  • Limited Scalability: A packaged CRM may not be able to scale to meet the changing needs of your business, which may require you to switch to a new software package sooner than you anticipate.
  • Lack of Support: Support offerings for packaged CRM may not be as personalized or efficient as custom software support.

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements. If you have very specific needs, custom software may be the best option. However, if you need a solution quickly and don't have a lot of specific requirements, packaged software may be a better choice. 

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