Sustain Your Value Over Time... Here's How
We all want to customize our CRM solution. Who doesn’t? Each of our businesses are unique and require a different set of criteria in order to make it easy for sales and marketing folks to do their jobs. But more often than not, the customizations become a bigger deal than the platform itself, and, over time, become a constraint to your business.
Customization Can Kill the Value
Out-of-the-box CRMs provide a lot of functionality, but may not have the specific capabilities you’re looking for to run a process. So the call is then to have your in-house IT team or external contractors gather your requirements and develop code that can sit on top of the CRM and run exactly what you’re looking for.
For example, you may develop a process in which sales people have access to unique criteria so they can build and configure proposals or quotes more quickly, to the parameters that are specific to your product.
At the outset, this is seen as a huge win for everyone: The developers are proud for creating a custom, efficient process, your sales people are happy because have everything they need to more quickly generate quotes, and the execs are happy because they feel they’re saving money.
But over time, this proposal process may grow and shift to adapt to changes in the industry. You may continue to try and change the code within your CRM to keep up with these changes, but at some point it becomes unruly. You then may discover that your CRM vendor just released an add-on that does everything in your customized version, but for a lot cheaper.
And if it’s hosted, you know it will be updated by the vendor, not you. At this point, it’s likely too late to switch because of how entrenched your own customized process is throughout the organization. And your value goes down, you spend more money, and your sales people are frustrated.
You just entered into the CRM Danger Zone.
See the Signs Coming
In the infographic below, I’ve illustrated how this phenomenon works. I’ve seen it way too many times throughout my career and it continues to happen. And you just don’t see the Danger Zone coming until you’re either in it, or in the downward slope of losing value.