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Custom Vs. Comercial CRM analysis.

José Luis Delgado

This post presents a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis comparing the utilization of a custom-developed CRM with a widely-used commercial CRM software. Various key criteria have been considered in evaluating the decision’s potential outcomes, including ease of adoption, level of customization, sustainability, technical support, and pricing. Furthermore, it is crucial to take into consideration the organization’s specific functional requirements in the implementation process.

Custom-developed CRM refers to a tool developed in-house by companies whose main economic interest is not the sale of this software, but offering this service

General criteria

Ease of adoption:

Large commercial CRM companies typically have greater resources allocated to user experience and benefit from feedback from a larger user base. They make significant investments in staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, resulting in highly user-friendly solutions. This user-centric approach significantly enhances the likelihood of adoption by organizations.


Recognizing the diverse range of use cases, large commercial CRM companies prioritize flexibility and customization. They provide comprehensive administration panels that allow users to customize fields, colors, and functionalities without the need for extensive developer involvement. Moreover, these companies offer user-friendly resources, such as HubSpot Academy, Microsoft Dynamics training portal, and Salesforce Trailhead, to help administrators learn about their tools and integrations.

These educational platforms are accessible and provide free resources, facilitating a smooth learning process.

See the examples of different learning academies: Hubspot Academy, Microsoft Dynamics training portal, or Salesforce Trailhead

Furthermore, especially among the companies classified as leaders or visionaries, these CRM providers are striving to establish themselves as platform companies. This strategic move enables them to collaborate with external developers who can create and offer new functionalities through their marketplace.

By embracing this approach, the level of customization becomes exponentially expanded, as third-party vendors contribute to the ecosystem. Simultaneously, these CRM companies ensure that robust technical support and maintenance are in place to guarantee the smooth operation of these additional functionalities.


This aspect pertains to the scalability of the CRM system to accommodate evolving organizational needs. As new departments, such as Marketing or Customer Service, seek to leverage customer information, a large commercial CRM offers a broader range of modules and functionalities, ensuring a more sustainable investment. In contrast, a custom-developed CRM may necessitate additional development and investment for each new functionality required.

While a reputable CRM provider continuously updates their software to align with evolving market and user needs, seamlessly incorporating these improvements, custom-built versions can become outdated over time. Consequently, clients are compelled to allocate resources and time to keep their systems up to date with the latest trends.

Technical support

CRMs and other corporate software play a crucial role in the smooth functioning of companies and organizations. When selecting a provider, it is essential to assess the speed and reliability of their technical and support teams. Typically, large corporations that offer commercial CRMs have dedicated teams specifically responsible for software support and maintenance.

These dedicated teams are well-equipped to handle any technical issues that may arise, ensuring prompt assistance and resolution. Their expertise and experience in dealing with a wide range of scenarios contribute to a higher level of reliability. This availability of specialized support teams is often considered a significant advantage when compared to relying solely on internal resources or smaller-scale CRM providers.


Both the types of companies analyzed typically operate under a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model. This implies that clients are billed based on the duration of their usage. In the case of large commercial CRMs, there is often a freemium tier available, allowing users to access the tool with limited functionalities at no cost. Custom CRMs, on the other hand, typically have a smaller client base and may not be able to offer a free tier. However, they might provide development services along with ongoing maintenance, which can significantly increase the overall costs.

The freemium model offered by large commercial CRMs allows potential clients to explore and experience the basic features of the CRM before committing to a paid plan. This strategy serves as an effective marketing tool for attracting a broader customer base. On the contrary, custom-developed CRMs generally require a more substantial investment upfront, encompassing both development and maintenance expenses.

This distinction in cost structure between the two options should be carefully considered when conducting a cost-benefit analysis.

Final thoughts

Indeed, it is important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to CRM selection. Each organization may be at a different stage of its lifecycle or have varying digital transformation needs and timelines.

For organizations seeking rapid digital transformation, large commercial CRMs can offer distinct advantages. They provide access to the latest digital marketing strategies, technological trends, and cutting-edge functionalities. These CRMs are often developed based on best practices, which facilitates their adoption within organizations. The extensive resources and ongoing investments made by large commercial CRM providers allow them to stay at the forefront of industry advancements.

Considering the specific goals and digital transformation requirements of an organization is crucial when making a CRM choice. The need for quick achievements and alignment with the latest trends can make large commercial CRMs a compelling option in such scenarios. However, it is essential to assess the unique needs and circumstances of the organization to determine the most suitable CRM solution.

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