CRM Development Cost: Ready-Made Solutions vs Custom CRM Software

October 7, 2021
15 min

The worldwide CRM software market is expected to reach over $43 bln by 2024 with a CAGR of 0.4% per year according to Statista.

These numbers mean that large enterprises, SMBs, and startups continue investing large funds into purchasing ready-made CRM solutions and building tailor-made and on-demand platforms that meet unique business needs.

The best CRM software providers mostly share their pricing models publicly and you are straightforward to calculate the final CRM system price based on their plans and your enterprise needs.

However, many entrepreneurs and business owners are interested in building a CRM tailored to their specific business needs and current challenges. So, how much does it cost to build a CRM system?

In this post, we want to answer this question in greater detail and also discuss the following aspects:

  • CRM market size growth and top trends
  • Custom CRM development vs ready-made solutions
  • CRM development cost: the key price components.

Let’s get down to business.

CRM Market Size & Trends

As we’ve already mentioned, the CRM software market is growing at a rapid pace projected to exceed $44 bln in 2024 and over $80 bln in revenue by 2025.

The reason for such mind-blowing growth is the fact that a customer relationship management system is at the heart of any growing business.

Startups and business owners want to access as much client data as possible to strengthen their customer communications, provide exclusive problem-solving solutions, and boost their profitability.

And powerful CRM software fully meets these demands and helps companies accumulate customer data in real-time along with generating insightful reports that enable to improve the decision-making process.

Let’s now overview the key CRM market statistics that fully blow mind and prove that the CRM industry size is growing rapidly and is not about to slow down its growth.

 

The CRM Market Is Blowing

In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses move to cloud computing to streamline their business processes and digitize daily workflows.

The CRM market is no exception with over 85% of customer relationship management systems to be deployed in the cloud this year compared to only 10% in 2020 according to Market Research Future.

Here comes the question: ‘how many businesses still use on-premises CRM software?’

The 2020 SelectHub report provides an answer saying that over 60% of businesses prefer cloud-based CRM systems over on-the-spot solutions.

Does CRM software still help companies reach their sales goals?

HubSpot stated that over 10% of companies said that investing in CRM software development is one of their top sales priorities for the nearest future.

What’s more, almost 80% of sales experts and teams said they have experienced strong digital transformation through using custom CRM software since 2019 according to a ZDNet report.

ReadWrite stated that sales departments can reach up to 45% ROI per each dollar invested by using a CRM system tailored to their specific sales funnels.

Ultimately, in 2020, McKinsey&Co has published a report saying that sales teams can exceed up to 10% sales uplift potential by implementing and using powerful CRM features.

Let’s now briefly overview top quick facts of using a CRM for your business:

  • Revenue boost up to 30% (HubSpot)
  • Conversion rate increase by 300% (HubSpot)
  • Team productivity enhancement by over 30% (HubSpot)
  • Sales forecast increase by over 40% (VARStreet)
  • Higher customer retention rates leading to a profit boost of 25%-85% (Tech Times).

 

5 Quick Stats About CRM For Your Business | Ascendix Tech

5 Quick Stats About CRM For Your Business | Ascendix Tech

Custom CRM Development: Comparison of The Most Popular Options [Free Guide]

Download a free detailed comparison matrix and guide that will help you define what CRM development option is the most suitable and profitable for your business. Ascendix CEO, Wes Snow, discussed and compared CRM options by deployment, scalability, costs, data security, hardware, and other crucial aspects.

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Custom CRM Development vs Ready-Made Solutions

Before we move to discussing the CRM development cost, we want to briefly shed the light on the key options you have to get a customer relationship management system for your business.

Generally, there are three of them:

  • Develop custom CRM from scratch
  • Customize existing CRM solutions (i.e., on top of Salesforce or Dynamics 365)
  • Purchase a ready-made CRM software license

Let’s now discuss the pros and cons of each solution and then compare them by the same criteria.

 

Custom CRM Development

Pros

  • Embed the required system performance level
  • Get high compatibility by integrating with any third-party platforms you need
  • Encrypt your system sensitive data with the latest security protocols
  • Reach high flexibility by building a single IT infrastructure for all departments and scale with ease
  • Get a cost-efficient solution in the long run as you don’t need to pay for each new CRM user and support.
  • Build an on-demand CRM system tailored to your specific and unique business needs and challenges.

 

Cons

  • High initial price for building and setting up the system
  • Much time required to create a CRM from scratch
  • Costly maintenance as you get a tailored IT infrastructure which requires experienced technical specialists to help.

 

Custom CRM development is a complex and long-running opportunity that perfectly meets your requirements if you need a fully unique IT infrastructure with tons of specific functionality and you are ready to spend relatively huge funds and time on the development process.

So, the final CRM development cost will most likely be higher than in the following options listed below, but you will be able to save much funds in the long run by avoiding overpaying for useless functionality and paying for each new system user.

 

CRM Customization

Pros

  • Save tons of investments as you need only to build several specific features on top of ready-made solutions like Salesforce and Dynamics 365
  • Save much time as most features and infrastructure are preliminary ready for usage
  • Avoid much technical issues like security, integrations, and complex project development
  • Get enough customizability and flexibility for your business
  • Get frequent platform updates and new features automatically.

 

Cons

  • You still need to purchase licenses for each new CRM user
  • You still don’t get full flexibility in terms of features and integrations as they are limited by the CRM system you choose.

 

This way, CRM customization is an optimal solution for your business if you want to get reasonable CRM development cost along with relatively fast launch of using the platform.

This option will become ideal if you need most features provided by the vendor along with several specific customizations on top of it.

 

At Ascendix, we have solid 25-year expertise in CRM customization services building specific on-demand functionality on top of Salesforce and Dynamics 365.

Our experience has helped hundreds of companies and thousands of users to achieve their day-to-day goals like boosting conversion rates, sales and marketing teams’ performance, improving internal sales funnels, and many others.

Below you can a testimonial from Chad Lisney, Vice President Global IT at JLL, after providing CRM customization services for their company:

The quality of work Ascendix provides is second to none.

They’ve provided CRM solutions that no one else has been able to. Their efforts have helped both our sales force and the dynamics of our practice. The technologies they’ve employed have significantly simplified our CRM usage. Many of our locations require customizations that Ascendix has been able to provide solutions for not available in our native CRM.

Their work has driven our adoption, which has increased by about six times what it was before we started working with them.

Chad Lisney, Vice President Global IT at JLL

If you want to know more details on how Ascendix CRM customizations services helped JLL increase their CRM adoption by 6x times, feel free to learn the full case study below:

 

custom-dynamics365-development-cloud-migration-jll-ascendixtech

Custom Dynamics 365 Development and Cloud Migration for JLL | Ascendix Tech

 

Off-The-Shelf CRM Systems

Pros

  • Save much time and start using a CRM within a couple of minutes/hours
  • Get lots of features out-of-the-box avoiding custom development with lots of technical issues
  • Leverage the existing integrations with third-party tools

 

Cons

  • Low flexibility as you cannot get on-demand features tailored to your specific business needs (if not provided by a CRM software vendor)
  • Spend extra funds on the functionality you may never use
  • High CRM development cost in the long run as you need to purchase licenses for each new CRM system user
  • Limited customization opportunities provided by the CRM software vendor
  • Potential scalability issues in the future as scaling is most likely limited by a platform
  • High learning curve which may take much time to train your staff.

 

This way, ready-made CRM platforms are a great choice for your business if the provided functionality is enough to meet most of your current business needs and solve the day-to-day challenges you have.

Still, you will be able to turn to CRM customization services to build even more specific and on-demand functionality tailored to future business requirements through minimal investments and spending less time.

Buy vs Build: CRM Implementation Options Analysis [Free Guide]

Get a free detailed analysis guide where we compare CRM buy vs build options by time to market, upfront costs, quality, user adoption, control, documentation, and many other aspects. Choose your CRM implementation option with ease.

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Let’s now dive into a more detailed comparison of the mentioned options and cover the most crucial aspects for your business.

 

CRM Development Cost

In terms of ready-made customer relationship management systems, they provide reasonable yet costly scaling quotes that mostly depend on the number of users your company has. Besides, you will be charged for any additional functionality you want to have on top of the provided features.

For example, if you want to leverage the benefits of CRM software with a single partner so that you are only those two users that will utilize CRM features, then ready-made software is a great option for your business initiatives.

So, you will only pay for each user monthly and purchase additional features if you need them. What’s more, you will mostly need to pay for the installation and customization processes (if any).

This way, choosing a ready-made CRM software system will become a financially reasonable option for you.

 

However, if you are a CEO or business owner with lots of employees, then CRM customizations services may become a more profitable initiative for your business.

Consequently, you can leverage the out-of-the-box features of any top CRM software like Salesforce, Dynamics 365, ZohoCRM, and others, and customize the existing functionality according to your company’s specific needs.

So, CRM customization services help you get an optimal solution for your business with less time and funds spent.

 

However, although custom CRM development from scratch allows you to avoid most limitations imposed by a CRM software vendor, you will need to spend much more investments and time on development, implementation, deployment, and maintenance.

This makes custom CRM development a great choice for your business if you have multiple offices around the globe which should be synced across the single system infrastructure, but having customized functionality depending on the specific market needs.

Ultimately, the custom CRM development cost will become greatly higher comparing to off-the-shelf solutions and CRM customization services due to lots of development, implementation, deployment, and maintenance processes involved.

 

Scalability and Flexibility

Ready-made CRM software systems mostly provide limited functionality without enough scalability and flexibility opportunities meaning that you won’t be able to get a wide variety of features specifically tailored to your unique business requirements.

Usually, you’ll be able to create custom fields, reports, and, in some cases, custom objects (e.g., a staffing agency would like to track Candidates and all open Vacancies).

Depending on the system, you might be limited by a number of custom fields and might not be able to change the layout of fields to customize user experience for different CRM users.

However, not all top CRM software like Salesforce and Dynamics 365 are famous for their robust customization opportunities, as they provide even less freedom to adjust their platforms for your business needs.

 

CRM customization services become a great option to reach an optimal scalability and flexibility balance, along with reasonable investments and time spent.

For example, Ascendix provides extensive Salesforce/Dynamics 365 customization services which allow you to leverage all the provided benefits of these platforms and build top-notch functionality and technology solutions that you need.

 

Here are the words of Roel Waals, Founder and Head of Product at M|ployee, on the Salesforce customization services successfully provided by our team:

We needed immediate help with developing a major functionality for our core Salesforce solution. It was necessary to deliver a well-tested solution in the short term. Ascendix developed a custom application within Salesforce managed package using Apex, Flows, and metadata configuration.

Despite the urgency and multiple challenges, the team was able to understand the current solution and adjust it in time and within the planned budget. As a project supervisor, I was very satisfied by communication with the team, they were replying rapidly, stand-ups, and other meetings were well-structured and effective.

- Roel Waals, Founder and Head of Product at M|ployee

Custom CRM development allows you to implement the required bespoke features along with needed flexibility.

For example, custom CRM software powers your employees to build personalized email campaigns so that users get personalized newsletters, follow-ups, and other much more.

According to the Campaign Monitor research, almost 70% of customers responded that they will open an email if it has a personalized subject line.

This indicates that custom CRM development allows you to boost lead-to-deal conversion rates and increase ROI.

 

Security level

“Sadly, although social engineering and phishing is responsible for 70% to 90% of all malicious digital breaches, most companies spend less than 5% of their IT cybersecurity resources to fight.”

Roger Grimes, data-driven defense evangelist

 

Sadly, although social engineering and phishing is responsible for 70% to 90% of all malicious digital breaches, most companies spend less than 5% of their IT cybersecurity resources to fight.

- Roger Grimes, data-driven defense evangelist

Grab a Freebie: Ascendix CRM Consulting Projects PDF

Download an overview of featured Ascendix CRM consulting projects to better understand how we can help you with your project.

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When you leverage the benefits of any CRM software, you need to store and process tons of client data for further contacting and providing excellent user experience and customer service.

This makes your CRM system security one of the most crucial parts as no clients want to have their personal data accessed publicly or even stolen.

UScellular stated that they detected a system security incident with their employee CRM software in January 2021, as reported by CPO Magazine.

Specifically, hackers have accessed their client-sensitive data including PIN and CPNI which caused hundreds of customer warnings and decreased customer satisfaction.

What’s more, T-Mobile disclosed that they had a similar CRM data breach in Dec 2020 which led to system breaking and accessing sensitive customer data through email campaigns.

Generally, the most common types of CRM data breach are as follows:

  • ID Theft/Medical ID Theft
  • Fraud
  • Nation-state espionage
  • Corporate/competitive espionage
  • False billings
  • Selling data to a third party.

 

So, ready-made CRM solutions try to do their best and provide a high-security level with full protection of your in-system sensitive data. However, cyberattacks are up-and-doing becoming a risk that you should always consider.

The top CRM software providers like Salesforce carefully take care of their security protocols and system to keep users’ data protected. What’s more, they release multiple security updates during the year to keep their encryption as fresh as possible.

All these facts make ready-made solutions and CRM customization services a great choice for your business in terms of low security risks.

Custom CRM development, on the other hand, allows you to use the latest security and encryption protocols to be sure that client data is out of danger.

However, this will cost a significant amount of investments to build security systems similar to Salesforce, Dynamics 365, Monday CRM, and other market leaders.

So, custom CRM development will become an ideal option for your business to build as secure IT infrastructure as possible only in case you are ready to invest significant funds and time into it.

 

Below you can see the list of common encryption protocols that proved their efficiency:

  • TripleDES
  • Twofish encryption algorithm
  • Blowfish encryption algorithm
  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  • IDEA encryption algorithm
  • MD5 encryption algorithm
  • HMAC encryption algorithm
  • RSA security.

Now we want to share a comparison matrix of ready-made solutions vs CRM customization vs custom CRM development covering multiple crucial aspects like CRM development cost, security, accessibility, and many others.

 

Ready-Made Solutions vs CRM Customization vs Custom CRM Development
Ready-Made Solutions (Salesforce Enterprise)CRM CustomizationCustom CRM Development
License costs$150/user/mo. (list price likely to be lower, say around $125, perhaps $110).Depend on the CRM software you choose.No CRM subscription licensing costs.
Hardware Purchase / Support and MaintenanceN/AN/AThere would be some consideration for cloud computing services. Costs would be driven off usage/storage levels and not end user counts. There are options for auto-scaling contracts.
Internal IT StaffingCould likely maintain the existing number of IT staff (if not reduce it over time).Could likely maintain the existing number of IT staff (if not reduce it over time).Could likely maintain the existing number of IT staff (if not reduce it over time).
AccessibilityAccessible anywhere via browser with connectivity.Accessible anywhere via browser with connectivity.Accessible anywhere via browser with connectivity.
3rd Party Tool Eco-systemBy far, Salesforce has the most expansive eco-system for 3rd party applications. The user community for SFDC is much more engaging and the amount of supporting documentation for this platform is far and away the best in the market.Depends on the CRM software you choose.N/A
Market PositionRanked #1 in the CRM marketshare and have been in this position for the last 10 years.N/AN/A
Software Upgrade considerationsWhile still a mini project, the effort around accommodating upgrades and releases is minimized due to the cloud and multi-tenant structure of online CRM tools.While still a mini project, the effort around accommodating upgrades and releases is minimized due to the cloud and multi-tenant structure of online CRM tools.N/A
Integrations (Tool availability)There is a great deal of investment in tools that help to integrate and share data between cloud-based systems. The popularity of the Salesforce platform has driven more ingenuity and diversity to the tools available for this platform.There is a great deal of investment in tools that help to integrate and share data between cloud-based systems.You can embed and integrate the required number of tools and 3rd party plugins you will need (depends on your budget).
Scaling / stabilityAll scaling concerns are offloaded to the cloud provider.All scaling concerns are offloaded to the cloud provider.All scaling concerns are offloaded to the development team.
Backup considerationsWhile the client can choose to have redundant offsite backups, this service is included in the subscription.While the client can choose to have redundant offsite backups, this service is included in the subscription.You can implement a powerful backup service based on your needs.
SecurityAdvanced security protocols and system provided by cloud CRM software.Advanced security protocols and system provided by cloud CRM software.Implement the latest on-demand security protocols and encryption models for your system.
Frequency of updates / cadence of new releasesSalesforce has 2 major releases a year. The amount of documentation, lead time and preparation materials is second to none in the market.Depends on the CRM software you choose.You can release on-demand updates based on the infrastructure needs and business requirements.

Custom CRM Development Cost: Key Price Components

As we have compared the pros and cons of custom CRM development vs off-the-shelf solutions, let’s now find out the key components that influence the final CRM development cost so that you have a better understanding of what functionality you will pay for building a CRM.

 

Admin Panel

This is a cornerstone of your future custom CRM software which is responsible for system rights management, authorization processes, navigation, and account settings.

So, the development team will need to build powerful server-side logic and functionality to make server request architecture as lightning-fast as possible.

What’s more, technical specialists will need to build an intuitive and lightweight user interface to provide your employees with easy-to-use and advanced CRM software functionality.

 

Sales Module

Sales functionality is also an integral part of any CRM system that offers your employees’ pipeline management, contacts management, task managers, insightful sales analytics, and planning features.

In fact, we’ve just listed a default functionality pack which is minimum features to work with prospects and clients efficiently.

It means that the sales module can have dozens of additional features tailored to your business challenges and needs.

 

Marketing Module

Apart from sales representatives, the CRM software system is a must-have tool for your marketing department as well.

They build customer profiles, analyze market segments, verify the quality of leads they generate and create powerful email campaigns for leads and contacts stored in your CRM software.

For these reasons, a marketing module is an essential system functionality block while building a CRM that basically includes:

  • marketing campaign management
  • customer segmentation
  • insightful analytics with dashboards and charts
  • social media integrations
  • customizable email template generators
  • Real-time SEO suggestions
  • And many others.

 

Customer Support Module

Apart from contacting prospects and sending newsletters to them, your custom CRM software should definitely have a powerful customer support functionality block.

Generally, it includes a help desk, agent console, knowledge base portal, service analytics, case report and management, cloud-based data storage, and many other features.

 

As you can see, we have listed the most default functionality modules that you should include while building a CRM system. And here comes the question: ‘how much does it cost to build a CRM system?

Let’s now briefly list the key technical and non-technical specialists you will need for custom CRM development:

  • Frontend developers (development of frontend features)
  • Backend developers (development of backend functionality)
  • Technical team leads (project architecture development and code review)
  • UI/UX designers (wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and design creation)
  • Project managers (project development handling, regular development status updates, and reports)
  • QA testing engineers (testing and bug reporting)
  • DevOps specialists (automation of development processes, system deployment)
  • Business analysts (discovery phase arranging, technical specification creation, final CRM development cost, and estimate preparation).

 

Key CRM Development Pricing 
Functionality Components | Ascendix Tech

Key CRM Development Pricing 
Functionality Components | Ascendix Tech

 

So, now you have a better understanding of the project development specialists that will most likely take part in building, testing, designing, and controlling your custom CRM development.

Based on the complexity and number of features you need, the estimated number of hours for each development stage may greatly vary.

This means that you should provide a detailed technical specification to a CRM development company or ask them to conduct a discovery phase to figure out your business needs and convert them into on-demand technical solutions.

Then, a custom CRM software development partner should provide you with an estimated CRM development cost that may approximately start from $50,000.

Trust CRM Customization or Development to Ascendix

With 25+ years of expertise in CRM consulting, customization, and development, we will be glad to help transform your business needs into powerful CRM software that will help you meet day-to-day needs and solve challenges.

Final Words

Custom CRM development cost is a complex and multi-component term that should be estimated based on your business challenges and technical needs.

We hope our post will provide you with a better understanding of the key components that form the final CRM development cost and help you answer the question: ‘how much does a CRM system cost’.

If you are looking for a CRM development company to help you figure out your project needs and build a powerful on-demand CRM system, Ascendix Tech will be glad to conduct a project discovery phase and provide you with an estimated CRM development cost.

Check our case studies and contact us to transform your business challenges into a powerful CRM system.

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