Bespoke CRM vs Off-The-Shelf | Pro and Cons

24th July 2020 back to blog

Your business is going well and it’s growing in size. It’s time to think about optimising your workflow so you can focus on other aspects of the business, but do you go for something you can jump onto right away, or do you get something built bespoke. We aim to answer that question so you can get the software you need to continue your business growth.

Firstly, lets understand what a CRM is

A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is usually a piece of software in the cloud that aims to streamline business process like sales strategies, or team communication when dealing with a large amount of customer data. Storing this customer data in the cloud makes for easy access and saves the risk of losing any analogue versions of the same data.  

Let’s dive into our comparisons

We’ll begin our comparisons between Bespoke CRMs and Off the shelf by looking at latter with common systems like HubSpot or Nimble. These sorts of Off-The-Shelf CRMs can work for people and businesses to help grow their business, there’s no doubting that. They do this for a ‘Low monthly cost’ and from out the outset look to be a great deal and you get all the tools and knowledge from a well-known company that thousands of people use. Perfect. Why stray away and spend more money when this does all that you need. Well, the main reason is all the tools are there but the flow is all wrong. After years of building up your company to work a certain way, it is often more than just an inconvenience to change that just for the sake of a piece of software.

What are the benefits to an Off-The-Shelf solution?


  • Great place to start – for a first system, they are easy to work out what you need
  • No wait time – You can get started straight away as all the software are ready to go
  • Support wide knowledge base as it is a system a lot of other people and businesses use


  • Cost – Whilst initial price is low, the ongoing monthly costs can be very high
  • Expansion – Most added features end up costing extra on top of what you already have.
  • Workflow – You will often have to adjust the way your business operates slightly to ensure it works with the system

What do both systems do the same?

The main purpose of the CRM is to work to connect up the common existing stages of a sales funnel and smooth out the process to enable a business or a person’s time to be more effectively spent on other areas of the business that would benefit from growth. Combining Marketing, Sales and Service all in one piece of software means that everyone on the team is all working from the same data at all times, giving a seamless handover process at every stage. This consistency is key to making sure no information is lost and ensuring that a project remains on track to meet any deadlines there might be.

Why choose a Bespoke CRM instead?


  • Customisability – certain specific features can be built in without excess features you won’t use
  • Flexibility – Adjustments can be made before and after going live to ensure it can meet your requirements
  • Workflow – Working closely with you, we look at your specific processes so it can be as streamlined as possible
  • Expansion – If additional features or stages want to be added after the completed build, code can be created to add it a host of extra functionality where necessary
  • On-Brand Design – With it being fully customised, the design can be chosen to suit your business, whether that is a customer facing software or not
  • Monthly Cost – Once the system is built, it requires much less upkeep, and you aren’t paying for a team to keep developing areas you won’t be using


  • Initial Cost – due to its custom nature, it has to be coded tailored to you so there is very little that can be taken from elsewhere
  • Time scales – With the coding being done from scratch to meet your own requirements, it takes longer to build
  • No feature updates unless requested – Some Off-The-Shelf CRM’s get updated over the cloud to add in new features to improve the userexperience. This doesn’t happen with bespoke CRMs due to each one being built for a specific client.

So, which one should you chose?

As with everything, it is entirely dependent on your business and what you want out of a CRM system. Off-The-Shelf systems are great for getting started, for a first CRM they can often fit the bill enough to make them worthwhile. However, they can be limiting and you might have to alter your process to fit around the system; if you have a long conversion funnel, this could be problematic. This is where Bespoke CRMs would be a much better fit. They can be tailored to suit you and your business exactly, saving you reshuffling workflows and ultimately, saving you time. Long term, they are often a better option with room to expand and grow alongside your business as well as costing much less due to the far reduced monthly costs.

If you have any further questions or queries, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bespoke Cloud Software on 0800 652 0168 or by filling in our contact form here and we can discuss the best option for you.

Let’s get started. We’d love to hear from you.

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