6 reasons why you should buy – not build – your next CRM

Building your own customized CRM may be more of a burden than you bargained for.

By Rachel Serpa

Published April 11, 2017
Last updated September 2, 2020

With analyst predictions placing CRM market value near the $40 billion mark, it’s easy to assume that every company on the planet has chosen to invest in CRM. But contrary to popular belief, many companies are still on the fence as to whether they should buy a CRM from one of the more than 350 vendors on the market, or build it themselves.

While constructing a customized CRM from the ground-up is certainly possible, companies that are dead-set on taking this route may be in for a little more than they bargained for. Here are 6 common reasons businesses cite for building their own CRM solutions, and why buying makes more sense.

“Our business is unique, so our CRM should be, too.”

Why Buy: Constructing a solution around your company’s exact requirements sounds great in theory, but the reality is that these projects typically take a lot more time and money than anticipated. Leading CRM vendors offer the ability to customize their platforms to your business needs. What’s more, many provide access to professional services teams that work directly with your business to build features and functionality around your unique sales processes.

“It’s cheaper to build a CRM in-house than pay licensing fees.”

Why Buy: While avoiding monthly or annual licensing fees is cause for celebration, the party won’t last long.

Consider the following long-term yet overlooked cost-drivers associated with building a CRM:

  1. Maintenance

    Those few minutes of downtime we all experience for regular maintenance of our favorite SaaS platforms can turn into weeks when updating homegrown solutions. Minor fixes due to changes in browsers, servers or operating systems can be major drains on time and resources.

  2. Updates

    You built your system especially for your business - great. But what happens when your company scales or shifts strategies? These regular growing pains can become excruciating for sales teams operating on internally owned CRMs.

  3. Bugs

    CRM vendors conduct extensive testing to resolve any bugs or issues prior to go-live. In contrast, any kinks in homegrown systems are often discovered on-the-job, and can ultimately inhibit productivity and performance.

  4. Staff

    How do those annual licensing fees stack up to the salaries that you have to pay your engineers to build and maintain your CRM? Keeping headcount on staff to handle any updates or issues after go-live is a must.

  5. Time to market

    Building something from scratch obviously takes much longer than implementing a solution that already exists. The cost of poor productivity and organization while waiting for your CRM to be built can add up.

  6. Training

    How will you ensure that your solution is effectively adopted by your team? Be prepared to shell out extra funds for third-party or internal resources to create personalized training materials and deliver them to the sales organization.

This post originally ran on the Base blog. Please visit if you’d like to learn more about Zendesk Sell.

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