Is there a feature missing from CRM?

I see there are huge number of CRMs in the market. Do IndieHackers have a first hand, full-time experience using a CRM? and do you think there is, at least one feature, may be underrated one, but missing from existing CRMs which would be valuable in a sector/industry?

I agree that this sounds counter-intuitive 🤦‍♂️ to build a CRM in 2021 but I'm going to give it shot anyway. Does anyone have a reason not to? Let me see how may of you are on or against and why?😉😊

  1. 2

    The major differentiator with CRMs are visibility and customization of data reporting. Just starting out as an Indie Hacker, your focus needs to be number of calls, open and reply rates, and ability in import lists.

    My two go-to's are Pipedrive and Hubspot for the budding innovator. Both reasonably priced and easy to start.

    1. 1

      You are right @elpramirez, customization and import functions are a "must to have" but challenge would be - how to keep it manageable for developer team, at the same time, keeping it useful for users.

      Maybe, I'm naïve in this area, I did not get your point about 'focus'. Isn't that - number of call, open and reply rates would be part of reports?

  2. 2

    Over the years having been forced to work with many crm systems, I'm tempted to say : don't make it infinitely customizable.
    Every crm implementation I worked with was made into a living nightmare by everyone asking for new features, new fields, new validations... making the application slow, unusable and almost forcing people to avoid updating it as much as possible. Once people don't like to use it anymore, the value of the incomplete data reduces until there's nothing left.

    If it could be made painless for the people putting data into it, it becomes so much more valuable for those analyzing the data and making decisions based on it.

    1. 2

      Thank you @quodlibet, I can say that this comes directly from the horse's mouth. This is indeed helpful insight. I will keep this mind. Firstly, I will try to build a MVP.

      I guess, customization would be inevitable in CRMs/ERP field as every other customer will have different process flow. What if that customization is isolated, is that also problematic?

      1. 2

        I guess there are 2 traps that I have seen :

        • Customization is too easy, and people start adding random fields and creating random objects ( I've seen a field called "Received_tshirt_tradeshow" surviving more than 5 years and several upgrades and even moves to a new product)

        • Management wanting to control how sales/support teams work by forcing a rigorous process through the crm system, that makes recording stuff in the crm system take more time that doing the actual work that produces results, or management adding all kinds of complex fields and objects because they want to report on the business in some specific way ( and in some cases the report it's done for is never looked at after a few months, but all that mandatory burden is still there for the sales/support teams). The trap here is that the crm system isn't focused on making the work more efficient, and people start to see is at a necessary evil, and just putting in the data that they know supports the outcome the management wants. ( You can spend a day before you're up for a bonus-review massaging the data into what is needed to show the right numbers in the report your manager will look at to decide on your bonus :-) )

        1. 2

          I get what you are saying. These are very important points that you mentioned.

          What do you think, how should I handle your point #1 - if you see, customization would be necessary as a selling point but how can we keep it sane and at the same time it doesn't get complex for both - developers and end users?

          I agree with your point that management should not stuff all their processes into single system of CRM. Although, Customer Relationship Management itself is a broader field, must be covered by multiple modules like contact/leads management, messaging, CSAT, NPS etc. Maybe, if we are considering contacts/leads management as CRM then either us or the term itself is misunderstood.

          For this time, I would be only addressing contacts/leads management and related workflows. After this discussion, I'm not sure if we should call this as CRM. What should we call it then?

          Thank you again @quodlibet. Please keep your thoughts pouring, this is helping me a lot to clear up things 👍🙂

          1. 2

            I don't have much practical advise to give you on what to do, but I have seen crm systems change from a tool that helps people and that people love, to a process that makes life difficult and that people hate. Anything you can do do prevent that will have a lot of positive impact.

            1. 2

              Thanks! I appreciate your valuable comments, especially about making a positive impact.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Link to your product & tell IH how you came up with your idea 97 comments Share your product or landing page, and I'll give you product design advice 33 comments Can you try my side project? I'm looking for some feedback 🙂 24 comments Does anyone actually use productivity software? Which one? 21 comments Copywriting Examples — The world's best copy. In one place. 13 comments What do you consider 'Idea validated'? 6 comments