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"Out-of-the-Box" CRM Customization?

“Out-of-the-Box” CRM Customization?

The CRM Advisor
You ask the questions, and our resident CRM guru shares her wisdom.

This week’s question:
“We are in the midst of our CRM implementation, and our consultant is recommending extensive customization. How much modification should an out-of-the-box CRM solution typically need?”


A: There is no black-and-white answer when it comes to CRM customization. The level of customization required will vary greatly from one company to the next, and will depend on a multitude of factors, including the functionality contained within the solution you chose, the level of complexity and uniqueness in your customer-facing processes, and the needs of your users.

In today’s day and age, few companies go for “vanilla” CRM implementations (using the solution as is, straight out of the box). Some customization is almost always required, and most packages on the market offer the flexibility companies need to tailor the application to meet all their specific requirements.

The best way to determine how much customization you really need is to conduct an in-depth needs assessment. Work closely with all affected departments and end users to lay out, in detail, all customer-facing workflows, objectives, and requirements. Then, map those to the existing functionality within your CRM system. Any “gaps” will need to be addressed through application customization.

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[Photo courtesy of lahaonline.]