Bespoke CRM vs Off-the-Shelf Software

Jessica Compton,

April 5th, 2024

4 min read

Finding the right CRM system is crucial for laying the foundation for your business’s future success. An important question you will be faced with when making this choice is whether a bespoke or off-the-shelf CRM system is right for your business. In this blog, we will explore both bespoke and off-the-shelf CRM solutions, offering insights to help you decide which option is best for your business.

graphic demonstrating an off the shelf system versus a bespoke system

Off-the-Shelf Software

Off-the-shelf software refers to pre-built CRM solutions readily available to be purchased and used by businesses. These solutions come with a set of standard features and functionality designed to cater to a broad range of industry and business needs. Off-the-shelf software is typically mass-produced and requires minimal configuration, making it suitable for businesses seeking quick access to essential CRM tools without extensive development or implementation time.

While off-the-shelf software offers almost immediate usability and lower upfront costs, businesses may encounter limitations when trying to tailor the solution to their specific workflows and requirements. Features of off-the-shelf software often include lead management, contact tracking, sales pipeline management, and basic reporting capabilities. However, for businesses with unique processes or evolving needs, the lack of customisation available in off-the-shelf solutions may hinder long-term efficiency and growth.

Off-the-shelf CRM advantages:

  • Immediate Usability: Ready to use out of the box, perfect for businesses requiring swift setup.
  • Lower Upfront Costs: Affordable options for businesses on a budget; however, off-the-shelf solutions often prove more costly in the future.
  • Quick Deployment: Minimal configuration is required, allowing for swift implementation.

 Off-the-shelf CRM disadvantages:

  • Limited Customisation: Challenges in tailoring the software to unique business processes, potentially hindering long-term efficiency.
  • Scalability Issues: Potential hurdles as businesses grow, requiring additional investments or workarounds to accommodate expansion.

Bespoke CRM

A bespoke CRM solution is custom-built to meet the specific requirements and workflows of a particular business. Unlike off-the-shelf software, bespoke CRMs offer unparalleled flexibility and customisation options, ensuring seamless alignment with the intricacies of your business operations. These solutions are tailored to address the unique challenges and opportunities of your industry, empowering businesses to optimise processes, enhance efficiency, and drive growth.

Bespoke CRM advantages:

  • Unparalleled Customisation: Ensures seamless alignment with unique business needs.
  • Enhanced Scalability: Evolves alongside business growth, adapting to changing requirements.
  • Flexible Pricing: Pay only for the functionalities needed, avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Bespoke CRM disadvantages:

  • Slower Development: Longer implementation timelines as the solution is tailored to your unique requirements.
  • Higher Upfront Costs: Associated with the customisation and development efforts, but this initial expense is usually offset by the ROI.

Examples of a Bespoke CRM

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of business applications covering Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Field Service and Project Operations. It allows you to have access to a combination of pre-built features which you can customise. This agile approach allows you to adapt your CRM quickly to evolving business needs, whilst also benefiting from Microsoft’s regular updates and a pay-per-user licensing model for cost-effectiveness.

For example, a medium-sized retail chain might leverage Dynamics 365 to streamline sales processes while customising modules to track inventory, manage customer loyalty programmes, and analyse market trends. This allows the business to have a tailored CRM solution that meets their unique requirements without compromising on the convenience of pre-built features.

Bespoke CRM vs Off-the-Shelf Software: Final Verdict

In summary, while off-the-shelf CRM offers immediate usability and lower upfront costs, bespoke CRM solutions provide unparalleled customisation and scalability. Ultimately, the choice between bespoke and off-the-shelf depends on your organization’s unique requirements and priorities.

How does Dynamics 365 fit in?

At Pragmatiq, we use Dynamics 365 to built our bespoke CRM solutions, here are some examples of the solutions we have built:

  • Charities: Tailored solutions for efficient referral management, donor relations, and volunteer coordination, boosting operational efficiency and enhancing donor engagement.

To see a real-world example of a Bespoke CRM for Charities check out our ‘Brighton Therapy Centre’ case study.

  • Membership Management: Customised platforms for tracking member interactions, managing subscription renewals, and delivering personalised member experiences, fostering loyalty and retention.

Check out our client case study on ‘Zest’ to discover how one Membership organisation utilises a bespoke CRM.

  • Asset Finance: Bespoke systems for managing loan portfolios, streamlining approval processes, and automating documentation workflows, optimising operational efficiency and risk management.

Read our client case study on ‘Asset Finance Company’ to see how they benefited from a bespoke CRM.

Speak to a Bespoke CRM expert today!

By understanding the differences between a bespoke CRM and off-the-shelf solutions you can make a well-informed decision as to which aligns best with your business. If you require further assistance or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our experts on 01908 038110 or via email at  We are here to help you find your perfect CRM match.


Want to keep in touch?

Sign up to our newsletter for regular updates.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Talk to an expert