CRM · Saas

Anyone working on a CRM startup?

Kenneth Jones

September 20th, 2016

I am working on a "vertical" industry specific CRM system startup. Building CRM systems from scratch are hard, but after lots of thought and research we've decided on this method. Any tips from folks that have embarked on projects like this one (tech or business) would be appreciated. 

Bret Peters Chief Marketing Officer at Fig Leaf Software

September 20th, 2016

Before you go this route, check out the HubSpot CRM. It's free and you'll save a lot of time starting from scratch. HubSpot also has an open API so you might appreciate the extensibility. Kindest Regards, Bret Peters CMO | c: 202-658-7611 | o: 202-797-7711 x109 Fig Leaf Software, Inc. | "We've Got You Covered" Full-Service Digital Agency | Solutions Integrator | VA CVE Certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOSB) GSA Schedule 70 SDVOSB: GS-35F-0094M DHS EAGLE II Sub-Contractor: FC1 8(a) Track US NAVY Seaport-e #N00178-15-D-8203 Learn more about our contracts:

Ryan Abreo Vice President at Couch & Associates, Inc.

September 20th, 2016

My recommendation is not to do it. I've worked on several enterprise CRM Deployments and 15%-20% of them came from failed homegrown CRM Systems. You'll really feel the pain when you start to understand the how layered CRM Systems actually are between the data, the workflows, and the reporting/analytics. The driving force behind building from scratch is usually an insistence from the business that their model, processes, requirements are too specific to be captured in a typical CRM Deployment. They are wrong, you just need someone with enough experience to coach the business how it needs to change its processes. Wish you the best of luck!

MaxBlox/Founder Institute Director, Chennai Area at The Founder Institute

September 20th, 2016

Kenneth, we are putting the finishing touches on our CRM product (  We are using it internally now. Our mission is to help entrepreneurs create startups and we want to help them do that.  Happy to assist you in this process.

Ryan Yanchuleff Senior Software Engineer, Co-founder, and Entrepreneur

September 20th, 2016

Hey Kenneth, we built a solution for the small business contracting space that has a CRM included. We spent a good amount of time customizing it for the users of that space who were unfamiliar with a lot of the traditional terminology in standard apps like salesforce or even zohoCRM. Ultimately, its about ensuring that your target users are getting value from the solution by being able to understand it, use it, and use it efficiently.  Happy to chat more about it if you like.

Joe Walling CTO, software developer, software architect

September 20th, 2016

Hi Kenneth. We have built a SaaS solution that is a combination CRM, Project Management, and Time Tracking application. We are concentrating our marketing at accounting firms, but it would work for most professional service industries. We decided against writing just a CRM since there is not a lot to differentiate a CRM in one industry from another. Project management, on the other hand is where we found we could differentiate ourself. This also means you can charge more since they aren't having to get the other functionality elsewhere.

For the right partner, we would be willing to make our product available as a starting point, saving you quite a bit of money developing what we have already done. It could then be customized specifically for your industry. If you are interested in investigating the synergies, send me a PM.

Aria Consulting Seeking new clients - Clear, Practical Solutions in Action

September 20th, 2016

While I fully support the idea that there should almost always be space in any market for a new "good" idea, it seems to me that, at this time, this would be a very risky market to venture into given the prevalence of Salesforce and the extremely rapid rise of MS CRM (and the soon to be released Dynamics 365 "blended" product).

In both of these leaders cases they offer such extreme configurability and customizability that it would seem exceptionally challenging to come up with a compelling sales case.  I suspect you may have to resort to the lowest motivator of just being the lowest cost option - which doesn't typically lead to a highly motivating business case.

Patrick O'Leary Helping digital media companies "sell smarter to get their unfair share of the budget"

September 20th, 2016

Kenneth - we've developed a CRM for the media & advertising industry and would be happy to share lessons learned. Patrick

Michael Hartzell Entrepreneur, Addicted to "Yes" - When Everyone Wins

September 20th, 2016

Another CRM - uh oh. :)

I like it that geniuses are creating CRM software for ________ - specific industries.

Consultants are giving tips about how to prepare, what to do before implementing a CRM. You might listen in on those conversations.

Here is one:

priyank JAIN Digital Marketing Consultant

September 20th, 2016

Hi Kenneth,

Stephen Handley

September 21st, 2016

Hi Kenneth,

I have to concur with the others who say don't. Having always fallen strongly into the "don't reinvent the wheel" camp, I spent a number of years analysis various CRM offerings (Sugar, Zoho, Dynamics, etc) for our own financial services business needs. I finally settled on Dynamics and hindsight has proven it to be a wise decision.

In 2 years, on a shoestring budget, with an outsourced dev team, we've been able to build a vertical solution (soon to be released) that blows away the incumbent software offerings. The key reason is they are all founded on an in-house, limited CRM system that simply can't compete with the capabilities of Dynamics/Salesforce/etc. When you combine the capabilities of Dynamics with its ever-improving integration with Office 365 + Power BI, there's simply no point trying to build a CRM from scratch. Focus your time/money on the value add layers that sit on top. You'll get to market more quickly and your customers will have a more capable system.

My 2 cents (before currency conversion) :)