CRM — open source or not? There is a lot of buzz around these types of software and platforms — and there’s a good reason for it. You can enjoy a world of benefits when CRM technology opens up to third-party development and editing, such as new features and functionality, greater flexibility and compatibility, and hopefully a healthier bottom line for your business.
In this article, we’re going to explain how these open source CRM platforms work and their advantages and disadvantages. You’ll also get a glimpse at monday.com, which you can sign up for a 2-week free trial at any time, no credit card required.
What is the difference between open source and proprietary software?
Let’s first define the term “open source”, which means the source code — or code that makes a program run — is publicly available. It also means that the user or a developer can make changes to this code according to their needs. As we mentioned, this flexibility allows users to make apps that are more useful over time.
In contrast, “propietary software” or “full stack” describes a product that is closed, unchangeable, and doesn’t require any in-house developers. You would likely download the software or buy a subscription and start using it from there according to whatever capabilities it offers.
What is an open source CRM?
Open source CRM software functions as both the digital space where businesses can easily manage and nurture their relationships with customers and clients and a place where developers can create unique CRM apps and custom integrations to meet their KPIs — for usually a fraction of the price of proprietary software.
As all businesses are different, CRMs should be a home base to create and execute individual workflows, organizational structures, and customer relationship practices, from launching marketing campaigns, sending important customer updates, and conducting post-sales services. Enter open source CRMs. By making something open source, professional or hobbyist coders can work on the features they would love to see and add functionality that has been requested by the community that uses the software or an enterprise that wants a higher degree of personalization.
So, an open source CRM system may open the floodgates to some really cool features that help businesses create incredible relationships with customers and enjoy all the financial rewards that come with it.
But is it as simple as that?
The advantages of an open source CRM
Let’s look a bit closer at how your teams and organization could benefit from CRM open source.
The key advantage of open source CRM software is the development of intelligent new features that only become apparent after real-life use. The original iteration may not have had a particular use-case in mind, leaving out minor but very useful functionality that can quickly be coded into the software through open source formats.
As an enterprise using open source CRM software, you’re free to make changes, add features, or personalize the platform to your exact needs and preferences. These changes can radically increase the efficiency and productivity of your workflow and adapt to new demands.
Quicker bug fixes
Two heads are better than one. And in the case of open source software, a thriving community of users is better than an overworked development team. If there are bugs in the code, there’s a swarm of active users who can identify and fix them. This is typically much quicker compared to the iterative internal development cycle of non-open source applications.
Disadvantages of open source CRM
While it is a subject of debate within the open source community, the open source format does present some critical security and privacy concerns. Malicious users could edit the code to allow access to private data. This is a particularly worrying concern for large enterprises.
Lack of user-friendliness
There’s a reason software developers get paid as handsomely as they do! It’s not just great features and smooth functionality that developers create. There’s a whole foundation of knowledge and theory driving a lot of their choices when designing code that makes the experience intuitive, easy, and good-looking. This isn’t always the case in open source software.
monday.com sales CRM: open source flexibility, proprietary software reliability
The ideal platform for sales and marketing teams fuses the flexibility and customization of open source CRMs, with the fully-polished, user-friendly experience of independently developed CRMs. When you use monday.com to manage your CRM pipeline, you also get access to monday Apps, a revolution in collaborative workflow design and functionality. A thriving community of users is there, also creating and sharing new tools.
We’ve created a new framework for enhancing the monday.com Work OS, whereby developers can easily and quickly create apps for a whole universe of personal functionality. These apps can then be integrated directly into your monday.com workspace.
Any developer can create a CRM application independent of coding languages and submit them to our marketplace of monday.com apps.
Browse to find an app with that great little feature you’ve been dying to use. If it’s not there yet, just make it yourself and continue enjoying the sleek and intuitive monday.com workspace.
Here are just a few of the latest possibilities brought to you by the incredible community of monday.com app CRM developers.
Easily create branded forms for your website
Listening and responding to customer feedback is the crux of excellent customer relationship management, but feedback is not always easy to get. And even when forms are successfully distributed to customers, synchronizing all the data from various channels of communication can be a hassle. What if you could easily create branded forms and streamline all that data back to your monday.com project management and CRM dashboard?
Thanks to the development team at Eazyform, you can now do just that. With drag-and-drop simplicity, you can create forms that match your brand identity and embed them to your site. When customers fill them out, all responses are funneled directly into your monday.com CRM dashboard for easy and quick processing. It’s simple but genius.
Visualize sales and marketing data in new ways
Let’s face it — while some of us can take quick glances at spreadsheets and understand the big picture, some of us definitely cannot. The rich data yielded from your marketing workflow and sales pipeline could be hiding some serious opportunities for growth. So it would be great if there were solutions available to transform raw sales and marketing data into comprehensive visualizations that can be easily understood at a glance.
That’s exactly why we gave Omnitas Consulting our 1st place award for its genius monday.com app, Funnels. Funnels is a board view that visually represents your sales and marketing workflows. You can easily identify critical dropout points in your conversion funnel, compare conversion rates from different lead sources for better lead management, and configure the most effective funnel for your particular product based on historical data.
Connect your support team to other operational branches
Perfecting the customer experience is an endeavor without a finish line, but still one worth committing to if you want to enjoy the rewards of great customer relations. You need to have a robust business process to manage and cater to the needs of your customers. Oftentimes, it’s not the quality of customer support that proves to be a sticking point for customers, but the speed.
How many times have you heard, “We are experiencing higher than normal call volume,” or, ‘Thanks for your message, we will endeavor to respond in 5-7 working days” Thankfully, solutions exist to streamline the customer support process to bring your customers the actions or solutions they need when they need them.
Our friends at Freshworks have created an award-winning customer service solution for the monday.com monday Apps marketplace.
With Freshdesk integration, you can connect your support team to your product, engineering, and sales teams to streamline user requests to wherever they need to go. This way, your customers can enjoy a radically reduced turnaround time for requests, and you can reduce the administrative load for all customer support queries.
CRM open source unleashed
Don’t sleep on the power of an enthusiastic community of users and developers. In less business-oriented software tools, an open source solution may smooth out various bugs and add a nifty feature or 2. When talking about a CRM platform, though, open sourcing may unlock significantly higher profitability, greater conversion rates, and much happier customers.
But depending on the size of your company, you may not want to take the risk of using the open source version of CRM software that’s not all that intuitive or may come with some unknown security vulnerabilities. If that’s you, then monday.com and our new Apps marketplace may be your happy, innovative middle-ground.
Browse through the new app marketplace to see if there’s a bottom-line boosting CRM app out there waiting for you.