CRMs, or customer relationship management software, are one of the original SaaS solutions that are offered by many of the big SaaS companies that dominate the market. These include companies like Salesforce and Hubspot, and also include many others. However, just because something is bigger doesn’t mean it is better. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to using a CRM. Every CRM has unique properties that make it great, and more often than not companies want to use CRMs

But what is a CRM, exactly? A CRM helps businesses store customer data and analyze and translate it into business strategy. This can be everything from reforming your sales pipeline and marketing initiatives but also helping in industry-specific ways. For example, a CRM that is designed with construction management in mind may allow you to take photos on a job site and upload them directly to the CRM. This is important to give office managers a sense of what the job looked like when it is completed. You can also create job schedules directly in the CRM and assign work orders in the centralized hub. That way, everyone will know where the information is and no-show jobs are no longer excusable due to scheduling issues.

All that is to say that every business that can use a CRM should. Just because it is a digital tool does not mean it should only be adopted by businesses without a physical location. For one, literally every business needs to gain new customers and retain old ones to survive. There is no way that a business can survive without gaining any new clients unless it has a nearly perfect customer retention rate. Using a CRM specific to that business’s industry is a great way to decrease customer churn, as the CRM will be set up to navigate the unique challenges that come with any industry. It is also an excellent way to shorter the ramp up time to using a centralized data storage and reporting software like a CRM, which is often more difficult to adopt for certain types of companies, particularly ones that rely on physical services such as contracting.

That being said, there is also a wealth of industry knowledge that can be gained from using an industry-specific CRM. For one, every business has different ways in which they retain clients, and an industry-specific CRM will factor this into its reporting features. Because these CRMs are set up with the industry they serve in mind, there will be a greater understanding of what needs to happen to acquire and retain a client. As such, you will be spending less time on designing and configuring important workflows, setting up user roles, displays and access permissions, creating reporting and dashboards, and employee training. If that sounds appealing, then an industry-specific CRM is the way to go. Do keep in mind though that you will be paying higher licensing fees for the software, as the SaaS company will need to generate higher revenue for client in order to cater their software toward that particular industry. If that is not an issue, and the increased onboarding time and cost more than makes up for the increased licensing fees, then your business should absolutely consider an industry-specific CRM.