Sales Enablement software has become a crucial tool for businesses to improve their sales and marketing strategies. It provides a centralized content library, presenting, sharing, and analytics to streamline the sales process. However, the question arises: Should you choose ready-made software or custom-develop your own sales tool?
What is Ready-Made and What is Custom-Built Software in General?
Ready-made software is a pre-built solution offered by a third-party vendor that is designed to address a specific need. In contrast, custom-developed software is tailor-made software developed by an organization or outsourced development agency to meet specific requirements. Ready-made software is often offered as software-as-a-service, meaning customers pay for the usage based on how many users or what features are needed.
In this article, we are comparing ready-made Sales Enablement software like Showell with custom-built sales tools that can range anything from a tablet sales app to an extranet portal for dealers.
10 Reasons why Software-as-a-Service is Better than Custom Development
Here are 10 reasons why a ready-made software-as-a-service model is usually the best and most cost-effective choice for companies:
When all factors are considered, ready-made software solutions are usually less expensive in the long run than custom development, as they are sold on a subscription basis and require fewer resources to implement.
2) Faster time-to-value
Ready-made software solutions are available off the shelf, so you can start using them immediately to boost your business without waiting for custom development to be completed, which can take years and waste precious time and resources.
3) Requires fewer human resources to implement and maintain
Custom-developed software requires stronger product ownership after implementation, as the responsibility lies on the owner of the software. With software-as-a-service, the vendor takes on much of the responsibility.
4) Proven reliability and continuous updates
Ready-made software solutions have been thoroughly tested and used by many businesses. They come with regular updates, ensuring that the software is always up-to-date with the latest features and security patches.
5) Lower maintenance costs and risk
Maintenance and development costs of custom-built software cannot be divided between hundreds of customers but must be carried alone. Ready-made software solutions have significantly lower maintenance costs as they are designed to be easy to maintain and update. The vendor carries most of the risk, such as financial risk.
6) Easier to budget accurately
Ready-made software is easier to budget, as costs can be very accurately calculated, and there are no hidden costs due to unexpected issues that often occur with custom-developed software.
7) Easier to use and less training required
Due to the experience gained from multiple existing customers and users, ready-made software solutions are usually easier to use. This means they can be used by a wider range of employees without extensive training.
8) Better integrations out-of-the-box
Ready-made software solutions often offer integration with existing systems, making it easier to incorporate them into your current workflows and processes.
9) Dedicated customer support and customer success
Providing support and customer success services require trained staff and resources, which companies not focused on product development are unlikely to provide. This is also true with an outsourced development agency, as they cannot support tens or hundreds of different software they have developed for different customers.
10) Higher security and fewer bugs
Ready-made software is usually developed over years, so bugs and vulnerabilities are found easier and fixed faster. The vendor often has a process for regular security audits and checks.
Additional Costs and Factors to Consider
Software development is a complex process that involves back-end management tools and servers to run, which can add significant costs to custom software development. Management tools for system administrators, such as content management systems, can be more complex than the front-end interface. Additionally, custom software development requires a robust and secure server infrastructure, which requires special knowledge and skills to operate.
When considering the costs of custom software development, it is important to consider all factors, including:
- Implementation costs of both front-end and back-end software
- Project management
- Advanced features such as analytics and integrations
- Development of new features
- Product ownership (and if the product owner leaves your company)
- Cloud service
Hidden Costs of Custom Development
There are also hidden costs associated with custom software development, such as security audits, SSL certificates, app marketplace annual costs, domain costs, and project management tools. These costs can add up quickly and may not be immediately apparent when considering custom development.
When purchasing software as a service, these costs are divided among all customers, resulting in a lower overall cost. Additionally, many vendors will develop new features at their own risk, with no additional cost to the customer.
Ready-made software solutions often have years of development behind them and have been tested by many businesses. They come with regular updates and support, making them a reliable and cost-effective solution for many businesses.
Questions to consider when choosing between ready-made and custom software
When deciding between ready-made and custom software, there are several factors to consider, such as:
- Can you build a tool from scratch with less money and resources while delivering a working tool in a reasonable time frame?
- How quickly do you want to see the value of the tool? Are you willing to wait months or even years for custom development to be completed?
- Do you have the resources to take ownership and project management roles in a heavy development project?
- How accurately do you need to budget the investment and future maintenance costs?
- How important is usability to you?
- Is it better to divide the investment over a long period of time rather than taking the big cost upfront - and still having to pay
- How important are regular maintenance, support, and security to you?
- How much risk are you willing to take on with custom software development?
By considering these factors, businesses can make an informed decision about whether to choose ready-made software or custom development.