The Pros and Cons of Industry-specific CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a set of strategies and tools used by businesses to track, store and manage information about their leads, prospects, and existing customers. A small business can opt for industry-specific CRM software or make use of general-purpose CRM systems. In this article, we'll discuss the differences between these kinds of CRMs and how to choose the right one for your business.

The Pros and Cons of Industry-specific CRM Software

What is CRM software? 

CRM software is a tool for streamlining the process of managing customer interactions. It can also help with marketing activities such as brand awareness, lead generation, sales or conversions, customer service, upsells, etc. 

Many companies use CRM to store information about their leads and customers. It also makes it easy to keep track of conversations with your customers. Sales reps also use CRM software to determine how best to close a sales deal. 

How can small businesses benefit from a CRM system?

CRM software isn't just for large corporations because it can help small businesses to serve their customers better. For example, you can easily capture and store customer data such as user behavior, purchases, feedback or reviews, etc. The goal of a CRM system is to help you optimize sales and marketing strategies as well as improve customer support or service. 

There are so many benefits of using a CRM in a small business. They include increased sales and customer retention, better productivity and efficiency, centralized database of information, easier lead nurturing, better customer service, etc. It helps to generate customer sales reports with a few clicks. A CRM can also improve internal communications within your business.

What type of CRM for small businesses is best?

The features of CRM software may include contact management, campaign management, salesforce automation, integrations, reporting and dashboard, omnichannel support, etc. But there are two kinds of CRM to choose from. 

A general-purpose CRM can be used by many companies regardless of sector or industry. It offers the necessary sales, marketing, and service features and can easily be integrated with several third-party business applications.

An industry-specific CRM offers specialized features that cater to the needs of a particular industry. They are available for industries such as accounting, hospitality, e-commerce, law firms, healthcare, real estate, insurance, etc. 

Should your small business choose an industry-specific or general-purpose CRM system?

The best CRM for small businesses is one that helps to streamline daily tasks as well as gain a deeper understanding of their customer base. 

You should choose a CRM that can optimize your processes and scale your business faster. 

Pros of a general-purpose CRM

  • Easy to learn
  • Low purchase cost 
  • Many integrations 
  • Flexibility

Cons of a general-purpose CRM

  • Needs industry software
  • Requires a lot of customization

Pros of an industry-specific CRM

  • Highly specialized features 
  • Industry knowledge 
  • Less need for customizations

Cons of an industry-specific CRM

  • Quite expensive 
  • Generic workflows 
  • Limited user roles

What factors should a small business consider when choosing a CRM system? 

Each business is unique and will require a different CRM solution to meet its needs. Industry-specific CRM may, in theory, sound like the best option, but some small businesses could benefit more from a general-purpose CRM system. Here are factors to consider when choosing a CRM for a small business. 

1. Determine your CRM needs

You need to understand what your business requires. If you're looking for basic features such as lead management or salesforce automation, a general-purpose CRM would do. If not, you need a different option for a CRM. 

2. The budget available

CRM software for small businesses needs to be affordable. You need something that can meet your needs without having to break the bank. Your budget helps to determine the right CRM system to choose for your business.

3. Social media capabilities

Social media has become an integral part of marketing for every business. CRM software needs to provide social CRM features. It helps to connect and record conversations with customers on various social media channels.

4. Helpdesk or customer support

Some CRM providers have built-in customer service features while others can easily be integrated with helpdesk software. This helps to respond to support tickets and manage customer relationships on a single platform. 

5. Customizable dashboard

The best CRM for small businesses provides a dashboard for measuring sales and marketing performance. They are usually customizable and you can use charts and graphs to visualize your customer relationship data in real-time.

6. Marketing automation features

Marketing involves a lot of repetitive tasks that are often done manually. With a good CRM, you can automate tasks like email marketing, marketing campaigns, scoring and qualifying leads, tracking sales and marketing KPIs, etc. 

7. Analytics and Reporting

For accurate reporting, you should pick a CRM system that allows you to generate reports. Such analytics can help to measure important metrics in your business. It helps to know what works and what needs to be improved upon. 


General-purpose CRM software provides the necessary tools for optimizing your workflow and managing customer relationships. While an industry-specific CRM offers general and specialized features for specific businesses. It's best to choose a CRM that has what it takes to help your business grow and succeed.