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blog | November 13, 2018

Pros and Cons of Best of Breed and Centralized CRM Systems

It is becoming a popular trend for companies looking for an CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software solution to select multiple vendors rather than just one, which is known as...

By Courtney Perry

It is becoming a popular trend for companies looking for an CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software solution to select multiple vendors rather than just one, which is known as the Best of Breed option. Best of Breed occurs, for example, when a company picks one CRM system to handle the email marketing, another CRM to handle sales prospecting, and another CRM for customer service. This allows them to pick the best of the best for each area, rather than settling for one CRM, which may have strengths and weaknesses. Although this sounds ideal on paper as there are many pros, there are also many cons to this method, as there are to one centralized solution as well. Let’s take a closer look at these pros and cons to see what the best fit for you may be.

Best of Breed CRM


Best functionality. Using a different CRM to cover different parts of the business, you can maximize output by selecting the absolute best system to meet your goals. This will make employees happy and make you more money. The improvement in processes should be very noticeable.

Not tied to single provider. Having Best of Breed allows you to not be stuck with any one vendors. Should one raise prices or go out of business, you still have the other two which you can likely add on to either permanently or temporarily. Also, you are still okay in the other departments if one fails as it will only affect that part of the business, while the other are still going strong.


IT requirements are higher. Any time you have multiple software vs one software, the requirements to maintain the systems are higher. In addition, it would require three different data migrations and configurations. This also brings the need to train on three systems as well as have maintenance on all of them. Should you wish to integrate any of these systems as well, that will come with a price tag and additional time and resources needed.

Less affordable. You are paying multiple times over for the same thing, but it is on three different systems. Given these are three smaller instances as opposed to one large one, the CRM vendors are likely to charge a higher overall price so that they can still make a profit.

Centralized CRM


Easier to set up and maintain. When choosing one CRM to handle multiple parts of the business, it becomes easier because you only need to do one of everything. One data migration and configuration, one training of employees on the system, and only one maintenance to worry about.

Less overall cost. Rather than pay for three instances, you only pay for one. In addition, the extra costs for any customization, training employees, and data migration become significantly less. It is far easier to train employees on one system rather than three.


Not best functionality in all areas. With a centralized CRM, you may have the best in an area or two, but then you are sacrificing the best in others. It may not be bad, but it is still not as good as another out there is. So, there may or may not be a big drop off, but it is still not ideal although it is a common reality.

Tied to one CRM provider.

Although it is more cost efficient, you are stuck with one CRM provider for better or worse. So, if they decide to raise prices, make poor updates, or their system goes down, you are out of luck. To maintain the system, you are forced to pay and adjust to their changes rather than have leverage with multiple options.



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