August 1, 2017

3 Ways Integration-Rich Solutions are Superior to All-in-One Products

Written by
Jacqueline Phillips
Tags: CRM

Searching for software can get exhausting quickly: one minute, you’re enthusiastic to build your new sales stack and the next, you’re drowning in bells and whistles and have signed up for one trial too many.

Even with awesome resources like Technology Advice to narrow the search down considerably, there can still be an overwhelming amount of great options to choose from. Working at amoCRM, I’ve found that a lot of potential clients are burned out by the time they contact us — they’ve compared and contrasted features from several products and still feel lost. By that point, considering integrations can seem like one chore too many, and it’s very tempting to just forget everything and grab an all-in-one solution and be done with it.

But that’s a mistake.

Yes, it seems like a lot more effort to find a product that fits your business and pairs with good integrations, but when all is said and done, choosing an integration-rich solution (plus its integrations) actually takes less time and money than going with a piece of do-it-all software. Here’s why:

1. Finding a great all-in-one takes forever

On the surface, it’s easier to make one transaction. That’s true — you don’t have to search for all those integrations or figure out how to install them. However, for most businesses, finding a unicorn is easier than finding a solution that can fit all their needs and do it well!

All that saved time is not actually saved at all. It will be wasted when you find out that the built-in tools that replace integrations don’t work very well. Or when you find out your team secretly isn’t even using the solution. Instead, you’ll have much more success investing some time in tracking down an integration-friendly solution that gives you the freedom to plug in your must-have apps.

Additionally, if you decide to change the solution down the road, you can switch it for another integration-rich solution and never stop using your favorite integrations. Alternatively, if you swap an all-in-one for an all-in-one, you have to learn to use a whole new set of integration replacements and figure out how to import all your data.

2. All-in-one solutions have hidden costs

Intuitively, you would guess that an all-in-one solution would cost less than the handful of integrations that would drain your budget every month. But this is a bias that affects all kinds of bundled versus a la carte purchase scenarios. It’s why so many people hate budget airlines. When you’re used to regular airlines hiding the cost of peanuts in the ticket price, then being asked by a low-cost airline to pay $3 for a pack seems outrageous — even if your ticket was $3 cheaper. So despite what your gut tells you, paying a la carte is usually the better option because:

  • You only pay for what you want to buy, nothing else
  • You see exactly how much you’re paying

The same goes for software. When you’re subscribing to an all-in-one solution, the price is often higher because you’re paying for a package that includes services you don’t use.

3. Doing more means sacrificing

In today’s market, companies have to keep innovating to survive. They face fierce pressure to hold their own against an increasing number of direct competitors. But on top of managing that, all-in-one solutions need to boast high-quality integration replacements as well. This means they also need to pour resources into competing with the integrations themselves. So, if they’re offering their own built-in storage, their replacement needs to stand up against rivals like Dropbox and Google Drive. It’s not an easy task, and it takes a lot of resources — resources that could be better spent on the core product.

Simply put, there’s a good reason civilization developed job specialization. When you focus on mastering one thing, you can provide it much more efficiently and at a higher quality. After all, a Swiss army knife doesn’t stand a chance against a carving knife.

Your ROI will speak for itself

Even though all-in-one solutions offer the alluring temptation to be done with your search, don’t take the bait. Down the road, you may not be getting the returns you expected. Nothing erodes your potential return on investment for a piece of software quite like low adoption rates. If your team isn’t using it, you’ve wasted time and money, especially if they’ve kept it secret from you.

While it’s counterintuitive, in total, integration-rich products usually take less time to implement and also cost less than all-in-one solutions. But even more importantly, integration-rich products don’t try to do too much. They concentrate all their efforts on developing their core product and pair up with other high-quality products that do the same. This gives you, the end user, the freedom to choose exactly which products work best for you and your team for a transparent price.

Looking for the right software for your business? Contact one of TechnologyAdvice’s Tech Advisors to find the best solution for your business needs. Don’t feel like talking to anyone? Use the product selection tool to find software comparisons and read reviews. 

Jacqueline Phillips is a sociologist by education and a marketer by trade. She’s currently on a quest to show small sales teams the awesome power of amoCRM. As a huge lover of design, she spends her free time building her illustration skills.