Opportunities abound in verticals and ecosystems, and that’s where future CRM-er’s should invest time and treasure.

– Denis Pombriant, CRM industry researcher, 2017

CRM companies over the past few years have been realizing that there is a need for highly specialized CRMs. We’ll start seeing CRMs specific to such industries as eCommerce, Field Service, and Real Estate. In fact, it’s likely that within 5 -10 years, CRMs will no longer come standalone at all, but as a part of industry specific solutions.”

– Capterra, 2017

SaaS vertical is growing faster than horizontal SaaS, as industry-specific features are demanded by more businesses.

– FinancesOnline.Com, 2016

Within 5 years, vertical CRMs will be the preferred CRM choice for all businesses.”

– Forrester, 2017

It’s not hard to read the signs. Gartner anticipates that the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) market will be worth $40 billion by the end of 2018. If you have dreams of becoming a CRM entrepreneur, now is the right time to act. Vertical solutions are becoming increasingly popular, (reasons for which are described below), and you may not need to sell an arm and a leg for building one.

It’s fairly common knowledge that every business owner today should be using CRM software. But most CRMs sold today are horizontal, meaning they are designed to be a one-stop solution for every business process. This conveniently overlooks the fact that each business process is unique, and requires special attention. Diligently-crafted processes tend to get thrown askew when a bloated, one-size-fits-all CRM is shoved into their midst. Even if the best CRMs have a ton of powerful features, what use are they if a business process doesn’t need them?

The solution is clear: vertical CRMs. Vertical CRMs are created by industry experts, and they are unique to each sector. With precise terminology and workflows, vertical CRMs are designed to automate each industry’s processes. The potential for financial gain is high, as industries like solar energy, real estate, insurance, and more are quickly recognizing the need for specific, in-depth cloud applications for their business. Forrester analyst Kate Leggett recently concluded in a report that, “Within 5 years, vertical CRMs will be the preferred CRM choice for all businesses.”

But, wouldn’t that require a huge investment?

As with any business, an important factor you’ll have to consider is the initial investment needed. Fortunately, the costs of building a vertical CRM are significantly lower if you build it on top of a great all-in-one CRM, with an established market presence. Here’s why:

  • You don’t need to hire a team of developers to build a solution from scratch.
  • You don’t have to possess a lot of technical expertise, as all the features have already been honed.
  • It doesn’t take much time, either. All you need to do is use your imagination and industry sector knowledge to assemble an application that works wonderfully with established processes.
  • Your brand is brought into the spotlight by partnering with a popular, world-class CRM. Leads will flow to your pipeline with minimal marketing efforts.

And of course, it makes sense to build your vertical application on a powerful, cloud-based platform that offers you completely free developer access.

Here’s where Zoho comes into the picture. By using our Developer Console, you can build verticals on top of the award-winning Zoho CRM, and gain market traction by publishing it on our Marketplace with over 35 million customers. We have a growing ecosystem of developers who have built solutions for the Real Estate industry, Insurance industry, and the Automotive industry, just to name a few. If you’re an industry expert, or just a person who loves coding (or both! ), you don’t want to let this chance pass you by.

Great! Where do I start?

You can dive right in by completing our free online Vertical App Development course. With step-by-step explanations through slides, and hands-on exercises, you can start building your industry-specific solution right away. Of course, don’t hesitate to ask for our help, if you need it.

Nothing haunts us quite like a missed opportunity. Capitalize on the exponential demand for vertical solutions right away.

Jaanu Surendran
Product Marketer | Zoho Developer