A CRM is an important tool that can help you streamline your processes and boost profitability. A good CRM is flexible enough to adapt to whatever you need it to do: track which leads are converting to customers, automate tasks, learn which activities are driving sales, deliver better customer service, etc. All in an intuitive way that makes the most of automation.

Deciding which CRM to choose can be daunting, because each platform has a variety of capabilities and a spectrum of usability. In this post, we’ll look at three of the most popular CRM platforms: Salesforce, Hubspot, and FileMaker-based, to help you decide which is best for your business.

But before considering various CRM and what they have to offer, be sure to document your processes so you know exactly what you need. You don’t want to end up with a solution that doesn’t allow you to perform essential tasks. Only you know what capabilities your CRM should have, based on your company’s operational processes and your plans for growth.


With 19.6% of market share, and with 84% of Fortune 500 companies being customers of Salesforce, there’s no doubt that Salesforce is the leader in an industry with hundreds of competitors. Salesforce’s product is as robust as the company itself — it can do just about anything you want it to do. While basic functionality is quite affordable, the price rises for more robust functionality. And customization is expensive. Maintaining a customized system is a task in and of itself. Many companies using Salesforce have a dedicated Salesforce administrator for the job.

Pros and Cons of Salesforce

  • Higher-tiered versions of the product are exceptionally robust, and the system can be customized to do nearly anything you like.
  • It’s difficult and expensive to customize. If you need a lot of customization, even as a larger company, the ROI on a Salesforce customization is relatively low.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is beautifully-designed and incredibly intuitive. Basic functionality is free, allowing small businesses to get started on the CRM without risk. The Starter solution, which allows you to create templates, schedule meetings via a link, and and create email sequences, among other things, is affordably-priced. Higher-priced packages offer additional reporting, customized send items, and other functionality.

Pros and Cons of HubSpot

  • It’s intuitive, easy to use, and well-designed. If you use HubSpot’s technology stack, it offers automation integration.
  • It isn’t customizable. It allows you to create custom deal stages and contact properties, but doesn’t provide a way to add functionality of any kind.

FileMaker-based CRMs

FileMaker is a Workplace Innovation Platform — a “low-code/no-code” platform that makes it possible for developers to create software with minimal programming. This means that you can create a custom CRM quickly and affordably. For even faster development, you can customize an existing FileMaker-based CRM, such as Jarvis CRM.

Pros and Cons of FileMaker-based CRM

  • FileMaker-based CRMs can be customized and deployed quickly, at an affordable cost.
  • FileMaker doesn’t currently operate on Android operating systems, however, so if you need to use your CRM on Android devices, you’ll want to consider other options.

Advantages of Building Your Own CRM in FileMaker

If an out-of-the-box CRM won’t do what you need it to, it makes a lot of sense to build your own custom CRM on the FileMaker platform. With FileMaker, you can affordably build exactly what your team needs for the functions they perform. You can even add ERP functionality to your FileMaker-based solution. Companies and organizations in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing and healthcare, use FileMaker to create full-featured software solutions. Here are just a few advantages of building a custom CRM using FileMaker.

1. Stay Cost-Efficient

Since building a custom solution with FileMaker is much faster than building a custom solution from scratch, it’s also more cost-efficient. Even if you hire an outsourced development team, you’ll be spending less to create a completely bespoke system than you would to customize an out-of-the-box system. Small businesses and mid-size companies can benefit from creating a custom system that they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

2. Deploy Quickly

Traditional custom development — even when customizing an out-of-the-box system — can take years. Since FileMaker allows rapid development, solutions can be built quickly, delivering ROI at an accelerated pace.

3. Integrate with Nearly Any Other System

Your FileMaker-based solution can integrate with nearly any app or web service through REST APIs. You can also create live, 2-way connections with your databases using Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and IBM DB2 to access and manipulate data.

4. Iterate and Improve with Analytics and Reporting

FileMaker makes it easy to dig deep into analytics and quickly spot trends with robust reporting. With your FileMaker-based CRM, you can easily manipulate your data, look at it from a variety of angles, and use it to inform complex decisions. Built-in tools allow you to quickly create summary reports, colorful charts, and executive dashboards to share with your team.

5. Grow with Ease

Many out-of-the-box CRM systems present scalability issues. You may discover that the functionality which served you just fine when your company was smaller is no longer sufficient now that your operations are more complex. With most out-of-the-box systems, when you outgrow existing capability, you have to start over with a new system or take on the expense of customizing your system via traditional development. With a FileMaker-based system, you can easily and affordably update and expand it to meet your changing needs.

Consider FileMaker-based Jarvis CRM

A good place to start with a custom FileMaker-based solution is Jarvis CRM. Jarvis is a full-featured and fully-customizable business solution that can be used on desktops, mobile devices, and the web. It runs on Windows, Mac, iOS, and in a web browser. Jarvis has many features that make it a perfect fit for companies that need a customized CRM or even a combination CRM/ERP solution because it’s both flexible and easy to modify.

Want to learn more about Jarvis CRM? Request a free demo.