6 reasons to use specialist CRM and survey management software

As a surveyor, you’ll specialise in providing services where you have the knowledge, expertise and competence to provide those services. You’ll focus on advising customers in certain locations and for a small number of job types. You won’t provide residential and commercial services of all types in all locations. Why? Because you won’t be able to provide the best service you can. 

It’s the same for your surveying software. A system that promises to do everything for you might sound like a good thing. But instead of being a simple one-stop shop, there are several pitfalls that you must consider. An all-in-one system can, in some cases, offer some benefits. 

However, unless your surveying software supplier are a major multinational provider that has purchased specialist firms to merge in their software or spent billions building a product, the realities of an all-in-one solution can be that they suffer from different limitations and end up holding your business back. Even in this example, often large systems don’t work that well as they take on too many areas.

Selecting an all-in-one solution can end up being a major headache and limiting factor in your business versus using systems designed to be the best at that task. Just like using a surveyor who tries to cover every job type, in every location. They might be good for some services, but their skillset won’t be as good as a surveyor that specialises in that area.



6 downsides with general purpose or all in one software systems

A. Limited functionality

All-in-one software systems are designed to offer a wide range of features and capabilities, but this often comes at the cost of limited functionality in each area. Just think of a department store. They stock a little bit of everything across home furnishings, fashion, technology, food and more, but none of their product ranges are as good and varied as shops that focus on just one of those areas. You tend to get ideas at the department store and then go somewhere that offers a better range.  

Looking more directly at software, an all-in-one system that tries to cover all bases may not offer the same level of functionality in each area as a dedicated system can. There is a reason why Xero and Quickbooks haven’t also moved into payment processing and instead link with leading payment processing providers and vice versa. 

You want to use software that is designed to be the best it can be for a particular problem. Think of an orchestra. You have specialist sections for each part – the strings, the woodwinds, the brass and the percussion. The result at the end is a beautiful piece of music with lots of subtle layers of sound adding to an intricate piece. Alternatively, you can listen to a one-man band, where the person plays the drums, keyboard and harmonica. All the parts are there, but it gives you a very different end result and is much more limited in the range of music that can be played.  Good specialist systems will integrate with each other providing you the benefits of a specialist system with the feeling that they are part of one.

Feature requests can also be slow to implement across an all-in-one solution. A business only has so many resources available and can’t develop every part of its system in one go. Whilst one part might be getting better, the other parts are simply on hold. Meanwhile, each specialist system you could be using is moving forward and could be helping to catapult your business success. 

Survey Booker specialises in providing sales and surveying management features to help you optimise your business processes from being more efficient to improving compliance. We integrate with the leading systems in each area from payment processing to report writing so you can easily and seamlessly use the best software without lifting a finger. Check out our full list of integrations

Source: Wikipedia

B. Single point of failure

In any business, you want to reduce the number of single points of failure. A single point of failure is a part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from working. Single points of failure are undesirable in any system with a goal of high availability or reliability, be it a business practice, software application, or other industrial system. 

In your business, if you are using an all-in-one software system and it fails, your entire business is halted until the provider can get their system operational again. The all-in-one system becomes your single point of failure in your business. 

This can be extremely stressful and disruptive for you, your team and your customers if you have no access to any data at all from enquiries to diaries. How do you know which appointment you are going to if you can’t log in? How do you answer customer queries and how do you operate if you can’t access any data?

By putting all your eggs in one basket, you increase your risk that if there is a failure with the system, you don’t have any options to keep your business operational until that system comes back online. By using a small number of specialist systems, you can ensure your business can continue to operate instead of being completely shut down until it comes back online.

Survey Booker is your single source of truth for every job, but through our integrations, we can ensure you have data available in other systems you use automatically. We’re also ISO 27001 certified ensuring we have robust processes in place to keep our system available. 

C. Scalability

All-in-one software systems can be useful for small businesses, but they may not be as scalable. As your business grows, whether through the range of services being offered, the number of staff you take on, your customer base and more, the features and level of flexibility you need increase. This is where more specialised software solutions can help you meet your unique needs and offer the level of customisation you want rather than having to implement workarounds. An all-in-one system may not be able to accommodate how you want to scale, leading to inefficiencies and reduced productivity.

It’s important to choose a system that can scale with you as a business. You need to plan for where you are going to be, not just what works for you right now. Moving data or retraining your team on a new system is disruptive so planning and investing for the long term is your key to success.

Survey Booker works with surveying firms of all sizes, building in detailed settings to help you achieve the customisation you want. 

D. Cost

All-in-one software systems often come with a higher price tag than individual software solutions. Whether that’s a high subscription cost or a high cost per use. This can make them unaffordable for some businesses, particularly small or startup companies that may not have the budget for a very extensive system covering sales, job management, accounting, HR, marketing and more. 

Why are they expensive? Development, security and testing all cost a lot of money. To build a full suite of solutions that covers any area of any business is extremely expensive. 

This also means you’ll either be paying for features you simply don’t need or you may still need to pay for other specialist solutions to work alongside your all-in-one solution that offers a more in-depth feature base.

If they’re cheaper, this could indicate that there is a lack of functionality, or that development of features over time will be slower and less flexible, leaving your business lagging behind the competition. 

E. Integration and connectivity

Your all-in-one software will never be able to do everything. There is a reason that specialist systems exist for so many different areas of business. You may have some existing processes in your business. This could be where processes are working well, are efficient and you want to be able to use that alongside your new software. As you scale some of the software you might want to invest in for your team are:

  • CRM – to manage your sales more effectively
  • Lead generation – you need to integrate any lead source from comparison sites to your website and anything else.
  • Survey and team management – to book jobs and update customers effectively
  • Report writing software – if you offer more services, can that software adapt or do you need to use different report writing systems suited to different report types?
  • Accounting/invoicing software – your accountant will have a preference on what helps them to effectively create and produce your accounts and financial reports
  • HR software – for managing employee contracts, holidays and more. 
  • Payments – there are lots of ways to take payments, can you integrate the options you want?
  • Call software – automatically start and/or log inbound and outbound calls to create a more complete job record and management reports.
  • Emails and calendars – whilst an app might provide a great internal calendar, you may prefer to have it saved elsewhere too.

Good specialist systems will integrate with the different software you use. This might sound daunting but usually, this is all built in the background for you so you won’t need to do any coding or understand how it works. You just confirm you want the systems to connect and away you go. This makes them feel like an all-in-one as updating one system updates the other, but without having any of the risks of using an all-in-one option. 

F. Performance

Software is an ever-evolving product. Use cases change, your needs change and the product needs to move with you. If your supplier is moving in a different direction to you, the customer service isn’t what you’d hoped for or the performance of the system drops over time, you can be left feeling frustrated. 

If the system is used to power every aspect of your business, this feeling is compounded. You’re now left with a decision to stick with that system and put up with its pitfalls or review how you migrate your whole business elsewhere. When using products that specialise in one area, it’s much less disruptive to move on if you aren’t happy with performance or you want to take your business in another direction.

Other considerations you should have from your surveying software provider:



Check what security credentials a supplier has. Cybersecurity is a really important topic in today’s world. Any statements made about security should be backed up with certifications. Cyber Essentials Plus (not Cyber Essentials) should be seen as a minimum requirement but the internationally recognised standard for software security is ISO 27001 and is what you should be looking for from a trusted partner. This means a company is audited for both the software and general company security policies every year to confirm that they meet certain standards. Many other standards simply require self-certifying that certain standards are in place. Whilst no certification can guarantee there won’t ever be an issue, external certifications prove that your supplier is taking data security seriously and that you can put your customer data in trusted hands.

Survey Booker is ISO 27001 certified and audited annually by BSI as well as other auditors to ensure that we are correctly implementing security controls. Many firms may make claims about their security, but check what credentials are actually in place to evidence this. It’s like someone saying they are a surveyor without being part of any surveying body. 



How long has your provider been around for? Most new businesses fail in the first few years. You don’t want to centre your business around an unproven system that may not be around in a few months. That’s a lot of data and compliance you’ll need to manage if that business goes under and it’s locked into that system with no backup options. If your system is an all-in-one, the impact and risk is even greater. Survey Booker supports customers across the surveying industry from sole traders to the largest enterprise. Check out our homepage to see just some of the customers who trust us every day to power their business. 



Examples of specialist systems that integrate:

There are a whole host of specialist software systems available that integrate to provide the best of all worlds:

  •  Xero/Quickbooks specialise in accounting software but not processing payments
  • Stripe / Opayo specialise in processing payments but not accounting
  • SignRequest focuses on e-signatures but not general letters and emails
  • Lead generation sites focus on generating you leads, not on conversion software
  • SMS providers focus on SMS communication but not emails 
  • VoIP providers focus on phone calls and not SMS 
  • Survey Booker specialises in sales and survey management and connects into other specialist systems that give you the best of everything you need. 
By focusing on their specialist areas, you have systems that provide you exactly what you need and the best-in-class functionality. 



Choosing a provider shouldn’t be rushed. You need to consider a range of factors to make sure that the system you use provides the long-term benefits you need, not just the features for right now. This is even more important for your CRM, which is your single source of truth for all data related to each job. Before committing to any system, stop and pause to look at what you need now, what you are likely to need in the coming months and years and if the provider you are looking at can support you right now and in the longer term. If you want your business to be the best in class you need to focus on being the best at the services you offer. And to support you, you need to use systems that specialise to offer you the best options now and in the future. 

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