It Can Be a Mistake to Build It Yourself

January 26, 2017 Mark Emmons

We’re talking about designing your own lead management solution. And, yes, maybe that headline is a little provocative. Operations professionals and software developers don’t like to be told that they shouldn’t do something. They are smart innovators who love the challenge of overcoming difficult problems.

That explains their well-deserved sense of confidence about devising hacks around any problem in their Go-To-Market strategy. Why buy something from a vendor when you can just build it yourself?

Sure, you definitely could put together an interim solution yourself. But would that really be the best long-term fix? You might be a good handyman. Yet do you want to take on repiping an entire house when you can rely on someone who specializes in big plumbing jobs?

Sophisticated lead management doesn’t lend itself to a do-it-yourself solution. It’s much more complicated and time-consuming than it might appear. It's a problem that scales exponentially in complexity as your business expands and can become a bottleneck for growth.

So with that in mind, we humbly present these 10 reasons why you shouldn’t build your own lead routing solution.

  1. Leads are the lifeblood of every organization. Do you really want to trust what drives revenue for your company to a workaround? You should rely on someone who lives and breathes lead management.
  2. Whatever you build is going to be frozen in time. It’s never going to evolve and grow as your company changes . . . at least not without constant maintenance. That means dedicating even more time and resources.
  3. There’s no customer support when you build internally. If something goes wrong — and isn’t it Murphy’s Law that there will always be something? — there won’t be a trusted resource available that has solved every conceivable lead management problem. You want someone who truly can be held accountable for your lead management process.
  4. A single developer — or even a small team of developers — is not going to get feedback from hundreds of customers on improvements that keep your lead management process on the cutting edge.
  5. A sharp developer on your team builds a workable solution. Great. But what happens if and when that person leaves the company? The knowledge also walks out the door.
  6. Lead management is the foundation of a technology stack. There’s no such thing as a small modification when it comes to lead flow. The slightest change can lead to unintended consequences throughout the rest of your stack. Your “simple” internal project might very well result in a chain reaction of troubling problems.
  7. Why re-invent the wheel? It makes no sense investing time and resources into building something that might be “good enough” when there’s already a solution that always gets every lead to its proper place. “We’ve been at it a long time and we’re constantly fine-tuning the matching engine,” said Kelvin Cheung, co-founder and chief technical officer for LeanData. “This is core to what we do. We’ve seen multiple companies that have tried, and we’ve come out on top every time.”
  8. You may think building something internally is cheaper. But how much more money will be left on the table when not every lead is getting to the right sales rep for follow-up?
  9. Consulting firms may claim they can maintain something you have built. Maybe, maybe not. But how many billable hours will be charged for every tweak they make?
  10. Is this really how your operations/developer talent should be focused? “Do you want to pull people away from other initiatives that are important to your business?” said Hendrick Lee, LeanData’s vice president of product.

The reality is that whenever someone builds industry-best software, it’s always going to be better than an in-house solution. And when it comes to lead management, it’s deceptively difficult to get leads to the right place so a business can craft the best customer experience. Do it wrong, and you’ll be leaving deals hanging out to dry.

That’s why if you really want to be adventurous, maybe you should consider something less ambitious than building this yourself. You know, like maybe climbing a mountain.


About the Author

Mark Emmons

Mark Emmons is the staff writer at LeanData. He previously was a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, Orange County Register and Detroit Free Press. He can be reached at

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