Custom CRM Software Development
CRM (Customer relationship management) software is a helping tool for businesses in several fields, such as marketing, sales, and, of course, customer support. Not only does it allow easy automation of many related processes but also allows increasing revenue and outreach.
According to statistics, a CRM system pays back $8.7 for each dollar spent on it. It is a quite impressive ROI, so it is a tool worth looking into.
In this guide, you’ll learn all about the benefits of this software, when you should build your own CRM system, and how to navigate the custom CRM software development process.
Overall, there are three ways to implement such software in a company’s workflow, namely:
- Out-of-the-box solution. The IT market has a wide variety of available ready to use tools, such as Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, or Zoho. It is the cheapest option yet it comes with a lot of considerations. Such software is made for the mass market so it cannot fulfill your specific needs.
- Customization of ready solution. For example, one can hire a Dynamics 365 development company to customize the existing out-of-box tool. It helps to leave or add only features you need but it can be quite expensive and time-consuming.
- Building CRM for your company specifically. Custom development might not be cheap either, but it allows creating a solution that meets all your requirements and business goals. Building a CRM is the most flexible and efficient option.
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What Custom CRM Development Implies
It doesn’t matter how typical your business might seem, it has its unique goals, way of working with customers, team, and style. An out-of-box solution will never be a fulfilling choice in terms of CRM simply because it wasn’t made for that.
Such software comes with many features that cover the widest variety of companies and industries. The majority of them you probably won’t ever need. But they make the system bulky and not beginner-friendly. Imagine your employees having to scroll through 30 lines every time they need just one button to do the task.
Custom CRM development services ensure that you get only the things you need for your business goals. It provides an opportunity to save customer information and gain insight into the demographics and other stats, which help to cater to them better. You can get analytics on any type of data you need – from website analysis, customer contact points, paid advertising campaigns, and up to new potential audiences.
Customizable CRM software is used for the effective management of client-business relationships on all levels. It is simply a must-have for any company with a growing number of clients.
Here are some statistics to illustrate its popularity:
- CRM software market revenue globally is expected to reach $43,510 billion by 2024.
- 91% of businesses with 10+ employees use CRM.
- Accessible through CRM data shortens the sales cycle by 8-14%, which significantly increases productivity.
- Only 47% of companies that choose out-of-the-box CRM reported a 90% adoption rate. On the contrary, the majority of businesses opting for custom CRM were fully satisfied.
When Building Your Own CRM Is the Best Option
Now, let’s talk about situations when custom CRM software is not only an option but rather a necessity:
- You need particular integrations. Mass market solutions usually work with the most popular systems, but you need your system to integrate with the tools you already use to make it effective. It involves customer databases, serving clients solutions, messengers, email tools, etc. To fit all of them, it is better to opt for custom development.
- You have clear business goals and needs. If you know exactly what you need, it is always best to go custom. It is the sure way to get features that you’ll use and profit from. From support chatbots and to extended analytics – you can get what aligns with the company’s strategy.
- You do not want to pay what you do not need. Generally, providers of out-of-the-box solutions offer up to 4 packages. So if you need just one feature, you are still going to pay for the whole package. And all other things that you do not require come with it and impact the price, of course.
- You want to adopt cloud architecture. CRM development companies offer flexibility that ensures making the tool as you need it. It can include cloud solutions for 24/7 access or the implementation of AI for better analytics.
- You want a unique design and brand identity. Ready-made systems do not have many options when it comes to design. It leads to losing brand identity and spending time and money on employee training if UI is not optimized for your workflow.
If you find yourself in one of these situations, it is better to go for custom CRM software development.
4 Types of CRM Systems
If you decide to build CRM from scratch, you need to have a clear perspective on what such tools offer and what is possible. Typically, customer relationship management software is divided into four types, such as:
1. Operational CRM. If the main goal is to follow marketing, sales, and customer support principles to the digit, this one is a great choice. Such software deals with the automation of routine tasks and allows watching all things happen via dashboards.
2. Strategic CRM. This customized CRM puts the customer at the core of the business activity. It is based on client-oriented culture and ensures building trustful and long-term relationships with buyers. It is all about as much data on buyers as possible as they go through the sales funnel. This data is used to optimize the operations with this client and fit offers accordingly.
3. Analytical CRM. Companies that are interested in CRM software development with higher insight into buyers’’ behavior opt for this one. It collects data from various sources and offers a wide range of analytical tools to interpret it. It helps to make number-based decisions when it comes to marketing campaigns or paid advertising.
4. Collaborative CRM. If you want to build a custom CRM that ensures effective cooperation between different departments in your company, this type is suitable. It connects support staff, as well as marketers, sales representatives, HR, etc. All types of data on buyers are exchanged between departments easily and fast.
The Functionality of Custom CRM Solutions
Depending on the goals and processes an organization wants to achieve or optimize, they may choose various functions available. There are many of them, so we’ll name the major ones.
- Contact management. Collects and stores data on clients, like location, age, gender, history of purchase, transactions, etc.
- Performance management. This feature allows evaluating and estimating the performance of employees, whether it is tech support or sales team. For example, one can view the number of sales, leads, client satisfaction, and customer retention.
- Communication management. The main benefit of this function is to offer the most comfortable and suitable communication channels to clients. It can be an email, phone call, text message, social media message, etc.
- Opportunity management offers deep insight into the sales funnel and buyer’s journey. One can see the activity of website visitors, how long they stay on the page or when they leave. It helps to understand why and when people behave a certain way to optimize the sales funnel accordingly.
- Order management helps to simplify all things related to orders.It keeps all the records, from payments to refunds. There is also data on delivery and packaging to make sure everything goes smooth, fast, and without any mistakes,
- Document management. This feature allows creating, editing, and storing of documents among different departments of the organization. It can be integrated with Google Docs or MS Office. Overall, it simplifies collaboration and also keeps logs of who has made changes to what document and when.
- Marketing information management. This part of functionality covers everything related to marketing, from gathering respective data up to managing campaigns and paid advertising.
- Forecasting ability is extremely useful to make conclusions on expected sales and profits based on sales reports.
Custom CRM Development Cost
When it comes to CRM development, the numbers fluctuate a lot. Such a project can cost from $30,000 to $400,000 and beyond. So it is extremely hard to make a general estimation. Simply because the cost of building CRM from scratch depends on several important factors, like:
- Functional Profile. The crucial price contributor is functionality. The more complex system is going to be, the higher the estimation will be from a CRM software development company. It is pretty simple as any additional feature requires more time and effort. The simple systems are usually pretty affordable, but an advanced tool like AI implementation will be more costly.
- CRM Software Design. The amount of time devoted to the design of the system is the next price contributor. Of course, one might go for a simple version to reduce costs. But it is worth noting that user-friendly interfaces allow employees to learn to use the tool faster and work more efficiently.
- Custom Development. This factor means that a CRM development company decides on how much they charge for hourly rates, for example. There are plenty of service providers out there that have different prices that depend on the level of specialists, location, experience, etc. That’s why a lot of businesses go for outsourcing – it significantly reduces costs due to lower programmer rates.
- Support and Maintenance. Any working system needs maintenance and some support in case of any issues. It is always great to work with a provider who can do prompt support as well.
- CRM Mobile Application. A system can be developed as a desktop tool, web app, or mobile app. This implies a different amount of effort and time.
The price will depend on the requirements and expectations a company has and the service provider they decide to work with.
7 Steps to Build Your Own CRM System
Given you decide to build your own CRM, where do you start? It all begins with requirements, of course. The whole process can be divided into 7 steps, and here is what it looks like.
Step 1. Collecting requirements
It is all about finding out what goals, requirements, and functions you want to meet. It is better to work with one or more representatives from each department that is going to be involved in using the tool.
The requirements need to address:
- Commercial goals and strategies;
- Legal issues (when it comes to customer data there are some local and international legal restrictions (GDPR);
- Functional requirements (features you want to have as well as quality expected – speed, security, integrations);
- CRM type (operational, analytic, collaboration, communication, or a hybrid);
- Software specifications (based on tools and software it should interact with or integrate).
When all of this information is collected, you’ll get a pretty clear idea of what the prospective system will look like.
Step 2. Analysis
Analyze what should be the primary tasks and features and find a reliable service provider. You probably do not have internal resources to build custom CRM internally or they are busy with other tasks. So it is time to find a partner, a software development provider, which will do that for you.
Consider candidates according to their industry and technology expertise, experience, portfolio, feedback, and rates.
Step 3. Product design
At this stage you and your partner in development work on the design of the solution. Depending on goals, requirements, and business model, the architecture of the tool should elegantly connect everything. After the approval of functional design (UX) comes the question of UI (interface).
Step 4. Development
Here come developers that write code, which will make the agreed design a reality. They work according to the roadmap and deadlines.
Step 5. QA and Testing
It can happen simultaneously with development, after each sprint or stage. Alternatively, the whole tool can be tested altogether after all coding is done. QA is conducted by the provider internally and by your representatives. You need to verify that all requirements are met, and testers eliminate any bugs or possible errors.
Step 6. Deployment
It is probably the most existing part – the deployment (launch) of the system. It goes live and your employees can access it and start working. It is especially important to closely monitor the performance during and sometime after the launch to make sure everything goes as planned.
Step 7. Maintenance
Now all is done and running; all it takes is maintenance. It ensures that any issues or errors are promptly resolved. This step might include bug fixing, stability improvement, or monitoring of performance. It is possible to add new features as well. And ensure integration with a new tool or new operating system updates.
Roles and Responsibilities of CRM Software Developers
CRM developers are highly-skilled specialists that specialize in such systems. Some of them work on out-of-the-box software; others are busy with creating custom solutions. Based on the frameworks and environments they work in, their technical skills will be different. To put it simply – the job in most cases is domain-specific for CRM programmers.
The responsibilities of CRM developers include:
- Participate in meeting with clients or stakeholder representatives;
- Product design, knowledge of best practices when it comes to CRM UX and UI;
- Configuration and implementation of CRM functional modules and applications;
- Development of functional modules and applications;
- Implementation of custom business logic to meet clients’ unique needs;
- CRM integration with different tools, platforms, or messengers;
- Migration of data or apps to CRM;
- Creation of custom workflows and user stories;
- Development of specific dashboards or analytical reports for the system;
- Database management;
- Updating, maintaining and supporting the system.
The roles differ according to the experience of professionals, from junior to senior developers and team leads and system architects.
Senior CRM Developer Resume Sample
Mobilunity – Trusted Vendor in Ukraine
Mobilunity is a Ukrainian outstaffing company with 10+ of experience in the provision of dedicated development teams. We know exactly how to find the best suitable developers or CRM consultants for your custom CRM project. We help international businesses to enjoy high-quality services of Ukrainian IT talent as well as reasonable rates.
We’ve been voted among the TOP 10 of the Best CRM Consulting Companies according to SuperbConpanies.com. That’s why we are confident that we can help you with any type of unique requirements and goals you have the same way we already helped our clients. Among them are Finexpert (Canada), Byg-E (Denmark), Zenchef (France), Network of Arts (Switzerland), and many others.
Our team knows all ins and outs of custom CRM development and is happy to share their knowledge with you.
FAQ About CRM:
Q: How long does it take to build a CRM?
It depends on the functionality and design of the solution and can take from a couple of months to a year and more.
- Tailor-made software. You decide what you need and what you pay for
- Automation of the workflow
- Centralized data collection, storage, and updating
- Increased collaboration between sales, marketing, and support departments
- Customers analytics and insights
- Scalable and flexible solution
Q: How much does it cost to build your own CRM?
The final costs depend on many factors, such as functionality, design, tech stack, and service provider. It can be anything between $40,000 and $400,000 and beyond.
Q: What are the benefits of building your own CRM?
Custom CRM is the most flexible solution as it is built to meet your business needs. The benefits are: