Crafting a Custom CRM Platform: What You Need to Know
Use the power of custom CRM development to build software tailored to your business needs
Custom CRM (Customer Relationship Management) softwareis one that is built specifically for your company. It can include features and functionality that are tailored to your needs and the way you do business.
Think of a custom CRM as a "base camp" upon which all of your business activity will take place. Everything from customer data capture to pipeline management can be housed on your custom CRM system.
This gives you complete control over how your CRM operates and the ability to make changes as needed. You're not limited to the functionality that comes pre-packaged with an off-the-shelf CRM solution, and you can add whatever features you like as your business grows and evolves.
Benefits of custom CRM development
The benefits of a custom CRM are many. For starters, a custom CRM solution is tailored to fit your specific business needs and your unique workflows. It is also designed to be intuitive and easy to use so that your team will actually want to use it. And since it's custom-made, it can be integrated with other systems and applications that you're already using, making data management and reporting easier than ever.
In addition, custom CRM software often has features that are not found in generic CRM systems. This gives a company a competitive edge by allowing it to do things that its competitors cannot do. Furthermore, a custom CRM system can be updated and modified as the company's needs change, ensuring that the system always meets its current requirements.
Another advantage of custom CRM is that you own the software. This means that you have complete control over your data and the features/functionality of your CRM. You're never at the mercy of another company's decisions or changes—which can be really important when your business has to quickly adapt to market needs.
To sum up the benefits of custom CRM software development, here is what you will get:
1. Increased efficiency. A custom CRM is designed specifically for your business, making it more efficient and tailored to your needs than off-the-shelf options.
2. Improved customer relations. With detailed customer data at your fingertips, you can provide better, more personalized service that strengthens customer relationships.
3. Enhanced sales and marketing. A custom CRM can help you track leads and sales activity, as well as identify marketing opportunities.
4. Greater insight into operations. Detailed reporting capabilities give you a clear picture of how your business is performing, so you can make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts.
5. Increased productivity. With a custom CRM automating many tasks, employees can spend their time more productively on higher-value activities.
Common features in a custom CRM
When you build a custom CRM, you can include any features you like to manage customers more effectively.
Some of the most common features of CRM are as follows:
Customer database. This contains information like contact details, purchase history, complaints history, and more.
Customer support. This module provides a comprehensive ticketing system to allow customer care managers to receive and respond to customer queries in a timely manner.
Sales tracking. Here the managers can trace customers through the sales pipeline and understand what prevents them from making purchases.
Marketing module. This is to help marketing specialists to run marketing campaigns by sending promotion emails, creating social media posts, and reaching customers via other resources.
Reporting and analytics. This provides valuable insights about customer behavior and arranges them in an easy-to-read format.
Project management tools. This is to help project managers to distribute tasks, set deadlines, monitor progress, and optimize processes.
Accounting. In this module, the specialists of a financial department can track expenses, analyze income, create invoices, and export financial data to a CSV file for further analysis.
CRM API. This allows integrating CRM with a corporate software system or third-party services to get a holistic view of customers.
Why you need mobile CRM
Custom CRM development delivers a software solution that best meets your business needs. However, with a mobile CRM you can get your business to the next level because you can access customer data anytime and anywhere. You are not limited to office hours or devices. Whether you are in a traffic jam or in a queue to see a doctor, you can quickly identify critical situations and respond instantly to them.
According to Nucleus Research, 65% of companies using mobile CRM achieve their sales goals, whereas only 22% of businesses without a mobile app, or just with a desktop app, meet their goals.
CRM on mobile devices can be a game changer for your business, and here are the benefits you can receive:
1. Higher mobility. With 24/7 access to your customer data, you will never miss critical situations. You will be timely informed if technical issues arise or if incompetence of customer managers leads to unresolved queries and unhappy customers.
2. Better productivity. A mobile CRM can help you boost your productivity by allowing you to complete tasks faster. With a mobile app, you can respond to issues on the go or delegate the problem solving to narrow-focused specialists.
3. Greater customer engagement. By having a mobile CRM, you can reduce the response time to customer queries and gain a reputation of a responsible and caring company.
The rise of cloud technologies
Back in 2008, only 12% of companies were utilizing cloud-based CRM technologies; however, this number has now skyrocketed to an impressive 87%.
Cloud technologies have revolutionized the way businesses operate. By moving operations to the cloud, companies access data and applications from any device, anywhere in the world. That means more flexibility and efficiency in managing customers and keeping track of the sales pipeline.
Not only that, but cloud-based CRM systems are now more customizable than ever before. Custom cloud CRM can be easily scaled up or down depending on customer flow and business needs. Moreover, cloud software is more affordable compared to on-premises systems because you can rent modern equipment and tools from cloud providers rather than buy them at full cost.
If you're interested in learning more about cloud CRM development or other cloud technologies, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to discuss your options and help you find the best solution for your business.
A step-by-step guide to developing a custom CRM
Developing a custom CRM is a complex process involving many steps, as shown below:
Step 1. Assess requirements: what is needed?
It is important to have a clear understanding of the business processes that need to be automated and the data that needs to be tracked. At this step, you should also decide which CRM type you want to implement: operational, analytical, or collaborative.
Operational CRMs are focused on automating processes and tasks
Analytical CRMs provide data-driven insights
Collaborative CRMs are platforms for team collaboration
Step 2. Define a CRM strategy and system architecture
This will include the following:
defining the business objectives of the CRM and how it will be used
determining the system features and functionality that are required
selecting the right software platform and deployment option (on-premise, cloud-based, hybrid)
choosing a custom CRM development company
planning the system implementation and rollout
It is important to involve all key stakeholders in this process, including the CEO, CTO, and founders, as they will all need to be on board with the CRM strategy in order for it to be successful.
Step 3. Consider third-party integrations
The beauty of a custom-built CRM is that it can be integrated with whatever services you like. So, before you start development, you need to take a step back and consider custom CRM integrations that will make your life easier. There are a few key options that are essential for any business, including:
project management tool
customer support platform
If you have not yet selected vendors to provide you with the above services, do so before you start developing your CRM. This will help you create an effective integration plan and avoid future compatibility issues.
Step 4: Select the right technology stack and platform
The tech stack for CRM development depends on the project goals and tasks. First of all, you need to decide whether your CRM will be on-premises or in the cloud. If you decide on cloud technologies, you need to choose a cloud service provider. The Gartner Magic Quadrant claims that AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are leaders in cloud computing.
At Erbis, we have extensive experience working with AWS. We often choose this provider because it offers a wide range of advanced tools for developing apps of varying complexity. And if you want to make your project more affordable you can check our tips on how to save money on AWS services.
Other important components of the tech stack that custom CRM developers choose are
operating systems and programming languages
servers and load balancing
data storage and querying
backend and frontend frameworks
monitoring and performance tools
business intelligence solutions
behavioral and product analytics
A typical custom CRM tech stack may use:
Java as the primary programming language
Spring Framework for application development
Hibernate ORM for data management
MySQL for backend storage
AngularJS or ReactJS for frontend development
Step 5: Design and develop the core CRM system
At this point, your team should already have a clear idea of the features and functionality you want to include in your custom CRM system. Now it’s time to actually design and develop the software.
Your developers will create a database that allows you to store customer data and create custom workflows. They will also design an intuitive user interface so your employees can easily access and manage customer data.
Your developers may also use third-party APIs or integrate other software into your CRM system. This will ensure that your CRM is closely integrated with other parts of your business, like customer service, sales, billing, and marketing.
It’s essential to make sure that your integration is seamless so that data can be shared between these different solutions. It’s also important to consider scalability, as you want to plan ahead for when your business grows, ensuring that the CRM is able to handle the increased demand.
Don’t forget, though—developing a custom CRM system can be time-consuming and complicated. For this reason, many tech companies outsource their CRM development to an experienced software engineering team who can successfully deliver the solution within the desired timeline.
Step 6: Test, launch, and monitor your custom CRM system
At this point, you're almost ready to launch your custom CRM system. But before you do that, it's important that you test it out. Testing ensures that you can identify any issues early on and save yourself from costly delays or mistakes down the line.
Once your custom CRM is tested and approved, the next step is to launch it. Depending on the size and complexity of the CRM system, this could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. During this process, it's important to make sure that there is sufficient training available for users so they can use the system properly.
Finally, once your CRM is launched, it's important to monitor its usage closely. You should monitor user feedback, customer engagement data, sales metrics, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). This will help you identify any issues or gaps in the performance of your custom CRM system quickly and make adjustments as needed.
How much does it cost to build a custom CRM?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The cost of custom CRM development will vary depending on the requirements of your business. However, here are some ranges to give you an idea of what you can expect.
If you want to create a basic CRM system that stores customer data and provides no complex reporting and analytics, the cost could vary from $20,000 to $30,000. If you need a more sophisticated system with features like automated workflows, leads management, and forecasting, the cost could range from $40,000 to $60,000 or more.
Keep in mind that the final price can be calculated only after a detailed analysis of your project.
Partnering with experienced CRM developers will help you determine the right solution within the budget. If you are looking for qualified custom CRM development services, don’t hesitate to get in touch.