How to Build a CRM Software?

Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) is not just one of the fastest-growing software in the market but also one that is seen as important to a variety of businesses in all industries these days. CRM is the one responsible for collecting, organizing, and managing every customer-related detail and information. It is used as a tool that enhances your business’ relationship with improved customer service and communication.

Undeniable Benefits of building and implementing custom CRM software are proved by different statistics and researches:

  • In 2027, CRM revenues are expected to shoot up to $114,4 billion because of its remarkable growth and development in recent years.
  • Companies in different industries such as technology, business services, retail, banking, security, and media have improved sales by 29% after implementing CRM (Source: Salesforce)
  • CRM Magazine reports that 91% of businesses with over 11 employees now use CRM.
  • Capterra’s research shows that 65% of companies start using a CRM system in the first five years of their business.
  • According to another report, customer retention and satisfaction rates increase by 47% thanks to using CRM.

Before we start discussing how to build CRM software, we need to figure out what types of CRM are there and try to recognize which one suits your business best of all.

Types of CRM Software

1. Operational CRMs — is the one responsible for the sales, marketing, and services offered or anything that has something to do with customer interaction.

2. Analytical CRMs — is the key to making great business decisions through its ability to gather, organize, and analyze the data of customers and sales.

3. Collaborative CRMs — with Collaborative CRM, customer relationship is secured and nourished. This is responsible for customer service, satisfaction, and retention. From interaction management wherein any interaction with customers are tracked and access to relationship management and document management. Relationship management facilitates and makes sure that the sales team and other teams handling customers are aligned. Lastly, document management makes sure all the documents from contracts to proposals are accessible and organized.

Why does a business need custom CRM development?

Though there are existing solutions already, it is always a better decision to build a custom CRM that fits your business perfectly. Aside from the fact that this affects the relationship, you have with your customers, here are a few things worth noting:

  • With a custom CRM, you will have an intuitive design that is tailor-fitted to your business and have a say whether it is user-friendly for your customers or not.
  • Integration with business operations will be easier and does not have to disrupt existing workflows in the process.
  • You have the opportunity to develop unique tools and functions in different teams and departments easily.
  • Subscription or extra payment is not necessary anymore.
  • Any additional features can be developed immediately by just contacting your chosen development team which is not available for ready-made CRMs.

A turnkey solution, more often than not, does not really provide a solution. Here is why:

  • Integrations with different platforms are challenging.
  • Some functions are not fit or needed with your business. This will only cost you more without really the need for it.
  • It will be difficult to show your identity as a business on ready-made CRMs since there’s a tendency that other businesses opting for ready-made ones will look as generic as yours. Your brand recognition for potential and even existing customers might not be as strong as you would want it to be.

After you have chosen the suitable type of CRM system and decided to make your choice in favor of developing custom software, it’s time to move on to the development process. It includes three main stages and below we will tell you in detail about the whole process from idea to product launch.

A step by step guide on how to build a CRM software

The bespoke CRM development process is a complex and challenging task. It is very important not only to have a clear idea of ​​what kind of solution you want to get in the end but also to be provided with a clear step-by-step guide.

1st Step: Preparatory

  1. Determine your business purpose. It is important to start with listing your goals and how you want your business to turn out with the strategy in mind. This helps you not only determine but prepare for future challenges that you may encounter. Lastly, it is important to know why you choose to create a CRM for your business.
  2. Choose which type of CRM is the best for your business. It is important to acknowledge whether operational, analytical, or collaborative is what you need.
  3. Legal and security requirements are important to be kept in mind. There is some privacy policy that hinders specific information collection on customers and even employees hence reflecting regulations in the project requirements document is key.
  4. It is crucial to choose the user roles when it comes to making sure that the requirements are met for your business in creating a product. Make sure to have information on the current task types of each department by naming all the CRM software target groups through describing their prospective interaction with each other. With this, employee types’ user story is easily identified.
  5. Request for proposal and getting a rough estimate. Finding developers, designers, project managers, and team members, in general, should be the last part of the preparatory stage of creating your own CRM system. Having a complete team will help not only with critical paths, and different tasks, but also with deadline estimation, project schedule, and even budget.

2nd Step: Development

  1. Choosing contractors. A reliable software development company is the next thing you need to have. Remember the option to outsource the development process. It is a great opportunity to diversify risks and reduce costs. When choosing the development team, don’t forget to look for the company’s reviews from other clients, and check their portfolio.
  2. Choosing a tech stack. The development team, based on their previous experience in creating CRM, offers the client the most effective technologies and frameworks both for the front-end and back-end sides.
  3. Compile CRM development backlog. In this step, you need to put together all the features and 3rd party integrations you want to see in your future software. All of these requirements are divided into developer-specific tasks and prioritized with the Product Owner from more necessary to less important.
  4. Start the development process with agile methods. Once the development team is complete, all the necessary things needed on the project such as design, prototype, and workflow diagrams must be presented. Once that is established, deadline approval, project road map, as well as software architecture and coding, must proceed in an agile method.

3rd Step: Launch and Support

  1. Ensure launching and implementation. The CRM software gets launched at the beginning of the app deployment. It is a grueling process, but it is needed especially when implementing a new system in the workflow of your staff and employees as well as database integration.
  2. Post-project supporting. Once everything is settled, it is now time to learn the behavior inside the system and see how the functions are useful and beneficial. It is also at this point when you need to check for functions that may be needed as time goes by. Through continuous behavior study in the software, the CRM will also continuously be effective in your business.

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Andrew Gromenko

Andrew Gromenko is software industry executive with 7years experience in web, mobile, blockchain, and data-driven development in early stage and public company