How You Can Build A Custom CRM Software

How You Can Build A Custom CRM Software

Building a customized CRM from scratch can be tedious work and may also consume a lot of resources. There are established CRMs available in the market such as Oracle and Salesforce. So why would you be building a CRM of your own, investing time and resources? Here we will discuss the benefits of building customized CRM software and how you can go about building your own CRM from scratch. 

Benefits Of Using Customized CRM Software

Listed below are some of the advantages that you can enjoy making building and using customized CRM software:

1. Cost-Effective

You will not be making payments for features you are not using. A big limitation most developers face when they are making use of a fit pre-established CRM is that their packages have a tendency to not be suited to what they need. Sometimes a basic package will be missing some feature that it requires. And in order to get those required features, they may have to upgrade by paying a higher cost. What makes this situation worse is that the features that come with the expensive version may not be all being used for their purposes. This can be solved by building a customized CRM, making it cost-effective to use CRM in the long run. 

2. Easy Integration

The integration of the CRM software system with the workflow you have currently will be done without any interruptions. A pre-build CRM software like Oracle is built to keep up with the general distribution of the workflow that exists in customer support or sales or any business. This also means that it may not be the perfect fit for your unique business needs. This means that if you use pre-packaged CRM software, you may have to work on rearranging your workflow to integrate with the software across the entire organization. 

If you work with a customized CRM system, you will be able to design the system such that the integration with your workflow is smooth and seamless. You will also have the liberty for automating the workflows that you see possible to boost productivity. All departments of your organization will be able to continue functioning without a hitch and still make effective use of the CRM software system.

3. Control 

You will be able to have control over the journey of your customers as well as have access to data about your customers. One of the major advantages that a customized CRM will give you is control over the journey of your customers. This includes when they place orders, keeping track of the orders, generation of their bills as well as resolutions of issues that may come up. You will have the ability to optimize the method customers use to interact with your business as well as your system and employees. 

The same is also true for customer insights and data. Pre-built CRM software systems are also capable of providing such data, such as demographics of the customers, but they will not be able to give the exact information that you need for getting a complete understanding that your business needs. If you build your own CRM, you will be capable of creating filter combinations that will give the precise reports on your customers that you require. 

4. Application Ecosystem

You will be able to get a customized CRM application ecosystem. A CRM software system can be thought of as a collection of tools that allows its users to do their work efficiently. When you have your own CRM software system, you can be creating applications that the different departments of your organization will be able to conveniently use. 

With an internal ecosystem full of customized applications, you will also be able to guess the impact that specific features have. This will enable you to add applications that are specific to departments as per their requirements, changing or removing those that are not needed. The availability of a flexible CRM of this kind will be empowering your organization by making each department efficient. 

Building The Custom CRM Software 

This does not involve just coding the requirements as necessary, just like any other software, a CRM will also require you to go through a life cycle of development. 

Step 1: Identifying Business Goals

You need to keep the business goals of your organization in mind before you begin building the CRM software. The broad goals of the CRM software system can be thought of as increasing profits for your organization. But you also need to list exactly how the CRM will be helping the growth of your organization. Should the CRM automate repetitive tasks and thus reduce costs or give you customer insights that will help you increase your sales? 

A CRM software system will offer different functionalities to the different departments of the organization. If you want to be focusing on the reduction of cost of operation, you do not have to spend a lot on the development of sophisticated features for marketing. Based on the strategy you chose, there is a possibility that you may not require a customized CRM software system that caters equally to the departments of your organization. Therefore, the development of CRM software will give you the freedom to build just the parts that are needed. 

For building a CRM software system that is cost-effective, you will have to identify and define the goals that you want the system to be achieving. Listed below are some of the goals that organizations aim for with the help of their customized CRM software system. 

  • Increasing customer satisfaction and omer loyalty.
  • Accumulation and organization data of stakeholders in a single location.
  • Detailing the insights on the behaviours of the customers. 
  • Generation of reports for optimizing the performance of departments. 
  • Assessment of marketing campaigns and their results for increasing ROI.
  • Management of leads and assessment of where they are generated.
  • Management of customer base and gathering data for the customer’s journey.
  • Improvement of internal communications with the help of various tools. 

Step 2: Studying And Choosing Types Of CRM Systems 

The type of CRM system you choose should be the type that is right for the goals you listed in step 1. Keeping the goals in mind, the type of CRM software system you want should be determined. Different CRM software systems bring different functionalities with them, but they need to be put in different categories based on which department they will be specifically designed for. There are 3 major types of CRM software systems, operational, analytical and collaborative. 

1. When to build a custom Operational CRM?

If you require automation and integration of marketing and sales along with the customer support system, that is when you should be opting for building an Operational CRM system. The custom reports feature and the dashboards will be helpful in keeping track of routine operations and monitoring how the operations are contributing to lead generation. Operational CRM systems are often chosen for financial, real estate, retail, health and wellbeing industries, etc. 

2. When to build a custom Analytical CRM?

If the goal is increasing the acquisition of customers, then an analytical CRM software system is the way to go. It is helpful for building a customized analytical CRM that has the reports and filters you require for your customer data. Report analysis will help you in determining and understanding the target customers, their demographics, preference, what aspect of your products or services is appealing to the customers, etc. An analytical CRM system that is customized will be helpful to target the correct customers at the right time. 

3. When to build a custom Collaborative CRM?

Sometimes also referred to as strategic CRM software, this system will give you information about the journey of your customers through your business operations. This is perfect when the goal is the retention of customers by developing an understanding of what makes the customers leave. A customized collaborative CRM software system will be helpful in making changes that are incremental and impact the workflow across departments. With the changes along with the customer data being synchronized, there will be an improvement in customer satisfaction and interaction, keeping them loyal to your customers. 

Step 3: Determining Feature Of The CRM Software System

With clarity of the goals you want to achieve and knowledge of the type of CRM system you should be building, now you must work out what functionalities that CRM system you build should possess. An important part of building a customized CRM software system is getting an understanding of the features that should be included and which ones should not. 

If this list is wrong, you can have elevated costs for the building of customized CRM software systems. To help you decide, here is a brief of the features that a CRM system may be needing:

6 Core Features of CRM System

Irrespective of its purpose, there are some core features that every system serving a business will need. 

  • Contact management: This forms the foundation of a CRM system, this function is necessary for storing the data of customers, maintenance of records, as well as the management of contact information like emails and phone numbers. 
  • Lead management: This is an essential feature as this will be keeping track of potential clients. The customized CRM software system should have the ability to organize leads in one location. It should also be monitoring how and when leads are becoming conversions. 
  • Task management: A business is a complex entity, that is comprised of sub-entities, departments that each perform various tasks. To have a systematic and planned organization, it is important to build the functionality of task management into the customized CRM software system. This feature is what will enable the teams of the organization to lead the creation of tasks, the addition of relevant members to each of the tasks as well as leave necessary comments. 
  • Calendar and reminders: Management of tasks and leads requires the team members to be working as a unit for meeting the goals. Meetings and schedules are an integral part of the operations of a business. The functionalities that are related to schedules, calendars and reminders will focus on the teamwork of the members to boost management. 
  • Dashboards and reports: Similar to the need for software for project management, a CRM software system also requires dashboards that provide information about the progress of the work. Reports are also needed for the team to have an understanding of the impact of their efforts and work on each department’s performance. 
  • File sharing: Teamwork is necessary for working collaboratively. A feature for file sharing in the customized CRM software system will be saving loads of time. This feature will give the ability to the team members to upload and download the same file numerous times. 

6 Advance Features Of CRM Software System

Advanced features are those that are needed apart from the basic features. Listed below are some of the common advanced features that are included in CRM software systems. 

  • Mobile access: Everything nowadays needs to adapt to a mobile device. With teams working remotely, and work from home future gaining popularity, the feature of mobile access will make your customized CRM software system become easily accessible by stakeholders. 
  • Pipeline view: If the objective is to increase sales and achieve growth in revenue, the pipeline view feature should be a feature in your CRM system. This serves as a visual representation of the journey a customer takes from being a lead to becoming a paying consumer. A single dashboard can be used, with a number of tabs that display the status of the lead. 
  • Invoicing: A feature for invoices will make your customers CRM system such that it will make the generation of invoices easy, keep a check on the status of the leads, track the history of invoices and have much more capabilities. 
  • Third-party integrations: Building a customized CRM software system is an opportunity to build your own internal application ecosystem. This will become a possibility with the development of a function that integrates the CRM system with tools from third parties.
  • Custom reports: This is a very useful feature to have in an analytical CRM software system because it will help you in learning and understanding everything about the target audience. Collaborating this with other parameters and applying filters will help in the generation of customer insights that will be extremely useful. 
  • Chatbots: The faster the customers get a response, the better customer retention and acquisition. This can be achieved with the help of chatbots, which are becoming a famous feature of CRM systems. Unlike email responses, the responses given by chatbots feel like talking to a human and engaging the customers more. 

Step 4: Specifying Access Levels 

When building your CRM software system, do not stop at just making the features a priority. You also need to give them an access level, defining which parts of the CRM software system will house which features as well as who has access to each of the features. This is important for maintaining order and secrecy in the business and can be done by setting up access permission in the CRM. Only the people who have authorized access will have access to certain data or features of the system. 

Step 5: Creating A Budget For CRM System 

Now you can start working on the budget that will be required for building the required CRM system from scratch. Apart from the plan, you also need resources for proper execution. You will have to come up with an estimate f the cost for building the customized CRM software system, and the cost for each of the desired features. Developing the customized CRM software system consists generally of the following phases:

  • Creation of the technical requirements.
  • Design of user interface as well as the user experience and wireframes. 
  • Coding the solution.
  • Testing the program.
  • Support and maintenance.

On the basis of the design you want to be building and the features you want to include in your CRM software system, the final cost of building a CRM software system from scratch can range between $5000-$50,000. But you can also create a budget for separate modules and then get to the final budget.

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