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Every business that plans to grow and develop, and in the future to increase its turnover, strives to make sales managers work more effectively. Implementation of CRM is one of possible ways to improve it. This system will record every customer request from any channel: either from the website, social networks, or even the phone call. Any appeal will automatically get to the manager, and with a properly configured funnel will remind you in time to contact the client to repeat sale.
Read more about what CRM is and how they work in our grand introductory article on this topic. There, we looked at different types of CRM in detail and the greatest number of benefits were gathered in the custom version of CRM. So how to develop a custom CRM for your company? Let’s try to answer this question by analyzing what to pay attention to, if you are not a technical specialist.
Just a little bit general theory
In case you are not an expert in this matter, CRM is a software package for automating interaction with customers or partners. CRM may be divided into two large groups. The first group is finished products or so-called, out-of-the-box solutions. The second group is custom or tailored CRM solutions.
As soon as you buy a license and install it, everything is ready to go. These solutions are divided into cloud and desktop. The system in the cloud looks like a website. An employee goes on, signs-up, and simply uses it. Desktop CRMs are installed on the computer. Standard functionality is one of the drawbacks of the out-of-the-box system. Sometimes such CRM is cheaper and faster to integrate. But it isn’t easy to adapt it to specific business processes.
Custom CRM systems take into account the company's strategic development plans. It is easy to add a new feature if the business requires it. The cost of creating a custom CRM also isn’t small, but in the case of individual development, you pay for the functions required by your company. Additionally, employees don’t have to spend a lot of time on mastering the product, as CRM will initially be created under the already established workflow in the company.
Why do you need a custom CRM?
According to Gartner, the CRM market will soon exceed $40 billion, making it the largest enterprise software market.
Ironically, the share of CRM installations worldwide doesn’t reach two percent. Hence, the question arises: How does such a huge market remain under-saturated?
Many enterprise software giants such as Salesforce, SAP and Oracle offer their own CRM solutions, but they are extremely difficult to integrate. Moreover, they aren’t always suitable for small and medium businesses. So why not create a CRM tailored exactly to your company?
How do you determine that you need a custom CRM?
You need specific integrations
The ready-to-use CRM may integrate with some popular social networking or email platforms, but there's no guarantee that you can also work with your internal databases or custom online call systems through it. The more unusual tools your team uses to serve your customers and record their data, the harder it is to find a solution in the market for mass consumption products such as CRM. Examples - large industrial companies, factories, B2C networks, startups with unique service idea find it difficult to use out-of-the-box CRM solutions.
You don't want to spend time and money on features that you don't need
Ready-made CRM software vendors do not have many service packages. As a rule, no more than 4. They are designed for different enterprises, classifying them mainly by size and rarely by field of activity. Thanks to this approach, providers fill each of their products with numerous functions. And if you only need one of them, you still pay for everything else in the package. The result is that your managers lose their time searching for fields and buttons in a sea of similar useless elements.
You need an identity
How do you create a CRM that reflects your personality? The ready-made CRM software is a template. Your managers may have difficulty using some of the CRM options, as the bulk software is designed for the convenience of most, but not each user.
Communication with your customers via email and messaging can also become a bit standardized, since most of your competitors as well as other brands can use off-the-shelf CRM software with the same features, algorithms, and designs. Take a look at your inbox and find similar style offers from different companies.
Where to start developing custom CRM?
Before you start development, you need to decide on the functionality of the future software. However, in order to do this you need a high level of expertise, as one of the main chips of custom CRM is its flexibility. At this stage, there are several options for development:
- Rely on the development company, which will do everything for you and ask the right questions.
- The clients on their own determine what they want to achieve with the system and pass these requirements on to the company.
- The symbiosis of the first two points.
It would still be most advisable to consult with experts to translate the business goals, ideas, needs and requirements of the client into a detailed technical plan to create an IT product that is perfect for the client. It's best if the developer company you choose offers an IT consulting service that allows you to provide comprehensive expertise. In the course of this service implementation, customer requirements are collected and their detailed analysis is carried out with the involvement of business analysts to offer solutions for detected problems. IT-consulting includes assessment, planning and expert recommendations on creation, implementation, development, and integration of the created product to improve the efficiency and quality of its implementation, as well as to optimize customer costs.
Key features of a custom CRM system
Rapidly changing interface and business logic
The sales process isn’t cast in stone. It must constantly change and improve. If the idea of how to improve it appeared, it should be implemented and used on the same day. Only this way can the process be perfected. If you have to wait for 1-2 months, the idea can just fade away/become forgotten/lose (on the other hand, if the idea became irrelevant after a month, you should not have implemented it).
Ability to implement any logic, any document formats, any order calculation
CRM should allow you to quickly find solutions, as well as take into account the specifics of your business, its goals, needs, problems. Yes, it may require the development of additional components. But if it allows you to sell more, then it is a must.
Speed of work
The system shouldn’t be slower than the operator. If the system is slower, it reduces the pace and efficiency of human work. The system should be maximally aimed at reducing any barriers hindering the rhythmic work of a person in the system.
Easy entry and fast search for information
Any system is input and output. Input must be simple and easy. Any information must be accessible quickly and flexibly.
A stitch in time saves nine. It is important to inform users about key actions in time. It is important not to fill them with unnecessary notifications (the person in the end simply ceases to perceive any notifications at all). It is important to dose and gives key notifications at the right time.
Automatically fixing data and collecting information together
It is important to make information collection as simple as possible. If a manual action is implied somewhere, it increases the risk that the action won’t be done at all. It is necessary to gradually implement such a system, in which everything possible should be automated.
This reduces the risk of errors in the future and reduces costs on sellers, as well as increases their efficiency (simply let them sell instead of engaged appointments in records like some weird kind of doctors).
What to pay attention to when developing your custom CRM?
Your business has its own market strategy and goals. Find out how your company's revenue will grow as a result of implementing a CRM system. Remember that there are different approaches to using the system. Some software helps to reduce costs by automating services, others are aimed at forming a new strategy of the company based on analytics.
Identify the main features of your CRM: speed, secure functions, and integration with existing databases, etc. If you want your CRM to meet standards such as ISO, FDA or ASTM, consider this in your development requirements.
Defining the type of CRM
Customer relationship management software is designed to solve various types of problems. You must decide in which areas you intend to use this tool. There are 4 in total: operational, analytical, communication, and strategic. Read more about them here.
Functional and software requirements specifications (SRS)
To create a function tree for the CRM designed for each department of the company, collect all their current task types. Remember that each of your employees has its own user history. Look at the tool from a user perspective and add other features to your project.
CRM system evaluation
At this stage you will need to find your team members, including the developers, designer and project manager. But it is also an advantage to have all these people from the beginning. Developers and other staff will help you to define tasks and critical paths, estimate deadlines and budget and create a project schedule.
What is the cost of custom CRM?
So, how much does CRM development cost? You can figure out the answer to this question when you understand how many hours you need to spend on the project. The average cost of a software developer's work is from 20 to 60 euros per hour. The time to develop CRM on Laravel or another framework is about 1000-2000 hours minimum. It’s also necessary to calculate costs at all stages - consulting, implementation, installation - their cost is calculated in the hours of a particular specialist.
Thus, the cost of CRM on average is starting from 30,000 euros, if the developer company is located in Eastern Europe. If you order the development of custom CRM in countries such as the U.S. or Canada, the cost may increase by 2 or more times.
|Team management||300-400 hours||
|Customer management||60-100 hours||
|Transaction accounting and sales management||200-300 hours||
|Task Management and Control||50-80 hours||
|Analytics and reports||180-250 hours||
|Automation of business processes||350-400 hours||
|Integration of third-party modules||300-400 hours||
How to find a technical partner to create a custom CRM?
Try starting your research from platforms such as Clutch or GoodFirms. They provide lists of service providers who work in different areas.
When you find a company to work with, dig deeper. Read reviews, check their website, social networks, try to message or call them. Give preference to companies that offer a comprehensive approach and maximum involvement in the project along with documented quality assurance. This approach will allow you to find not just a contractor, but a reliable technological partner that will relate to your project as to its own and accompany it at all stages of the software life cycle.
Let's sum it up. For a large corporation or large business with specific processes, it is more profitable and convenient to order the development of your own CRM-system. Of course, you will have to invest a lot of money, but the system will be accurately tailored to the requirements of the company. And that all investments don’t go right down the drain, it is necessary to take responsibility for the search for a reliable technological partner who will take on all questions regarding the development of the project.