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How to Build a Custom CRM Software from scratch

It is impossible to construct a house without a plan and blueprints. Likewise, choosing and building a CRM system requires your time, resources, and technical training. Long story short, the process of custom CRM development is worth getting it started now. Let’s find out why and how to do it in a cost-efficient and professional manner.

To trust one to build a CRM system from scratch or choose a ready-made solution? As a business owner, you’ve probably faced this dilemma. Here in this post, we’ll talk about how custom-built CRM software can help you efficiently manage your business processes and save resources in monetary terms, as well as what it takes when you transition to your own CRM system.

Content

  1. Benefits of custom CRM solutions
  2. How to build a custom CRM software from scratch?
    • Step 1. Define the goals you want to achieve through building your own CRM
    • Step 2. Select the type of CRM software your business requires
    • Step 3. Determine the CRM functionalities
    • Step 4. Calculate the development budget and time
  3. How to choose your technology partner to build a custom CRM?
  4. FAQ: Do You Need to Build a Custom CRM System?

Benefits of custom CRM solutions

The CRM or Customer Relationship Management software is a computer program that helps companies manage their interactions and relationships with both current and potential customers. In particular, CRM is focused on clients’ retention and ultimately drives sales.

When choosing a CRM system, the most important thing is to make sure that it obtains all the functions that you need in the process of work for your business. For instance, if incoming calls are an essential part of communicating with your clients, you need to make sure that the selected CRM solution supports integration with telephony. And if you get most of the leads through the site, then one of the major criteria will be the ability to integrate the CRM system with your CMS.

Need a CRM for your business domain? Leave your contact information to know what it takes.

All in all, there are many ready-made CRM systems with a variety of features and functions. Nevertheless, most organizations tend to build CRM systems from scratch. Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of custom CRM development to find out why.  

Benefits of building CRM from scratch
Image source: FreySoft

1. Implementation of the system for your specific business processes.

Custom CRM has any functionality that is required for your particular business and tasks. All the subtleties of the company’s work are taken into account, the functionality is thought out to the smallest detail, integrations are developed with all the services that are necessary for work. Unlike, ready-made CRM solutions have a huge number of unclaimed functions and options since they were initially developed for a wide range of users (various types of business). 

2. Going in line with your scalability 

Packaged CRM systems are always designed for some level of load and within particular functionality. On the contrary, with custom CRM software, you can install additional features upon your request. For example, suppose you need to add a specific function. Box system providers will not make product changes at the request of a single customer, but your private CRM vendor will scale and modify it whenever you need it.

3. High productivity and efficiency

Before custom CRM development, the provider considers the niche, structure, and business of your particular company. To do this, the first stage is an audit of your in-house processes, identifying the tasks that need to be solved and drawing up a plan for their solution. Therefore, the return on its implementation will be higher than on the overall product. Besides, the absence of unnecessary modules and scripts will have a positive effect on the speed of the system. So, it will save users’ time and effort. 

3. Integration into any service

Custom CRM software can be integrated with any applications, programs, and systems used by your company. That concerns not only integration with email services or social media analytics tools, but more importantly, connection with your internal database or customized online call systems. The advantageous ability to share files, reports, and other data will make it easier for your employees to collaborate on multiple tasks. What’s more, the unity between various internal solutions will make it fast to automate, as well as optimize workflow, increase sales and employee productivity.

4. Cost-effectiveness in the long term

CRM from scratch is completely at your disposal after the deployment. As a rule, the implementation of an individual CRM increases the efficiency of business processes by 29% – 42%. That is, in the long term, your custom CRM will occupy your initial investment in it. On the contrary, with a ready-packaged solution, you work with the CRM on a monthly fee and there is no definite time when you no longer will need it. 

5. Providing top security 

Custom-built CRM software can be hosted on the vendor’s servers with access only for your company, or on your organization’s servers, which will protect the system from hacking. The source codes and rights to the system will belong to you. Further, the trusted vendor ensures specific security features such as regular updates, multi-layered security, data encryption as well as compliance with standards ISO, FDA, or ASTM. 

How to build a custom CRM software from scratch?

Step 1. Define the goals you want to achieve through building your own CRM 

Before starting the development of CRM from scratch, it is necessary to determine the scope and set of required functions of the final product. For this, set strategic goals for the implementation of the system. 

To be more precise, we’ve noted the key goals you can achieve due to your custom CRM:

  • Improving productivity of employees to work in a single internal network of the organization.
  • Automation of the sequence of operations and workflow of company employees (Business Process Management).
  • Building a convenient automatic system for fast and high-quality work with large amounts of information about clients.
  • Keeping a history of relationships with each client and assessing their customer journeys.
  • Getting complete analytics of clients’ service processes (at what stage the company loses customers; how many potential visitors did not become buyers, etc.).
  • Generating statistics on various indicators (increase in sales revenue by department, product, manager).
  • Planning and management of deliveries and purchases (for ex. to track the movement of goods in the warehouse).
  • Assessing and management of the quality and effectiveness of marketing activities, etc.

Step 2. Select the type of CRM software your business requires

The next what you need to determine is the type of system. Depending on which department CRM is intended for, we outline the operational, analytic, and strategic types.

  1. When do you need operational CRM?

    Operational CRM systematizes customer data, allows you to track the history of interaction, form workflow, assign tasks to employees and monitor their implementation. As a fact, this type of CRM application is suitable for businesses that interact with customers through call centers, blogs, websites, communities, mail, and direct sales. If your aim is to increase customer loyalty in the process of direct contact, then it is what your business needs. Examples of operational CRM systems are SendPulse, AmoCRM, Bitrix24.

  2. When do you need analytical CRM?

    Analytic CRM is used to analyze existing customer data, their segmentation, calculate financial indicators, build reports and collect company statistics on various indicators. This can be a schedule for the implementation of the plan by the sales department or statistics on the marketing campaign of a particular product. Thus, such systems are suitable for analysts, sales managers, and marketers.If your purpose is to organize daily operational work with clients and generate analytics for the development and planning of the interaction scenarios, then turn to build this type. Examples are Creatio CRM, HubSpot, Oracle NetSuite.

  3. Strategic CRM

    Strategic CRM, also known as collaborative CRM, is aimed to gain data insights or feedback about customers and use this knowledge to personalize their interactions with the business. Thus, this type unites several departments of the company such as sales, marketing, and technical support, that allow the company to significantly improve its quality of service, loyalty and attract new customers. Those businesses that need improvement in customer loyalty and retention should consider building strategic CRM. As a fact, there are very few such systems on the market, since they are mostly custom-built within a particular company. After that, they remain in the service only for employees of this organization.

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Step 3. Determine the CRM functionalities

Taking into account the chosen type of CRM and the goal you are pursuing (the results of the above 2 steps), now it’s time to figure out what functionalities your software needs to include. In many respects, the choice depends on the scale of the business object into which the system is integrated. One needs a client database, other may need automated sales work, or control over marketing, analytics, and forecasting, etc.

To help you through this task, we introduce the most popular core and advanced functionalities you may apply to your product.

Core features:

  1. Document circulation

    This feature is applied for maintaining document flow, generating invoices for payment according to specified templates, also creating and approving internal applications, which greatly speeds up and simplifies everyday work.

  2. Analytics tools

    At all stages of work, the CRM system offers detailed analytics 24/7, presented in the form of informative dashboards and reposts. Due to them, employees of different levels can analyze the existing status of a particular department (sales, marketing, so on), the workload of managers, their performance, plan and control financial expenses, and much more.

  3. Contact management

    This functionality allows recording all information about the customer’s interaction with the company. That includes the history of requests, users’ dialogues with managers by phone or in messengers, the purchases or viewing of goods. Such a full automatic accounting of data helps you to make a personalized approach to customers.

  4. Planning / task management feature

    The built-in reminders and calendar are designed to ensure the most effective planning by an employee of his own tasks and work with colleagues. The feature is especially in demand for the organization of the work of a large staff.

  5. Lead management

    Due to this feature, businesses can maintain data on potential and actual transactions, up to the step-by-step control of each lead. The system clearly identifies the source channel and helps to analyze its effectiveness. Great tool for automation of the sales funnel!

Advanced features: 

  1. Mobile version

    Modern customers want to get in touch with businesses at any time and get a much faster response. This way, mobile access to the CRM makes the work of the employees and stakeholders easier whenever and wherever they are. In these terms, if you are looking to create mobile-friendly CRM software, it is better to consider native apps and PWA

  2. Integration with other internal software programs

    There are various software programs the company already uses. For example, logistics, warehouse management software, business resource planning, etc. They all need to work in tandem, receiving data from each other. This would be the way forward for the smooth running of the company. In turn, this feature here enables to integration and exchange of data between the CRM and other automation systems.

  3. Chatbots

    If you are going to get rid of various routine tasks and increase the efficiency of your employees, then in this regard the functionality of the chatbot will be very useful. With it, you can automate various tasks such as answering frequently asked questions, arranging meetings with colleagues, setting reminders, onboarding new hires, and more.

Also, read how to optimize the pool of business processes by implementing Robotic Process Automation.

Step 4. Calculate the development budget and time

For evaluating the development time and cost to build a CRM system, consider the next factors that affect:

  • The number of necessary functionality. Implementation of each feature in the program code requires a certain number of developer’ hours.
  • Supported platforms. The more there are, the higher the cost of the final software product is. Consider here if needed mobile access. 
  • Method of entering information into databases – human resources or automatic. The latter option takes a lot of time to implement, and therefore significantly increases the cost.
  • Development variety of custom roles for user profiles (for ex. the role of general manager, supervisor, seller, or branch – each implementation requires additional hours and costs).
  • Sales funnel. Depending on the solution you choose – manually managed or with automated business logic – the time and resources vary. 
  • Integration with other services. The cost of developing this feature depends on the number and complexity of third-party services.

Of course, the overall price of building CRM software greatly depends on your projects’ additional features and their complexity that you should also take into account. Furthermore, the region in which you are hiring developers – matters no less. Read more about how you can reduce the software development cost based on the vendor’s country.  

CRM development stageWhat does it include?How much?How long?
Pre-development Planning the architecture, business analytics, identifying requirements, and features$1000-$20001-2 weeks
Core system functionsPanel statistics, dashboards, profiles of users, analytics and reports, accounting, file sharing, invoices, etc. $10000- $30000 Around 1-2 months
Standard features Task, sales, lead management, and control, help desk, billing, event planning, marketing campaign tools The cost varies based on what particular feature is needed – each from $5000 to $10000 Around 2-4 weeks for each feature (depending on the complexity)
Advanced (additional) featuresIntegration of third-party modules, mobile version, business process automation, chatbotsThe cost varies based on what particular feature is needed – each from $8000 to $15000 Around 1-2 months
UI/UXPrototyping and wireframes, visual design & interactions, branding$6000-$15000Around 1 month
Project managementTeam’s workflow and document management, interaction tracking$15000 – $30000Depending on the scope of the development team’s work 

How to choose your technology partner to build a custom CRM?

So, now you need to answer the most important question: “Do you want to take your business to the next level and digitize key sales/marketing/customer processes?” If yes, then the final but not the least essential step is to select your CRM software development company. To be well-prepared, we’ve gathered the list of key points for helping you choose your trusted technology partner: 

  1. Portfolio.

    Check if your candidates have any previous experience in building CRM from scratch. Study what are the other implemented cases, the tech stack, and business domains of the company. If the projects are available on the digital market, we recommend observing and testing their quality by yourself (design, usability, validation).

  2. Customers’ feedback.

    There may be several reviews on the company’s website. Still, the best would be to dive into independent resources, such as clutch, good firms, or through social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook).

  3. Blog and social media activities.

    Regular posts and blog updates show that the company cares about its reputation and has something to share with its customers (case studies, industry trends, informative and educational content, etc.). This is a good way for you to test their online presence and clarify how deep the expertise is. Further, the profile on social media should be well-formed and contain as much information as possible (a description of the company, address, provided services, number of employees).

  4. Development methodologies.

    Find out how the process of interaction between a customer and your potential technical partner is proceeding on outsourcing. This information is usually introduced on the main web page, in a dedicated section, or in a blog. Typically, today’s Agile methodology brings the best results in software development, however, there are also other popular models of work processes that can be more suitable for your project. 

  5. Contact the company directly.

    The best is to directly contact the chosen candidates for building CRM software. Prepare the questions you want to ensure (development team structure, approximate timeline, and budget, how to get started, the security issues, etc.). Based on these comparisons, you will be better informed and ready to make the final decision about the best-suited supplier.

At FreySoft, we are ready to assist you in your CRM development process. Our deep expertise and experience for over 11 years ensure the quality and cost-efficiency of the provided services. In terms of building a CRM from scratch, we will:

  • design a custom-built CRM solution for your business goals,
  • integrate with third-party software programs,
  • create user-friendly and convenient UI/UX design,
  • automate operations that cannot be automated in standard CRM systems,
  • protect the data from hacking,
  • teach your in-house employees how to use the program.

Leave your contact information to get a free consultation now. 

FAQ: Do You Need to Build a Custom CRM System? 

Who will use the CRM system?

CRM systems are essential for any business that works directly with customers and is looking to expand the number of its auditory. No matter it’s a startup or a large enterprise – due to CRM software, the business stimulates sales growth, improves the efficiency of marketing campaigns, and implements new technologies for communicating with the client.

How does a CRM work?

Depending on the type of CRM and the built-in features, the software takes over a variety of tasks. It may concern sales, HR, marketing, project management, event planning departments, etc. For instance, the standard CRM system generates documents according to a template, sets tasks for managers at each stage of the transaction, sends SMS to clients, creates online reports on all indicators, calculates the cost of services through the built-in calculator, tracks important dates (reminds of renewing a contract, setting invoice for payment, offer service, etc.).

How much does it cost to build a CRM system?

The cost of building a custom-made CRM system depends on several factors:
– number of implemented functions,
– the complexity of the project,
– the need for integration with other software,
– developer company’s hourly rate.
A small CRM application can cost from $15,000 to $80,000. Large CRM with flexible management system may cost from $100,000 to $200,000. 

What are the examples of CRM?

The CRM solutions market is full of offerings. There are many systems for small, medium, and large companies from different business areas. In particular, the examples of CRM systems for social networks – Umnico, Social CRM; for marketing – Envy CRM, SendPulse, Neaktor; for sales automation – Bitrix24, Zendesk Sell, Pipedrive, etc. Also, there are CRM based on the business domain. To illustrate, Medesk – medicine; Denta-Pro  – dentistry; Wise Agent and Real Geeks  – real estate; U-ON Travel, CRM Travels – tourism, and more. 

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