CRM is an abbreviation for customer relationship management system. This is the kind of software that helps to keep tabs on everything related to sales and orders data and other important technical aspects of doing online business. In particular, it automates the process of customers’ engagement and maintaining proper connection with them. With CRM in place and working, sales and overall customer influx can grow by two-digits percentage, which will also reflect nicely in terms of earnings.
In this light, it is no wonder that the market abounds with various CRMs that offer different features, configurations and fees. There are better options and cheaper options, but what if you need a custom CRM to match the needs of your personal business, and market solutions just won’t do for it? Then get your own CRM, of course! Custom CRM development can bring you the valuable software asset that you will use for your own goals and maybe even vendor as SaaS later. But where to begin the development process?
Let’s split it into step-by-step plan.
1. Decide on the type of CRM you need for your specific goals. It may be:
analytical – collecting and providing you with loads of statistics and data to track progress and to plan for the future;
operational – facilitates and streamlines everything connected to actual business operations like sales and marketing;
collaborative – smoothens the work of the team behind your business;
universal – combines certain features of all mentioned CRMs.
2. Set up the pillars of CRM, that is, features that are the backbone. They are:
- Managing tasks
- Managing contacts
- Report generation
- Calendar editing.
This is only the framework on which to layer essential business operations and options. But that’s the next point.
3. Essential features to have in CRM for it to work efficiently:
- Tracking of all touchpoint interactions
- Integration with the socials
- Marketing via email (yes, it still works)
- Customized reporting
- Mobile version with full functionality
- Easy File sharing
- Pipeline viewing.
When put together, these features already give an owner (or director) an idea how the business is going and give basic tools for managing and analyzing. You can start customization already at this point or build the typical CRM framework and start adding custom features on top of. With such an approach, you will be able to remove these features later, add new ones or have the basic proprietary software you will be able to lease or sell.
4. Customization of CRM
This is where the perks of customization come to surface and this is why you began the personalized development, after all. Selling handmade clothes or other small goods is one thing. Selling custom furniture, rare species saplings or providing large scale services is another one. A logistic company will need an attached map, time tracking, GPS tracking, and more. A furniture company will need split delivery options (to doorstep only to the assembly/mounting place), service satisfaction tracking, furniture assembly service options and tracking, returns based on damage reports and analytics, and so on. You need to think everything through, and only then begin mapping and integrating these features into your basic framework. These are few of custom features to consider:
- Dedicated industry features/functions
- Call center
- Customer rating
- Referrals tracking and implementation
- Smooth integration with third-party products
- Compatibility with other custom software.
Bottom line: this is only an outline of what you need to do to create your own CRM that will function as expected. If you plan to develop it yourself, delve into every technical detail of desired features and create a comprehensive visual map to see how it all interacts and fits together. Only then can you pick the starting point and proceed from it.
Or else: find a reputable outsourcing web development company that is experienced in this particular kind of project development, and let it do the job.