have long been the main tool for automating most of the business processes related to sales, marketing, and customer support. They are used by 7 out of 10 enterprises
, with the rest of the companies ready to integrate CRM, but they can't find a solution that fully meets their needs. Next, we'll tell you how to get around this problem by creating your own CRM system that is grounded in your enterprise's business processes.
1. When you need a CRM system
Any software for enterprises is created to improve business processes and, of course, its creation costs money. So before spending your money, you need to understand if CRM is going to raise
the effectiveness of your business enough to offset the cost of development, integration, training of staff, the work of the support service, and the updating of the CRM system.
2. Why custom CRM is the best option
By making sure that your enterprise needs a CRM system, you also need to understand whether this is a ready (template) solution, or you need software tailored to the business processes
and needs of your business. The reasons why many companies invest in developing their own CRM systems, despite the abundance of ready-made solutions in the market, there are two - the complexity of implementation and the low economic feasibility of finished products in the medium and long term perspective.
As far as economic viability is concerned, the problem here is that ready CRM systems can have many functions, but not all of them your business will need. In addition, finished products are distributed on subscription - between 50 and $10,000 per month. Then, how to develop your CRM system is a one-time investment that will pay off in 1-3 years.
Here are some more of the custom CRM system advantages:
- You get software adapted to your working processes. Ready CRM systems are created without taking into account the specifics of a particular client (suppliers are more profitable to make their templates), so their integration involves a mass of difficulties - from the need to train staff to adapt the workflow to the selected CRM.
- Higher productivity/efficiency. Any CRM system is designed to automate processes within the company. But if it is a pattern, you have to adapt your processes to this system, which reduces their effectiveness. If CRM is a custom software customized for your business, it does not happen.
- Complete control and data security. Having your product, you do not need to trust your business data and confidential client data to foreign software (its supplier). Besides, if you're not satisfied with the CRM system, you can improve it at your discretion at any time.
3. What is needed to be done before creating CRM
So, you've decided that you need a CRM system, and it should be a custom development. What's next? Before starting to develop software, you need to decide which CRM you want (type, function, design) and who will develop it. Here is a small manual that will help you to identify these and other important issues.
3.1. Set your business goals
What benefits does a business get from the CRM integration? Source
As with the launch of any business project or startup, the establishment of the CRM system begins with the definition of goals. Before moving on, you need to clearly understand what business targets you want to solve using this tool.
For example, if you're selling, the CRM system can make your sales department more efficient, which will make it possible to make more deals and/or increase the average check. In addition, through CRM, you can engage effectively between sales and marketing departments to know which Leads are becoming clients and which channels of attraction are most effective. To achieve these goals CRM is needed with sales and marketing modules.
If you work in the health sector, perhaps your business targets
will be attracting new clients, retaining existing ones, and managing referrals to specialists. In addition, you may need a database of patients (demographic and health records), their contacts, and financial reporting. To do this, CRM needs to include a patient management module, an aim management module, a patient management module, and a report module.
3.2. Analyze Your Working Processes
Traditional CRM modules and their core functions. Source
When you define your business targets, you will immediately understand what business processes you need to analyze to determine what you can improve and/or automate using CRM. Study each stage of interaction with clients in detail to understand what kind of functions you need in CRM. In addition, you will also need to select the user roles in CRM and identify their rights, which will simplify the training of staff and distinguish access to confidential data.
For example, your junior managers can only have access to the contacts, while experienced managers can manage them (add, modify, delete) and display accounts. In addition, you may want to have a deep analysis of the department's work is available only to you.
Such issues should be considered in advance.
3.3. Select the optimum type of CRM system
All CRM systems are divided into 4 standard types depending on how they are designed. See what type of CRM fits you best if possible after you decide on your business targets.
Here are their list and a brief description:
- Strategic. Designed to collect customer information and predict their behavior based on the data received. Based on these forecasts, enterprises develop their production and/or promotion strategies. You should select this type of CRM if you want to increase market share and provide only up-to-date products to your clients.
- Operational. Helps to optimize the daily tasks of the division of production, marketing, sales, or support. The main purpose of these CRM is to improve the efficiency of business processes: to connect production with current demand, accelerate the processing of lids, automate routine processes, personalize interaction with customers, etc. This type of CRM system is chosen by businesses that want to automate business processes and improve communication with customers.
- Anatomical. Established to manage customer information. They can provide insight into the efficiency of sales/promotion channels, which will make it possible to conclude the best ways to attract and retain customers. This type of CRM is needed by businesses that want to get deep sales analytics and marketing.
- Collaborative. It helps to create interaction between numerous departments that have a direct impact on the effectiveness of interaction with clients. Typically, these CRM create large enterprises and corporations, where large numbers of internal teams and many cooperative ventures with external partners are.
Another pro of custom development is that you can combine different types of CRM systems,planning/interactions to create a unique product for your business that will be tailored to your business processes and will contain only the modules and functions you need.
3.4. Define CRM functions
The most important functions of CRM systems. Source
After you have made a list of what operations you need to optimize and what business goals you want to achieve, and chose the type of CRM you need, you can start describing its functionality. According to studies
, this list usually includes the following items:
- Contact management. It collects demographic (sex, age, location, family status, income level) and contact (telephone, e-mail, social media profiles, addresses) data of clients.
- Tracking the interactions. It is gathering the history of your business with the client, for example, when and how he knew about your enterprise, and for how much he got on the phone, whether the client had a problem, how pleased the client was and so on.
- Aim planning/interactions. This functionality helps to plan tasks for future periods and distribute them between departments and staff. Often all this is done automatically.
- Automation of sales. It issues day-to-day (or weekly, month, quarter) tasks to departments and specific implementers and monitors progress in their implementation and the effectiveness of each staff member. Advanced systems have clues that help the performers increase their effectiveness.
- Sales crater. It tracks every lead's stage in the sales crater, so you can get a better picture of sales and marketing, as well as the effectiveness of each action and channel.
- Database. It contains information about everything that is operated by CRM. It is desirable that such a database be closely integrated with external sources and that raw data can be downloaded
- Reporting. Various tables, dashboard charts, and dashboards help to better understand customer information, sales, marketing, and support.
3.5. Select a technical partner
The best way to create your CRM system is to use the services of a company developer that has experience in developing similar solutions. Only so doing, you can be sure that you will eventually receive the software that meets your requirements and has a high level of safety. How to find and choose such a partner is described in detail in the article: "How to Choose a Company Developer of the CRM Software"
Here, we will highlight only the main points:
- Inspection. Study the experience of the developer’s team. Talk to technical experts, ask them to share their projects and accomplishments. If you don't know about programming, you can get experts to consult or simply try their finished products.
- Implemented projects. Study the developer's portfolio in detail, especially their experience in developing CRM systems and products in your sphere of activity. Study what users of their products are saying.
- Legal issues. Note the legal formalization of your relationship with the company developer. Specify who will own the license of the created CRM and whether you will sign the NDA.
- Business process. Ask the technical partner about the development process to see if you will be comfortable working on their algorithm. Decide in advance with the channels of communication and the frequency of meetings.
- Reputation. Find out what their clients and employees are talking about. Feedback on sites such as Clutch or GoodFirms will help you with this.
3.6. Select a technological stack
4. Custom CRM system development process
Here is a description of the software development stages that will help you understand what you will face when creating a CRM system for your business.
Drafting of requirements.
Programmers have a saying: "Without requirements and design, programming is the art of adding errors to an empty text file" (in reality it is Louis Sriggley's words). It should be remembered by anyone who wants to build quality software. In practice, this means that before proceeding to design and coding, the business analyst or project manager must develop a clear technical task (Sow) to develop a CRM system.
This process is important because the clearer the concept, functionality, and design requirements are described, the easier the team of developers
to create the software you need, and the less time they spend on it.
Developing the CRM system design
. This stage usually includes the development CRM systems, of technical design (system architecture) and UI / UX. The technical design of CRM implies the design of the logic of the user interface with the product, as well as the design of the relationship between all elements of the CRM system.
Example of CRM system architecture. Source