Client relationship management systems help businesses grow client loyalty, retain old customers, and attract new prospects providing an effective way of collecting, sorting, and storing customer data. Custom CRM improves interactions with clients at each stage of a customer lifecycle and makes it simple to handle them. Because of the high demand, CRM software is among the fastest-growing markets.
Custom CRM software provides insights regarding customer needs. As businesses better understand the most important customer needs, they can satisfy them and increase revenue.
Continue reading this blog post to discover the benefits of custom CRM and reasons to develop your own CRM for your business. As a bonus tip, we provide data on costs and what to consider when building a CRM.
Business Issues that Custom CRM Software Can Solve: Main Benefits of CRM
When you have just founded a firm, handling data is easy because of a smaller number of customers. Simple office tools such as Excel or Spreadsheets are useful in the first days. However, as the number of clients increases, these elementary tools will not be practical. CRM systems are an appropriate solution for a growing business.
The basic functions that CRM helps to perform are the following:
- Marketing planning refinement
- Improvements in sales workflow
- Effective staff monitoring
- Standardization of internal processes
- Clearer business analytics and reporting
Custom CRM solutions improve overall business efficiency. Automating all internal processes helps you grow your business’s structure. These are the qualities that companies consider when creating custom CRM.
The Types of CRM Software
We can distinguish three types of CRM systems: analytical, operational, and collaborative. Each one has been invented for different purposes.
This system provides marketing campaigns and sales process automation. Therefore, it is excellent for increasing customer conversion rates. Operational CRM software offers more access to various customer data forms, such as contact details and purchase history.
Analytical CRM is oriented on collecting, collating, and structuring data for further in-depth analysis. Traditionally, this type of CRM operates sales, marketing, and financial data, but you can also build cross-department analytics that includes data from all your business units. Multi-channel data is structured in comprehensive dashboards on admin panels. A business analyst or an owner can get actionable insights from these dashboards and set general business processes, sales, and marketing campaigns based on this business intelligence tool.
This type of CRM improves communication between clients and businesses through various channels like email, phone, SMS, and social media. Companies can create a more collaborative working environment where users are capable of sharing crucial data easily. Handling omnichannel communication under one system, your managers can speed up their interactions with customers, increasing a retention rate.
Nowadays, under customer relationships management software, users imply a much broader meaning that includes a mix of all CRM types. Every business owner would like to have an all-in-one solution that helps to reduce expenses. That’s why more and more businesses that already have a CRM system request implementation of additional functions. This way, your CRM combines options for employee management, resource planning, task tracking, etc. A hybrid type of CRM software enables saving costs that could be spent on an ERP system and team collaboration tools. Building a custom CRM system allows you to choose all functions you need upfront and discard the ones you aren’t going to use.
The Benefits of Custom CRM Software Development
Custom CRM system’s simplicity allows businesses to create a tailored and streamlined interface and integrations to satisfy your needs. With custom CRM, you can arrange your platform from every angle, from adjusting names of the necessary sections and up to adding features corresponding to your unique business processes more conveniently.
For example, there is a practice of medical billing in the US healthcare system. It helps healthcare providers receive payments for services from patients or their insurance companies. In this case, it would be reasonable to build a custom CRM funnel that enables managing payment claims during the entire medical billing procedure. A hospital can also make CRM integrations with collecting agencies to automatically pass them information if bills haven’t been paid on a previous funnel stage.
Another case with personalization can be illustrated by the auto quoting module we’ve built, developing a CRM system for a car shipping company. To optimize workflow for both customers and managers, we’ve implemented a module that estimates shipping costs and automatically sends quotes based on provided data regarding shipping date, route, car size, weight, state, etc.
Most popular CRM systems enable integrations with various tools like calendars, task managers, calling software, document integrations, etc. The standard list of integrations is included in the price of your subscription. However, if you want to have some custom features, you will have to pass through the following process with SaaS provider:
- Send a request to a provider
- Once the request has been approved, you should send the details for the desired feature
- Get the approval and quote
- Receive the implementation roadmap
- Start using integration if the provider accepts the change, and you approve the quote
If you use SaaS CRM and need integration with some exclusive software or payment system, you’ll have to wait several months before your request will be satisfied by SaaS providers. Additionally, the price for customer integrations is much higher by big companies than developing the same feature in your custom solution. CRM providers may also decline such requests if they don’t match the provider’s policy or can’t be used by other clients.
You can find custom CRM systems for industries like Telecom, Logistics, Healthcare, and Software Development in our portfolio. All these clients had specific requirements related to their field that led them to a custom solution.
And we are not only referring to software integrations. To perform client relationship management in Telecom, you should integrate and synchronize your CRM with hardware to check users and regulate their access to the Internet according to their subscription plans. Other industry-focused functions that we built for them include Point of Connection Management and Topping-Up with the generated scratch cards. These features are not typical for the average subscription-based CRM system, still crucial for the Telecom business. With custom CRM software, the choice of integrations is completely up to you.
3Analytics dashboards fully adapted to your requirements
With custom CRM, businesses can emphasize and adjust the analytics dashboards and reports to business goals and its unique structure. You can set and track the metrics you see as the most important for analyzing your effectiveness and productivity. You are not limited to a standard list of dashboards and can create custom dashboards with your development team when necessary.
We succeeded in increasing team productivity thanks to reports generated by a Jira-like CRM/ERP system that combines data on project management, task tracking, vacation, and idle hours. These dashboards help to plan time and resources more smartly and productively.
CRM costs consist of the following:
- Initial investment
- Cost of usage
- Cost of change
- Cost of maintenance
When you consider investing in the CRM system for the first time, it might seem that custom CRM software development costs much more than subscription-based solutions. This is right for cases when your requirements fit the offering of the existing CRMs. But if you foresee custom changes to the CRM, the numbers will change.
Big companies like Pipedrive, Salesforce, and other existing platforms will charge you many times more (if they agree to make the changes for you) than if you implement those changes with your development team in a custom-built CRM. It will also take existing platforms longer to build it for you as they need to manage several hundreds of requests from different customers simultaneously. This might not be an option for your business if the required changes have a serious financial impact on your company.
If we look at the cost of usage, then once the platform is developed, the cost of ownership is equal to the costs of underlying infrastructure and 0 for the service itself as you own the platform’s code. Subscription-based solution monthly costs depend on the number of users in the system. The number per user decreases with the growth of the number of users but still might be a considerable amount in some cases.
If you use subscription-based platforms, then your maintenance fee is equal to 0. The platform provider takes care of the infrastructure updates, security patches, and other planned and unpredictable work. If you own the platform, you and your team are responsible for keeping the platform running. You can use different managed cloud services to automate some maintenance tasks, but most of them will have to be managed by your development team.
Thus, it might seem evident that subscription-based CRM is cheaper than the custom-built one, but in reality, you need to calculate things in the long term to pick the right solution for you. The points you need to consider are:
- The amount of time your employees use the system
- The need for future integrations and extended functionality
- Overcosts for extra functionality
- The time spent before the changes are implemented
- Infrastructure costs
- Developers costs
The last point is critical. Despite the complexity of the CRM ecosystem, a big pool of talented developers can build it from scratch, so you do not need to distract (or hire) your in-house team for this task. Don’t let your local software developers’ high rates scare you off this idea. You can rely on an offshore or nearshore software development team with relevant cases in the portfolio. Thus, you can save half of the sum for development for the same quality product.
5Ability to establish a CRM SaaS company
Suppose you have a strong background in your industry with years of experience in different positions. You know your niche in-depth and have an idea of how to automate its processes. When your industry or niche is unique, it will be difficult to find the right CRM platform to adopt for your needs. Building your own custom CRM based on your experience is the only possible way to achieve your goal.
What is important to remember is that if there is no platform for your requirements, you are creating something new that can help other people struggling to find a CRM for their business. Once you test that CRM works well for your own company, you can start offering it as a service to other companies and create a successful online business.
One of our customers had analyzed the bottlenecks of the healthcare institutions in South America and reached out to us to build a single solution to cover all problems and processes. The outcome was hybrid CRM/HRM/ERP that eventually was offered as a solution to a chain of clinics.
Who should consider custom CRM development?
A company with unique requirements. Even if your niche isn’t unique, your requirements might be exceptional. If you see from the very beginning that you need uncommon functionality and integrations or just have a list of unique features that you want to have in one software — custom CRM is your only option.
An enterprise with strict internal policy. Some enterprises prefer to build all of its software in-house so that data never leaves the enterprise’s hardware and servers. This includes companies with a high level of security and sensitive data.
Some countries enforce the data storage location by law restricting businesses from running their services in the cloud. In that scenario, businesses must run platforms on the premise. Several existing CRM platforms do support on-premise installation, but not every CRM can provide this. If your preferred CRM subscription-based platform cannot provide this, you need to build your own custom CRM.
Business with defined growth plans. You can estimate what kind of CRM will be beneficial for you if you know exactly how many employees you’ll hire, how your product will be developing, and how many customers you’ll attract. You may want to build a custom CRM if you don’t want to pay more and more for your CRM subscription when the number of your employees grows.
An industry expert who is founding a CRM-company. When deciding how to build a CRM system, you should rely on your industry background. Your unique sales proposition will be based on custom functions you develop in your CRM product to address your niche’s pain points and bottlenecks.
Points to Analyze Before Building a CRM System
To avoid costly mistakes, consider the following before you create your own CRM system.
1Goals of a CRM system
Always set business goals before you build your own CRM. Doing so allows you to determine the main features for developing your custom CRM software. Goals depend on the specific requirements of a company. Goals may include:
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Better data management
- Automation of sales
- Improving internal processes
- Enhancing team performance
- Higher customer retention rates
- Gaining accurate customer insights
- Effective navigation of client data
- Improved lead management
- Gaining access to reports on the performance of all departments
Always prioritize business goals to allocate the right amount of money and time towards creating an efficient CRM system.
2Roles in a CRM system for realizing business goals
Ensure you assign several employees with elevated access to custom CRM to establish roles for each employee. You need to do so to allocate appropriate permissions. Roles include sales manager, customer support, accountants, and high-level executives, etc.
The access level of each employee matches their role. For instance, a customer support manager has permission to handle complaints, provide information about services, and take orders while the sales team can track new leads.
Any company that aims to create a custom CRM is seeking unique functionality. The key features include:
- Contact management. This allows you to collect customer contact details — like phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts. CRM software makes it easier for a company to track and monitor all leads.
- Email marketing. Email marketing integration makes it possible for the sales team to send emails to all the customers at once. It also permits you to generate emails for specific customers automatically.
- Social media. Chances of making sales through social media marketing are higher. So it is advisable to integrate with social media accounts. Track customer interaction and build your brand with ease.
- Reports. Track the progress made by each team through dashboards. Visualize dashboards by using tables, charts, and circle diagrams. Gain more insight into more useful customer information by using custom filters.
- Mobile-friendliness. This allows employees to easily add or edit data using a phone or tablet at any time and from any location. You can either create a native mobile app for Android and/or iOS, although this may be more expensive. A cost-effective option is to create a mobile website. A mobile CRM system increases productivity by 50%.
- File sharing. Store all files in a single place to make sharing files between different departments easier.
- Invoicing. Create invoices, send them to customers, and track whether they have been paid or not.
- Pipeline view. This gives you a better idea of the sales department. It’s a useful way of identifying the stage of each new lead in your sales funnel.
How to Start Developing CRM Software: Main Steps
Custom CRM software development consists of three steps:
1 Step 1. CRM design
The main goal of this stage is to create a great UX. The time to build and the difficulty of the CRM design stage depend on CRM’s business functions. At the end of this stage, you should have:
- A functional design concept
- Workflow scheme
- User interface library
- A brief description of functional processes
- A working prototype of the design
2Step 2. CRM development and QA
Present the prototype, design, and workflow to developers. This team selects the framework for your custom CRM. Once deadlines are approved and a roadmap is created, then comes coding.
After software development is complete, the CRM is presented to a quality assurance team for testing. Load testing by QA is also performed.
3Step 3. CRM software launch, onboarding, and monitoring
When custom CRM software is developed and tested, the next step is to launch or release it to the production environment to make it accessible to final users. Once released, the onboarding of your team onto a CRM is important. It includes educating employees on how the platform can be utilized. It is always important to monitor the correct functioning of a custom-built CRM.
How Much Does Custom CRM Development Cost?
The cost usually depends on the features that a business wants. Besides the main costs, you will encounter extra expenses on the design, project management, and staff training. Though the price for development differs, a custom CRM’s cost may start from $10,000 to $250,000 and higher for MVP version.
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Below is a table showing the costs of developing some CRM features:
Attract Group is dedicated to providing software development solutions for small, mid-sized, and large enterprises. With skilled designers, developers, and technicians, we make sure we deliver only high-quality results.
Our experience in developing CRM software spans over nine years, so be assured of getting only the very best. We aim to help businesses achieve their goals through innovative technologies. We also have a case study on building a CRM for the healthcare industry. Check it out to get a clear view of the CRM development processes!
A CRM solution helps a company improve internal processes, track customer behavior, and increase retention rates and other trackable metrics. A custom CRM is designed to target the unique issues that a company is facing. By providing access to crucial data and improving team performance, businesses can improve their efficiency and increase revenue.
The type of custom CRM differs for each business. Each has unique features designed to tackle specific issues. Thus, establishing business goals beforehand will assist with decision-making. To boost your business and build your own CRM system, contact the professional team with relevant expertise. The Attract Group team is happy to consult and build a custom CRM solution for your business.
Drop us a line and share your experience.