Share

Custom CRM Software Development: How to Do It Right?

Updated 05 Jun 2021

Published 02 Mar 2021

11 Min

451 Views

Customer Relationship Management system or CRM is a must-have software for many businesses, from e-commerce to fintech. Such solutions allow storing, accessing, and managing crucial information about the customers.

Quick stats:

  • The CRM market is expected to exceed $80 billion in revenue by 2025.
  • According to Forester, 50% of teams improved their productivity using a mobile CRM.
  • In 2008, only 12% of businesses had cloud-based CRM. Today, this number is 87%.

The stats are quite impressive. So, how to adopt a CRM system?

  • Out-of-the-box-solution. You can use a CRM system from SaaS vendors. However, this option usually can’t fulfill all business requirements as such software is built for the mass market rather than a specific company.
  • Customize a CRM software. Customization means adding features you need to a ready-made system. But it can be expensive and time-consuming. For example, an experienced Salesforce developer earns around $117k per year. Additionally, you have to pay Salesforce at least $25 per user per month.
  • Custom CRM development. You can hire custom CRM developers to develop a solution meeting your requirements and business goals. This option can cost you a pretty penny, but there's no additional fee for using CRM.

In this post, we’ll cover custom CRM software development for you to learn when you should create a system from scratch and how to do it right.

When Is Custom CRM Development the Right Choice?

You should go custom if ready-to-use CRM solutions can’t meet your requirements. Before spending money on custom CRM software development, it’s better to study pre-packed CRMs like Oracle and Salesforce.

There are more reasons to choose CRM development from scratch.

Various integrations

If you need a bunch of integrations, you need to research whether ready-made CRM supports them. For example, there’re integrations for emailing, social media, and messengers. To keep working with all the services you’re used to, custom CRM app development is often a better option.

Clear business needs

Most CRM systems are made for the mass market. That’s why they can’t meet your expectations and requirements. If your company needs some specific features, you should pick development from scratch. For example, custom-made chatbots can offer more persopined support for your customers.

Unique design

Pre-packed CRM tends to have several design templates, layout of buttons, tabs, and more. Each company has its own workflow, and ready-made CRM systems have a standardized (often very complex due to a large number of features) design and few options for customizing it. Hence, you can spend a lot of time and money on staff training.

Cloud architecture

It’s possible to build a cloud-based solution for anytime access. All the data is stored in the cloud, so your team can get the necessary data anytime they need and from anywhere in the world.

Interested in cloud-based application development? I’ve already covered tech challenges and steps to follow during cloud app development.

Custom CRM development

Reasons to pick custom CRM development

Custom CRM Development: Types of CRM Systems

Choosing custom CRM application development, you should decide on platforms. CRM systems can be built for desktop, web, and mobile.

  • Desktop. Custom CRM developers can create desktop solutions for macOS and Windows with the help of C++ or C# and Swift or Objective-C respectively.
  • Web cloud-based CRM. For the web version, software engineers often use Angular, Bootstrap, JavaScript, and Node.js.
  • Mobile. Native apps for iOS and Android or cross-platform mobile solutions powered by Flutter.

Types of Custom CRM Solutions

CRM development requires a deep understanding of existing types of CRM. There are three primary types on the market — operational, collaborative, and analytical.

1. Operational CRM

There are a bunch of features for marketing, sales, and customer service departments. The most common features are lead and contact management, sales pipeline, and helpdesk.

Existing solutions: Hubspot, Salesforce

2. Collaborative or strategic CRM

These CRM systems focus on customer interactions with your business. They tend to analyze the customers’ behavior and give insights into communication with clients. For example, there are sales and purchase history, marketing preferences, and tech support interactions.

Existing solutions: Pipedrive, Copper

3. Analytical CRM

Such CRM systems help companies analyze the information about customers. There can be customer preferences, channels, points of contact, interests, and more. The system provides you with insights, statistics, and analytics data.

Existing solutions: Zoho Analytics, Salesforce Wave Analytics

Custom CRM development: types

Types of CRM systems

Custom CRM Development Making No Mistakes

Custom CRM software development seems to be a perfect option for many mid-size companies and enterprises. Out-of-the-box software can’t provide specific features each company needs to do their business effectively. That’s why CRM development can save a lot of money in the long-term.

Let’s single out the steps of CRM application development.

Step #1. Do Your Homework

To get a useful product, you need to clarify your requirements and business goals to a development team. Before starting CRM development, it’s better to communicate with employees from marketing and sales departments to figure out their problems and ways to solve them with a CRM system.

There are three primary aspects to focus on:

Business goals

You can prioritize your requirements to achieve better results. For example, your CRM system can manage data flows or automate routine processes for your employees. Your business goals impact the design, CRM type, number of features, and even tech stack.

Security

Depending on the type of data in your CRM, you should consider security. Also, there are general and industry-specific standards. For example, the healthcare field requires additional certificates like HIPAA and GDPR.

Data regulations

Storing and managing information requires considering a bunch of rules and regulations. Mind that they can be different depending on your region. Such laws tend to limit your ability to collect specific customer information (address, relationship status, and more). It’s better to pay attention to PCI DSS, GDPR, and PIPEDA beforehand.

Step #2. Define Key Features

A CRM system can have a variety of features. Choosing custom CRM development, you can pick a set of unique features to meet your requirement.

To make this section useful, I’ve described only must-have features of a CRM system.

Email marketing

It’s better to integrate the email system for marketing purposes. You can track the communication with every customer. The email marketing feature is useful since managers get a lot of emails every day.

CRM can send emails automatically. Also, you can add an opportunity to introduce an email sequence. For example, if a customer opens the first letter, the system sends the next one.

CRM development

CRM features example: E-mail marketing (Source: Dribbble)

File sharing

CRM development lets you create a convenient way to store and share documents. Having all the documents in one place, you can give access to various departments or even employees. Also, the system can track all the interactions with documents. So, you can see who has edited the doc.

Custom CRM development features

CRM features example: File sharing (Source: Dribbble)

Sales process

The CRM system needs a convenient sales tracking system, so that you can see the status of each order. It lets sales managers see what stage each lead is at the moment (new leads, contact made, qualified, and so on). This feature also lets you spot the stage where your company loses customers.

CRM development features

CRM features examples: Sales process (Source: Dribbble)

Reports

One of the most helpful features of a CRM system is customer analysis. The system collects data about each client, including purchase history, residence, and marketing preferences.

Based on the collected data, CRM makes personalized offers for each customer.

CRM development features

CRM features example: Reports (Source: Dribbble)

Chatbots

Choosing CRM development, you can think of business process automation.

Chatbots are perfect for customer support since they’re available 24/7. They also can automate many tasks:

  • Answer FAQs
  • Set reminders
  • Schedule meeting with colleagues
Custom CRM development

CRM features example: Chatbots (Source: Dribbble)

Step #3. Think of a Desirable Budget

It’s quite complicated to determine the price of custom CRM development since it can vary between *$25,000 and $350,000 (or even go up). Everything depends on CRM complexity and your requirements.

To figure out the CRM development cost, it’s better to consult with the development team. You should explain your business goals to the IT specialists to get a more precise estimate.

Find out CRM development cost

Share your project idea with our team and get a tech consultation.

As you can see, the CRM development cost may vary. Let's take a look at the main price drivers.

  • Project complexity. The more complicated features you add, the higher the cost will be. Custom CRM developers need more time to develop essential features, not talking about a higher qualification.
  • Developers’ location. Development price varies based on the team’s location. For example, companies from North America charge one the highest rates in the world. On the contrary, Asian software development companies have the lowest rates, but the product’s quality and customer service are often questionable.
  • Seniority level. It’s common to divide custom CRM developers into three categories depending on their work experience — junior, middle, and senior ones. In the case with CRM systems, it’s better to hire more experienced specialists — middle or senior developers.

To give you a hint, we’ve estimated a custom CRM system for wedding planning. To develop this CRM, you need two front-end developers and two back-end developers. In this case, the development takes 9 months and costs $157,100.

The time and cost of custom CRM development is APPROXIMATE. We’ve estimated only basic features. To calculate an accurate price, we need to know the project requirements.

CRM system for wedding planning: an approximate estimate

Type of workTime

Features

  • authorization
  • dashboard
  • navigation
  • project management
  • mailbox
  • contacts
  • reports
  • settings

1214 hours for back-end development

1604 hours for front-end development

Admin panel

  • authorization
  • agencies management
  • payment management
  • settings

97 hours for back-end development

83 hours for front-end development

Frameworks and libraries integrations

144 hours

Total time

3142 hours

Total cost

$157,100

Step #4. Find a Team

CRM is a complicated system with a bunch of integrations, so you should hire a team of custom CRM developers.

There are three widespread options to hire software engineers:

  • Cooperate with freelance developers
  • Create an in-house team
  • Find a reliable outsourcing company

Freelance developers

Freelance is becoming popular these days. However, CRM development requires long-term cooperation, while freelancers tend to switch projects and fail deadlines.

In-house developers

Hiring an in-house team, you can control the development process and have smooth communication. But this option is the most expensive since there are a lot of additional expenses like rent, hardware, software, taxes, and more.

Outsourcing company

Due to affordable rates and high quality of the final product, outsourced development becomes a good option for many companies. You can also hire a dedicated development team for custom CRM application development.

In our experience, in-house developers or outsourcing are the most suitable options for CRM development.

Custom CRM developers to hire

Hiring custom CRM developers

Step #5. Support and Maintenance

CRM is a complicated system with many integrations, so you need to support and improve your software constantly. So, it’s better to continue cooperation with the development team.

Usually, project maintenance stands for:

  • Bug fixing
  • Stability and performance improvements
  • Code optimization
  • Latest OS versions support
  • Adding new features
  • Supporting the latest versions of third-party services

Wrapping Up

At Cleveroad, we provide enterprise-level software development services, including custom CRM software development.

Recently, our team has developed a CRM system for wedding planning. The system focuses on the Hawaiian market to connect agencies and various contractors (florists, decorators, and so on). The document template editor, Stripe and PayPal payments, and full-fledged email marketing were among the required features.

Unfortunately, the project is under NDA, so we can’t share more details. But feel free to look through our portfolio.

Have a project idea?

Drop us a line to get a free consultation from our specialists.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can hire custom CRM developers to develop a solution meeting your requirements and business goals. This option can cost you a pretty penny, but there's no additional fee for using CRM.

Operational CRM. There are a bunch of features for marketing, sales, and customer service departments. The most common features are lead and contact management, sales pipeline, and helpdesk.

Existing solutions: Hubspot, Salesforce

Collaborative or strategic CRM. These CRM systems focus on customer interactions with your business. They tend to analyze the customers’ behavior and give insights into communication with clients. For example, there are sales and purchase history, marketing preferences, and tech support interactions.

Existing solutions: Pipedrive, Copper

Analytical CRM. Such CRM systems help companies analyze the information about customers. There can be customer preferences, channels, points of contact, interests, and more. The system provides you with insights, statistics, and analytics data.

Existing solutions: Zoho Analytics, Salesforce Wave Analytics

  • Various integrations. If you need a bunch of integrations, you need to research whether ready-made CRM supports them. For example, there’re integrations for emailing, social media, and messengers.
  • Clear business needs. Most CRM systems are made for the mass market. That’s why they can’t meet your expectations and requirements. If your company needs some specific features, you should pick development from scratch.
  • Unique design. Pre-packed CRM tends to have several design templates, layout of buttons, tabs, and more. Each company has its own workflow, and ready-made CRM systems have a standardized (often very complex due to a large number of features) design and few options for customizing it.
  • Cloud architecture. All the data is stored in the cloud, so your team can get the necessary data anytime they need and from anywhere in the world.
  • Email marketing
  • File sharing
  • Sales process
  • Reports
  • Chatbots
  • Collecting requirements
  • Analysis
  • Product design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance
Rate this article!
361 ratings, average: 4.93 out of 5

Give us your impressions about this article

Give us your impressions about this article

Latest articles
Start growing your business with us
By sending this form I confirm that I have read and accept the Privacy Policy