What is CRM software development? It is a process of creating a software system used by business owners to efficiently track and manage communication and relationships with leads and clients.
A CRM development is valuable for sales, marketing, and customer support managers in today's business environment. There are many off-the-shelf CRM solutions available, but companies face difficulties using them daily due to a lack of compatibility with business processes or failure to streamline routine actions.
At Cleveroad, we have hands-on experience in developing CRMs for different domains, and are ready to share this experience with you in this comprehensive guide. You will find out the major CRM building strategies, steps to perform the system’s building as well as CRM integration, the cost to develop a CRM system, and many other business information.
What Is CRM Development for Your Business
CRM software allows businesses to centralize customer data, such as contact details, purchase history, preferences, and communication history. This helps businesses have a comprehensive view of each customer and enables personalized interactions and targeted marketing campaigns.
In order to obtain the said capabilities, you should be involved in CRM development - a flow intended to create a software system designed to enable business owners to effectively monitor and oversee communication and interactions with both prospective leads and existing clients. Let's discuss why this process is essential for your business.
Why you need to create CRM
When you think out CRM implementation into your business, you always stand before a choice to order a ready-made system with limited set of functionality or to choose a custom development of CRM. We give the most essential reasons why you should build a custom CRM for your organization.
Enhanced customer relationships. By having a comprehensive view of each customer's history, you can tailor their interactions and offerings to suit individual needs. This personalized approach fosters stronger relationships between your company and customers, as well as increases client satisfaction.
Improved sales performance. Through features like lead scoring and automated follow-ups, CRM systems help sales teams prioritize their efforts, streamline workflows, and close deals more effectively. What is more, by tracking sales metrics and performance, businesses can continuously refine their approaches, leading to increased sales efficiency and revenue growth over time.
Streamlined marketing efforts. A custom software for client relationship management serves as a centralized platform for handling marketing campaigns, leads, and customer engagement. By segmenting customers based on demographics, behaviors, or purchase history, businesses can create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with specific audience segments.
Better customer service. CRM systems empower customer service teams by providing access to comprehensive customer profiles, previous interactions, and support tickets. This enables your business to offer personalized assistance, resolve issues more efficiently, and exceed customer expectations while facilitating the automation of routine tasks, such as ticket routing and response management.
Major reasons to pick custom CRM development
Every business can benefit from the custom development of Customer Relationship Management systems from scratch. For example, you can create CRM software solutions for industries like healthcare CRM development or CRM for eCommerce, and so on. But in order to succeed, you need to consider the essential CRM app development strategies capable of helping you build the perfect product to handle relationships with your customers.
The Most Common CRM Development Approaches
Here are the things you should consider when preparing for CRM software development in order to facilitate the creation process.
Make your choice between ready-made and custom CRM
Planning your customer relationship management software, you should select whether you need a ready-made CRM tool or a custom solution, and it’s time to weigh out the pros and cons of both the options.
Ready-made business CRM solutions offer an out-of-the-box solution for managing customer relationships, typically featuring pre-built functionalities such as contact management, sales tracking, and customer support ticketing systems. These ready-made CRMs are often easy to implement and come with standard features suitable for various industries. However, they may lack flexibility and fail to address your specific business needs.
Custom CRMs, in their turn, are tailored to the unique requirements of your business by CRM software developers. These relationship management systems offer the flexibility to incorporate bespoke features and workflows that align precisely with the organization's processes, providing a more seamless user experience. Moreover, the bespoke CRMs empower businesses to adapt quickly to evolving market demands and gain a competitive edge by enhancing efficiency and productivity.
The choice is yours: for example, if you have established a startup company, the ready-made CRM will be enough for you. Kindly note that as far as your company grows, your business requirements change, necessitating a relationship management system from a custom CRM development company.
Think out a CRM user interface
When developing a client relationship management system, it's important to prioritize a user-friendly interface that will be easy for employees to simplify business operations. When you create the interface of CRM from scratch, you should prioritize clarity and convenience over excess elements. A well-designed user interface will help with efficient onboarding and allow users to make the most of the CRM's capabilities without unnecessary challenges. The aim is to make interacting with the CRM system as straightforward as possible, enhancing productivity and user satisfaction.
An example of custom CRM for doctors developed by Cleveroad (source: Dribbble)
Benefit from cloud-based CRM
Developing a cloud-based CRM solution offers numerous advantages, including cost reduction and scalable data storage. Moreover, cloud CRMs facilitate your data accessibility from anywhere, enabling remote collaboration and enhancing flexibility.
With data stored in the cloud, businesses can also enjoy improved security measures and ease of data backup. The cloud app development approach not only streamlines technical maintenance but also future-proofs the CRM system, allowing for easy updates and scalability as the business evolves.
Integrate your CRM with existing business software
Integration capabilities are crucial for a custom CRM system to effectively align with your internal business processes. So that it's imperative that the skilled tech partner can seamlessly integrate the new solution with your existing software systems within CRM development services.
These are some of the digital solution examples you can integrate your customized CRM with to enhance your business productivity:
- Email marketing platforms
- Accounting software development
- Calendar app creation
- ERP software development
- Ecommerce platforms, etc.
CRM implementation services ensure a cohesive and unified approach to data management and business operations. By avoiding silos and fostering interoperability, you can enhance efficiency and reduce the complexities associated with managing disparate software solutions.
How to implement a CRM in your digital business ecosystem – read our article and know more!
In order to address unforeseen performance errors and glitches, you may need post-development support and maintenance for your CRM software success. If you cooperate with a reputable CRM system development vendor, they should offer robust post-project support, ensuring timely bug fixes and addressing any issues that may arise post-launch. This ongoing support alleviates concerns about the relationship management system’s stability and functionality after deployment, allowing you to focus on core business operations rather than troubleshooting technical issues.
CRM Development Process: Essential Steps
Let’s single out the steps of CRM application development you should pass to create a resilient system for your business.
Step 1. Find a tech team
CRM is a complicated system with a bunch of integrations, so you should hire a CRM software developer team to manage possible intricacies of creating a CRM system from scratch.
There are three widespread options to hire relationship management software engineers:
- Cooperate with freelance developers
- Create an in-house team of CRM developers
- Find a reliable IT outsourcing company
Freelance is becoming popular these days. However, CRM development requires long-term cooperation, while freelancers tend to switch projects and fail deadlines.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Type of work
1214 hours for back-end development
1604 hours for front-end development
97 hours for back-end development
83 hours for front-end development
Frameworks and libraries integrations
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
In our experience, in-house developers or outsourcing are the most suitable options for CRM development.
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
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.
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
- Collecting requirements
- Product design
Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
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