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September 12, 2022 • by Victoria Koval

Custom CRM Software

E-commerce development
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As we close out 2022, it’s clear that business automation is no longer thought of on a whim or considered a rarity; instead, it’s become a real necessity. CRM-systems are actively used in both large corporations and SMBs alike. What tasks do CRMs perform and what benefits do they provide? What is custom CRM software and does your business need it? Let’s take a look at these questions (and answer them!) in our new article.

 

 

What is CRM?

 

CRM (customer relationship management) is software for automating customer interaction processes, which includes the functions of collecting, storing and analyzing data about consumers, suppliers, and partners, as well as internal processes of the organization.

 

 

What are the benefits of using CRM?

 

  • Increasing sales.
  • Optimization of marketing strategy.
  • Improving the quality of customer service.

 

 

There are both cloud-based and boxed CRMs. Their main difference is in the location of the program. A cloud CRM solution is hosted on the developer’s server; a boxed CRM is bought and installed on your server.

 

 

In addition to the fact that you can purchase your own CRM solution, you can also create your own CRM with the functionality you need. But first things first.

 

Types of CRM systems

 

 

There are several types of CRM, each differing in their functionality.

 

Operational CRM provides access to functions such as registration of applications, invoicing, storage and systematization of information on customers and orders, reminders of tasks and executing their completion.

 

Analytical CRM not only captures and automates interactions with the client, it also analyzes these processes, identifying and tracking patterns. The main purpose of this type of CRM is to analyze sales information to optimize the strategy of working with clients.

 

Collaborative CRM is designed to work closely with customers and receive feedback from them. The results of such interaction can be used to adjust the range of goods, service style, list of services, etc.

 

 

CRM system: basic modules

 

It is important to understand that despite the large number of ready-made CRM solutions, many companies are free to independently determine the functionality they need for their business and create an individual system tailored to those needs. There are no uniform standards for CRM systems — the program may consist of various components required by a particular business. However, there are some basic modules.

 

 

CSS (Customer Service and Support)

 

The functionality of this module is aimed at providing quality customer service. It includes:

 

 

  • a database containing information about clients and contacts with them, which allows you to track whether the client has contacted the company before, and therefore study the history of client requests;

 

  • the collection of data about potential customers, as well as the collection and storage of established contact info (current customers), tracking their relevance and their distribution among sellers;

 

  • storing information about customers and setting up a personal messaging system, etc.

 

 

SFA (Sales Force Automation)

 

The sales automation system automatically registers all stages of a company’s sales and includes such functions as contact management, sales planning, order and documentation management, sales analysis, and product information management.

 

 

MA (Marketing Automation)

 

The marketing process automation module is responsible for analyzing the target audience, developing a marketing strategy plan, calculating budgets and analyzing results, identifying and analyzing consumer requirements, etc.

 

 

How do CRMs work?

 

Next, let’s look at the scheme of operation of a basic CRM system.

 

 

Customer Inquiry –> Sales Launch –> Engagement Strategy –> Communication Effectiveness Analysis

 

 

  • Customer Inquiry.

 

The organization receives an inquiry from a client. At this stage, the system determines through which channel the client came to your company, records the fact of the appeal and assigns a manager to them. When setting up VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, also referred to as IP telephony) for your system, the program will be able to record calls, save correspondence from clients and record the communication of a sales manager with a client.

 

 

  • Sales Launch.

 

The system launches a sales funnel, a model that includes all the stages that your client must go through until the moment of purchase. In simple terms, this is the “path” that the buyer goes through from the moment the product first attracts their attention to the point in time when they decide to buy it. At this stage, the program can automatically issue an invoice or send the necessary documents for approval.

 

 

  • Engagement Strategy.

 

At this stage, the system analyzes the client’s actions and builds a strategy for further interaction to increase engagement — this may include personalized offers, mailings, launching targeted advertising, etc.

 

 

  • Communication Effectiveness Analysis.

 

Now the system will collect data on the entire sales process and prepare a report on the business metrics you need (for example, key performance indicators for managers), analyze the sales funnel and identify weaknesses.

 

 

Benefits of working with CRM solutions

 

Optimizing the process of interaction with a client allows you to track the actions of that buyer from the moment they first come to your site. This enables you to provide relevant offers at each stage of the funnel. As a result, you will not only be able to increase sales volumes and shorten the transaction cycle, but also capture the interests and preferences of your target audience, which will allow you to create effective marketing strategies.

 

 

So, what tasks can a CRM system automate?

 

 

  • Routine processes. Free up countless hours spent on tasks that would otherwise be done manually. 

 

  • Systematization of customer data. Gather your leads’ contact info and other relevant data, store it, and make it easily accessible.

 

  • Tracking interactions. Overseeing the communication of managers with clients in chats, by phone, email and other channels.

 

  • Measuring performance and productivity. Reports with detailed data on the effectiveness of the company’s interaction with customers.

 

  • Optimization of the sales strategy. Analysis of the sales process and identification of its weaknesses.

 

 

Ready-made CRM examples

 

Today, the market is full of various CRM-systems with wide functionality. Consider these few examples of ready-made CRMs.

 

 

  • SAP BusinessObjects is a business intelligence platform from SAP with reporting and analysis capabilities, data visualization and analytics, and integration with the Microsoft Office package.

 

  • Zoho CRM is a cloud-based platform for automating marketing and sales processes. The platform includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, database, notes, budget, projects, and more.

 

  • Pipedrive is a cloud-based CRM software for managing the sales process. The functionality of the program includes an overview of sales channels, the history of interactions between sellers and customers, tracking the time of sales, sales forecast, sales reports, data import and export, and works with multiple currencies.

 

  • Worksection is an online project management system. Provides opportunities for planning, control of deadlines and budgets, reporting, and communication with the client.

 

  • NetHunt is a system that combines CRM functions with the capabilities of Gmail and other G Suite applications (Google Contacts, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Team Drives).

 

 

Custom CRM software development: Pros and Cons

 

 

Despite the abundance of ready-made solutions, the presence of a unique and complex sales process in your company can lead to the decision to create your own custom CRM system. What is custom CRM? What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with your own CRM? Let’s consider these questions.

 

 

A custom CRM system is a business automation platform designed from the ground up for a specific organization, built by either in-house programmers or a hired development team.

 

 

Advantages of custom CRM software

 

  • A custom CRM solution completely tailored to your sales process. You can set reference terms for the development of any functionality you need.

 

  • A system designed for the exact number of customers. Not all ready-made CRM solutions are designed for a high level of load, and therefore won’t be able to cope with data processing when there is an increase in the number of customers.

 

  • Full CRM integration with your databases and business processes.

 

 

Disadvantages of custom CRM software

 

  • Time for employee onboarding. If ready-made solutions have a lot of training materials, then keep in mind when developing your own system you’ll have to train staff from scratch.

 

  • Software update and technical support. Companies that provide ready-made CRM software release updates in a timely manner, and also offer help from the support side in case of problems. When working with an individual system, you will need to monitor these aspects yourself.

 

  • Price. Naturally, all the points described above will not be free and will require large expenses.

 

 

Custom CRM development: how to create your own CRM?

 

Often, a customized CRM software is suitable for eCommerce businesses, as many stores have a unique approach to sales and marketing strategy. If you’ve decided that you need your own CRM platform, here’s how to develop a CRM solution from scratch.

 

 

Remember that creating your CRM is a large and complex project — this process will require you to do more than find a team of experienced developers or entrust the task to full-time specialists. You will also be required to have the maximum amount of involvement in the process — meaning a complete understanding of what you want to see as a result of development, as well as the most specific and detailed terms of reference.

 

 

It should be noted that factors such as the number of features and options, the integration of third-party services, the availability of a mobile version, or the level of process automation can significantly increase the development cost.

 

 

Stages of custom CRM development:

 

 

  1. Analysis of your business. At this stage, the business analyst must collect the most complete information about your company, its internal business processes, the features of the sales process, the features of the site, and draw up a portrait of your target audience.
  2. Development. Here, the development team examines the collected data and creates a CRM software considering all your requirements.
  3. QA testing, bug detection. Next, the testing team is engaged in identifying and eliminating errors in your CRM platform.
  4. Installation and integration of CRM. This is the final stage (yes!), and your system will now be installed, launched and integrated into your company’s business processes.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Today, CRM software is a universal technology for large, medium-sized and small businesses. It allows you to increase sales, and effectively optimize both customer service processes and internal company processes.

 

 

If you have weighed all the pros and cons and decided on your own CRM system development, IntexSoft specialists can help you with this. Contact us for a free consultation.

Written by

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Victoria Koval

Marketing Manager

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