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Things to Know when Embarking on a CRM Development

Sandra Merezhynska Hacker Noon profile picture

Sandra Merezhynska

Creative copywriter. Obsessed with tech, marketing, entrepreneurship, and studying skills topics.

It is hard to imagine how to effectively manage a large company not using a customer relationship management system. The modern market offers many CRM solutions tailored for different industries and business’ sizes. Why to choose a CRM that is designed specially for your company?

Why to prefer a custom CRM?

Quality ready-made CRM solutions are expensive, while usually, your company does not need the whole set of provided functions. The cost of a custom CRM development also is not chip, however, in case of individual development, you pay for the functions required particularly by your company. Plus, employees will not spend a lot of time on exploring the new product, because CRM is initially created under the workflow, already established in the company.

For example, while designing a CRM system for a construction company, we were developing a solution where functionality, colors, headings and even the typography was adjusted to the customer’s specifics. We took into account that in the service interface numbers and small signatures are frequently used, so the font type was determined by a good numbers’ display and a small text readability.

Typography of a CRM system for a construction company

Things to consider when developing a CRM system

1. Convenience

Time is money — employees should not waste time searching the necessary topic or information, as well as important documents, should always be at hand. Also, CRM users should have all opportunities for easy reports generation, for communication with each other and with customers directly in the system.

«The perfect cloud based crm software is flexible, accessible from any device, user-friendly and provides meaningful reporting capabilities.» — Susan Connor, president and chief CRM strategist at SquareBlue Consulting

2. Complexity

Depending on the size and business specifics, will vary the CRM system’s functions and the set of technologies with which will be used while CRM development. Creating CRM for a construction company, we chose the modern, reliable framework Symfony2. Also, we used RESTful API for easy scalability and Ember.js — applications on this framework are easy to extend and maintain. The CRM project was created by the principle of a Single Page Application. This allowed us to create a rich user interface and significantly reduce the time wastage on the response waiting. SPA applications don’t require reloading of all page when updating the data, plus they can work in offline mode with real-time elements.

3. Flexibility

Your future CRM system should be flexible enough to provide the possibility to change the settings under a particular process. Also, it’s important to consider the scalability of the web based crm solution so that it can grow together with your company, and there will be no need for a new solution.

«The perfect online crm solution is intuitive, but flexible so that you can manage leads easily and make automated actions based on client segmentation.» — Kenny Kline, partner at JAKK Solutions.

4. Compatibility

In addition to the online analytical CRM tools, you should also consider the connection with third-party resources. For example, integration with telephony, messaging services, accounting software, email, etc.

5. Reliability

Inside the customers relationship management system you will store the important data: customer database, transactions, reports, staff productivity etc. The CRM system should be designed in such a way that the data is protected from third-party interference. Also, there should be concerned access levels for different groups of employees.

Goals and objectives of a CRM system

Perhaps, the main goal of CRM implementation is to attract new customers and optimize the working processes within the company. Objectives can vary depending on the specifics of the industry. We list the most common issues:

  • leads and their activity tracking;
  • maintaining a database of clients;
  • clients operating improvement;
  • the business operations organization;
  • relationship management within teams;
  • optimization of different departments joint work;
  • the improvement of labor productivity.

A thorough analysis of the goals and objectives and their prioritization will help you to design the CRM system with the optimal set of features.

Why is it important to develop a mobile application for CRM?

The web version of the service may still be enough for the interaction within the team, but when working with clients a mobile app for CRM is necessary as the air. In the business trip, in the transport, even on the negotiations — access to the CRM system will provide the ability to be on call, to have the necessary information at hand and put changes into the system quickly.

It is essential that the application work properly and did not let failure in an important moment, so we do not recommend using cross-platform development. Though a native application for Android or iOS, will cost more, will be a solid addition to the web version of a CRM, and will help to increase the business automation effectiveness.

Defining MVP for CRM

The sphere of CRM system’s application can be divided into two areas:

1. The interaction with customers

Mainly involves phone calls, e-mail correspondence, newsletters and meetings. The first three actions should be automated to form a history of customers relations. The minimum set of functions for this area:

  • integration with telephony, e-mail and SMS services;
  • database of customers, addresses, phones with convenient filter
  • the ability of customer relationships tracking;
  • the ability to generate reports
  • the calendar with built-in notifications for entering information on future meetings

The interaction between employees

A CRM system should provide employees the opportunity to allocate working time and help to plan future workload. Also, the CEO should have the ability to control the workload and efficiency of subordinates. Consequently, the minimum set of functions for the area:

  • levels of access for different categories of staff;
  • calendar with built-in notifications, so that manager is able to inform subordinates about the news;
  • the possibility of tasks’ setting and monitoring;
  • the ability to attach files to the task;
  • communication within the task;
  • labels of tasks status and its priority;
  • generation of the workload reports.

According to your business specifics and size, you may need many other features. Creating a CRM system, that will help automate company’s processes and bring the business to the next level, will require significant financial and time costs. However, the result is recouped in a fairly short time — statistics reports that the CRM implementation increases sales productivity up to 29%.

Originally published at stfalcon.com.

Sandra Merezhynska Hacker Noon profile picture
by Sandra Merezhynska @sandra. Creative copywriter. Obsessed with tech, marketing, entrepreneurship, and studying skills topics.Read my stories


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