Essentials of Custom CRM Design for a Startup
Customer relationship management is a strategically important aspect of any business operation. It’s key to business survival and thriving, as the more you factor in the user’s needs, the more loyal your clientele is.
Small startups may need little automation to make sense of their customer data. But as the business grows and customer stats get more complex, it’s time to figure out some effective, scalable solution. In many cases, it’s about choosing a CRM – a system that can save you time and money by automating many processes, storing and analyzing strategic business data, and optimizing staff communication. Visit Eleken’s page to learn more about the business value of CRMs and read on to see how you can develop a custom CRM to close essential business gaps.
Key Goals of a CRM
Starting from the basics, let’s clarify why you might need a CRM overall. With a well-designed CRM system, you can:
- Increase the number of successful deals in your company.
- Raise the size and value of your closed deals.
- Monitor the percentage of successful vs. failed deals for each employee.
- Understand the average lifetime of each deal and its steps before closure.
Why Opt for a Custom CRM?
Many businesses face the dilemma of choosing a ready-made CRM product versus developing a custom CRM solution. We won’t discuss the pros and cons of each option, as our topic is a custom CRM. You may choose this variant if you need:
- A software tool catering to the unique needs of your business.
- A stable and totally secure system.
- Advanced scalability and flexibility.
- An individual design approach factoring in your business specifics.
Things to Consider before CRM System Design
Now that you’re determined to build a custom CRM, it’s vital to clarify some issues and goals to avoid costly mistakes. Here is a list of considerations for your team. Start the development process only once you tick all the points in this checklist.
#1 Commercial objectives
Are you expecting revenue growth and better ROI after integrating a CRM system? You need to have a clear roadmap for CRM integration, knowing how you will use its benefits and automation gains for business success. Then align the CRM expectations with your market strategy and goals to find the best fit.
#2 CRM type
CRM software is diverse, meeting the needs of different businesses. Thus, you can now choose among operational, analytical, and collaborative CRM tools. Operational systems are meant to automate things. They focus on effective lead generation and conversion based on more effective customer data use. Analytical CRMs help you manage customer data better and apply analytics to arrange impactful marketing and sales campaigns. Collaborative tools unify the effort of your customer service, sales, and marketing departments to harmonize their communication and increase output.
#3 Quality expectations
Everybody has a set of requirements for the new software they plan to use. These may be work speed, security parameters, integration functionality, etc. Besides, depending on your business niche, you might seek your CRM’s compliance with ISO or FDA standards. If these issues are relevant for you, make sure to factor them into your CRM development plan.
#4 Legal context
Proper handling of customer and staff data is your protection against lawsuits and problems. Thus, it would help to be extra careful in designing a CRM with proper regard to security and encryption issues. Besides, if you work in the global market, you need to comply with various regulations like GDPR.
#5 Functions, features, and specifications
The bare minimum of CRM features includes contract management, calendar editing, setting of reminders, task management, and generation of reports. Advanced systems should also offer file sharing, email marketing features, invoicing, and hassle-free social media integration. It should also foster team collaboration and ensure that all vital contacts are at your fingertips.
CRM Creation Step-by-Step
Now we’ve come to the step-by-step custom CRM development process. Here is the basic algorithm you may use:
This stage involves setting your business and use goals for the CRM system. These goals will further inform the design of needed functionality.
2. User role identification
Next, you need to clarify what you expect from your staff using the custom CRM tool. What activities should they perform, and what outcomes will your business get from them?
CRM is a database, so it stores sensitive data. You need to choose a proper security model to protect your business data and save your company’s reputation.
4. Contractor choice and project estimation
Depending on your goals and expected CRM functionality, you may now proceed to choose a developer. Factor in numerous issues, such as the provider’s location, model of pricing, degree of support, variety of services, etc.
At this stage, the actual front-end design and back-end development take place. You can develop a custom CRM from scratch or opt for white-label software solutions. It all depends on your budget and available time.
6. QA testing
Once the CRM is ready, you need to test it for flaws, errors, and vulnerabilities. Make sure it’s done by qualified testers who can give a reasonable estimate of your tool’s reliability and quality.
Now it’s time to launch your CRM and offer it for use by your staff or sell it as a standalone business product. You may face some operational challenges and frictions at this stage, but they can be quickly polished based on user feedback.
8. Post-launch support and maintenance
It’s important not to stop on the achieved, improving your CRM and helping it evolve together with your business. Give your users regular updates, improve UX, and work on the product further to retain and attract users.
Once you realize that your startup is growing, you need to find scalable and safe CRM solutions meeting your unique business needs. Using a custom-tailored CRM, you can avoid typical troubles and bottlenecks in client service, guaranteeing sustainable growth and flawless operations. But don’t over-rely on CRM as it’s not the only component of your business success. You need to factor in other business processes and achieve an optimal match between all processes to ensure your business undertaking survives and thrives.