Last Updated: March 20, 2024
IoT Application Development
Published On: March 18, 2024

Blog Summary: This blog is an in-depth guide to developing robust CRM software for CEOs and CTOs of startups, SMEs, and large-scale enterprises. It will guide them through the features, challenges, and types of CRM they can develop to streamline their operations, boost customer experiences, and achieve better revenues.

In the current age, whether you’re a startup or an enterprise, your biggest superpower is having a strong customer base. However, today’s customers need meaningful interactions and expect a responsive user experience across multiple modes of communication.

CRM enables you to build your customer journeys, focusing on their unique needs. Ultimately, it helps you focus on building strong customer relationships, resulting in better customer retention.

According to Statista, the global CRM software development market share is expected to grow upto USD 57 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 2.1%. Among leaders like Oracle, SAP, and Adobe, Salesforce holds the highest market share in CRM software, with 23%.

Thus, having CRM software will make you ready to adapt to this age of connectivity, where valuable data and strong customer relationships are the two most significant resources for any organization.

In this blog, we will explore how CRM can help you serve your customers better while uncovering the features, challenges, and steps for its development.

What is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software designed to manage interactions with existing and potential customers and improve business relationships. It enables them to stay connected with their customers, streamline operations, and enhance productivity.

A CRM system is a platform for managing the sales and productivity of an organization by focusing on building relationships with customers, users, suppliers, and employees.

CRM software development enables organizations to meet their growing customer base more efficiently with personalized customer service and improved managerial functions. By keeping track of the entire customer interaction journey, it helps the sales and marketing teams build stronger customer relationships.

Here’s how:

CRM software gathers information about each customer through different channels like emails, live chats, website visits, contact numbers, and social media. In turn, it enables developers to have a thorough understanding of the target market and figure out ways to respond best to their needs.

This way, CRM software development is beneficial for organizations of any scale, especially small businesses where smaller teams need to do more in less time. Similarly, for large organizations, it makes collaboration easier with their customers as everyone on the team has clear access to each purchase.

Different Types of CRM Software

Improved customer relationships are a necessity for all businesses, regardless of their size. However, monitoring the sales cycle, capturing leads, and figuring out which leads need priority can make a huge difference for sales and marketing teams.

Small and medium business owners often face client attrition, declining sales, and misaligned revenue targets. Similarly, large businesses need to build better communication channels as they deal with large customer bases.

Hence, identifying the right type of CRM software development depends on understanding your organizational needs.

Following are the three types of CRM according to the level of management you need for your customer base:

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1. Collaborative CRM

This type of CRM centralizes all the customer data and provides easy access for sales and marketing teams. They can easily track all their data related to purchase history and inquiries. It enables them to solve customer queries as and when required.

A collaborative CRM has two essential aspects:

  • Customer communication management helps maintain each point of contact for customers – website visits, emails, social media, and phone calls.
  • Channel management utilizes data to gain insights and figure out which department will carry out the next plan of action.

2. Operational CRM

Operational CRM provides the ability to reach out to clients on a real-time basis. It helps marketing and sales professionals to streamline their customer experiences through various tools.

An operational CRM provides service automation to handle tasks more efficiently. It includes data collection and personalized interactions for new and repeat customers.

With detailed reports and charts, sales professionals can get valuable insights and form better Calls to Action (CTA). They can also achieve targeted sales by tracking the preferences of prospective customers. Marketing and sales automation saves time and manual effort in analyzing customer data.

3. Analytical CRM

Analytical CRMs utilize the benefits of SaaS through cloud-based apps to analyze the collected customer data and create reports. A customer’s purchasing journey can be brought on display through charts, enabling value generation. A visual representation of all the customer-related information becomes helpful for forecasting, analyzing, planning, and executing better customer services.

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Why do You Need CRM Development?

Carrying out successful business relationships with customers requires a strategy that’s centered around your target customers coupled with the right technology in place. While you might have sales targets and objectives, you need accurate tracking measures to get reliable and updated information.

Enter the CRM software development that enables your teams to translate data streams into meaningful custom insights and make informed decisions. CRM solution helps you manage and optimize your lead journeys entirely based on data.

Here’s why CRM software is essential for organizations of any scale:

1. Sales Pipelines Become More Customer-centric

CRM software helps you understand your potential customers better. With accurate and simpler forecasting, it provides you clarity of every opportunity, leading to better sales inquiry management.

2. Enhanced Employee Engagement and Productivity

CRM software allows employees to provide targeted customer service. In turn, it increases customer satisfaction as all marketing activities, processes, and sales are automated. They also get exclusive access to its centralized database that collects and stores crucial customer information.

3. Easily Scalable as Per Organizational Needs

Whether you’re running a small, medium, or large business, your teams can find it difficult to keep track of all customer information. For any organization, their customers always come first, and they can utilize developing a CRM software product application to offer them a personalized approach to delivering customized offers.

4. Integration with Existing Systems

CRM software enables efficient communication between different software applications with API development to help businesses enhance business connectivity. Besides, modern CRM also enables integration with business intelligence automation systems like data entry and lead generation.

5. Organizes all Customer Records

Prioritizing customers doesn’t have to be guesswork and should always be based on relevant information. CRM software provides an organized platform to keep track of all customer-related interactions and timely reports for easy access.

What are the Fundamental Features of CRM Software?

If you have a large manufacturing business of original equipment, you need multiple channels of communication to upsell and renew. Hence, you would need API development to integrate with an ERP.

Similarly, a small or medium B2B company would need advanced services for software development for their CRM software development needs. They also can use data analysis tools to track leads and shorten their sales cycles.

Depending on the type of business, here are some of the most fundamental CRM features:

1. Contacts Base

CRM’s most fundamental feature is its contacts base. Here, a business entity can have a detailed and organized view of its existing and potential customers. It’s the most thriving feature because the quality of customer information determines the reports you can draw.

Their purchase history, frequency, patterns and behavior, and communication – everything is valuable for successful data mining. Having this feature increases productivity because managers can have instant access to all the information.

2. Workflow Automation

Automation of workflows removes human errors as a custom CRM system replaces repetitive tasks by humans. It automates simple tasks like data entries, migration, tracking assets, and sending reminders.

This is crucial because when organizations grow, CRM enhances the coordination between different departments. Instead of becoming isolated, CRM integrates all of them to keep the workflow smooth.

Examples of workflow automation include Sales and Marketing, where CRM analyzes large data volumes, finds leads, and follows up.

3. Lead Management

With custom CRM software, organizations can manage their leads and forecast the results with AI. It helps sales teams qualify and engage the leads based on their interest and behavior. CRM can help them push the leads further down the funnel and bring them closer to conversion.

CRM helps focus on the right leads by categorizing them and prioritizing the ones that have the potential to close faster. On the other hand, it helps marketing teams identify the leads that need more nurturing and can become qualified leads.

4. Document Sharing

With document sharing, CRM systems help sales and marketing teams collaborate and increase productivity. Sharing documents provides a clear and transparent view of all the marketing activities happening across the company. With document sharing, they can manage access to sensitive customer-related information.

Hence, document management is a crucial feature that enables robust user management and access control. Maintaining confidentiality and data security makes it simpler to tailor custom CRM solutions according to user experiences.

5. Calendar and Reminders

CRM software promotes collaboration across departments for efficient sales management. With powerful collaboration tools like integrating calendars, it enhances direct-sales success. Each department of an organization can collaborate to streamline workflows by sharing their insights on data.

By collecting all the useful and valuable data, custom CRM development services make it available to the entire team. Managers can maintain all records of client meetings and forecasting. Additionally, since it records all the communication, team members can easily take on the job when assigned a role.

6. Team Management

CRM enables efficient management teams by streamlining the sales processes. Each member of a team, right from managers and team leads, can track and visualize the progress of a deal. It further trickles down each member of the team, where CRM helps draw reports for further analysis by generating team performance reports.

It also helps monitor each stage, identifies bottlenecks, and makes revenue forecasting easier. Further, it helps them prioritize opportunities, assign tasks, and make data-driven decisions.

7. Analytics and Reports

A CRM enables your business to improve profitability and customer satisfaction levels through generating analytics and reports. It doesn’t matter which scale your business is; having custom information at your fingertips is key for any business.

A marketing campaign can easily move across departments, connecting everyone in the organization, from call centers to sales professionals. It makes finishing projects easier by consolidating all the customer-related information.

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What are the Challenges of CRM Software Development?

Introducing and implementing new software in a way that reaps success might run you into some challenges. Sometimes, organizations spend a lot of time and resources before realizing that they might need some external assistance for developing software products.

Here are the most common challenges and tips to overcome them:

1. Unclear Business Goals

Often, the top-level management is not convinced enough to realize CRM’s importance. It could either be due to the lack of technology integrations or the IT staff’s inability to integrate existing systems. Competing goals can often result in implementation failure and lead to losses.

Solution: If it’s technology that’s hindering your decision-making, then it’s better to invest in hiring a product development company. They are the right fit to help you with your CRM integration and deployment process.

2. Cost of CRM Software Development

CRM implementation is expensive. Some companies skip support implementation to save money, but it is bound to backfire in the long run. Hence, formulating CRM techniques and custom features and setting aside the budget for hardware costs and Total Ownership Costs is tricky.

Solution: Choose a user-centric software development practice focusing on automation and scalability. Many CRMs also offer employee training to gain its full advantage and a higher ROI.

3. Lack of User Personas

An organization’s inability to build the right user personas may cost them in terms of user adoption. A lack of personas leads to incorrect access to data and could give them insufficient or outdated user data. Additionally, it would also hamper the revenue forecasting process.

Solution: Build user personas for modifying flows, page layouts, and fields. All these tools help build a tailored CRM user experience. Plan out a strategy for navigation, describe customer journeys, and set clear goals.

4. Complex Project

Developing a CRM can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to make sure that the software has adapted itself according to the needs of the organization. Hence, CRM is an extremely complex project that requires long-term vision and investing the right resources and time.

Solution: Prioritizing time management is essential to reduce the higher costs of investing resources for implementing CRM. Moreover, improving data quality will also ensure that workers are adequately supported with complete customer information.

Steps to CRM Software Development

Before you build CRM software, it is important to consider the type of user interface, cloud integration, integration with business systems, and post-project maintenance. Building high-quality software within a stipulated time frame also needs the guidance and assistance of a development company.

With the right development team of top CRM developers by your side, you can build a new software product or integrate it with existing systems.

Here are the essential steps that will help you build successful CRM software:

1. Clarify Goals

Developing CRM software requires clarity of purpose and a plan of action that’s easy to execute. Hence, it is crucial to identify the benefits you are seeking to gain from it. Understanding goals at the start is vital for figuring out the value the project will bring to your teams.

Here are some common objectives you should consider:

  • If you want to achieve a better customer experience, your objective should be gaining insights by understanding user behavior and preferences.
  • If you want to streamline your sales processes, your aim should be tracking leads and targeted marketing efforts to boost sales revenues.
  • If you want better lead management and nurturing, your objective should focus on automating routine tasks like data entries and follow-up reminders.

Once you have the clarity of goals, you can then move on to the type of CRM your organization needs. You can choose from operational CRM to automate tasks, analytical CRM to collect and analyze data, and collaborative CRM to achieve better coordination between marketing and sales activities.

2. Choose CRM Features

Based on the CRM you choose to develop, the features would differ accordingly. Some features are standard across all types as they are essential for data collection and organizing contacts. These include lead management, task management and automation, interaction tracking, analytics and integrations.

Each project is different, with a beginning and an end. Hence, it is essential to identify the right time to move from improvement and delivery phases toward maintenance. Moreover, defining what’s in scope and what isn’t is equally important too.

A custom CRM solution has three important components, which include a sales module, a marketing module, and a customer support module. You can choose a combination of all the three modules or select a specific one.

For example, for improving sales efficiency, simplified sales processes, customer data accuracy, and identification of bottlenecks are essential. So, adding features like pipeline view, opportunities, and leads will make sense.

Similarly, the marketing module of CRM helps track, streamline, and automate marketing efforts. So, including features like campaign management, segmentation, and analytics would provide you with maximum benefits.

3. Find Development Company

Partnering with a development company enables your organization to plan the entire process smoothly. Instead of looking through complex instructions for developing CRM, a development partner would help automate your business processes.

Moreover, they can also guide you through deciding whether you want to develop from scratch or integrate with existing systems.

Lastly, a CRM development company is highly useful in conducting competitor analysis. Based on the analysis, it’ll help you prepare software requirements and recommend the features to develop.

Working with a software development team will also ensure that your CRM project receives post-launch maintenance. If the project is complex and scalable, the software can be thoroughly tested, and bugs can be fixed well in time.

You can also choose to expand your in-house development team by hiring specialists only for the skills you lack in your team. You can have full control over the team, but the costs would be higher.

4. CRM Software Design

Creating a user interface for user experience has its own set of challenges. These could differ according to the different target customers and different volumes of data sets. For enhanced productivity, your CRM must be able to identify the roles and responsibilities of different user groups.

Creating user personas is essential for logically organizing the data and functions. Hence, CRM should focus on smooth navigation and a system that ensures consistency of elements. These include prioritizing frequently accessible data like help kits and user guides for easy onboarding.

However, decision-makers should also be wary about building too many CRMs for different user personas. Building one CRM is enough to solve the problems of all user groups. This way, you can save on paying multiple license fees, overheads, or supplier costs.

Thus, your organization must have a pattern for designing software architecture. An architecture is a roadmap that allows you to visualize which solutions and technologies have been implemented successfully.

5. CRM Software Development and Support

Custom CRM projects move from planning to implementation. Based on the timeline and budget. Once the budget for the features is as per the scope, the development team can start the development process.

The benefit of hiring a custom team is you can increase or decrease the budget as the need to scale arises. Developers start the process by defining a detailed technical specification that outlines the database, data structure, design, and technologies.

Further, they also plan the data migration process required for transferring data from existing CRM. With scalability in mind, they develop APIs and connectors to enable seamless integration with other software.

Moreover, they also ensure that the system is responsive and accessible across different devices. By applying agile software development principles, they start the lifecycle from coding to testing and deployment.

How Much does the CRM Development Cost?

The cost of a collaborative CRM would differ from an operational CRM or analytical CRM.

Usually, the cost of a CRM ranges from $25,000 to $5,70,000. If you choose an in-house software development team, the total cost would be more than hiring an app development company.

Many organizations also choose to integrate Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service Automation systems. Here’s a comparative analysis of all the features included with their estimated costs:

Sales Automation Price and Duration Marketing Automation Price and Duration Customer Service Automation Price and Duration
Account Management:
Dashboard, Toolbar, Pipelines, Leads, Tasks
$30,000 to $35,000

2 to 2.5 months.

Marketing Campaign Management: Budget tracking, performance analysis, marketing materials  $7,000 to $14,000

3 to 3.5 months

Help Desk and Agent Console: Request views, ticket assigning  $18,000 to $28,000

1.5 to 2 months

Sales Analytics: Data Representation through Location, time, color  $4,000 to $8,000

1.5 to 2 months

Customer Segmentation/ Analysis:

Filters based on preferences, demographics, purchases, behavior

$6,000 to $11,000

3.5 to 4 months + Iterations

Knowledge Database:

Important resources for products and services

$3,000 to $8,000

1 to 1.5 months

Sales Planning and Forecasting $6,000 to $12,000 Marketing Analytics: Campaign tracking, budget analysis $4,000 to $9,000

2.5 to 3 months

Service Analytics: Support team, client records $6,000 to $9,000

2 to 2.5 months

Conclusion

Each customer interaction needs to be hyper-personalized for real-time engagement with multiple communication channels. Hence, the need to create a unified CRM that is able to connect marketing, sales, and customer service departments can’t be overstated.

However, balancing the quality and price of CRM software requires proper evaluation of organizational goals. Once you have clarity of vision, the best way to go forward is to select the right company that understands your ideas.

Moon Technolabs develops customer-oriented processes for tracking customers to help you predict outcomes based on real-time user behaviors. Choosing us as your development partner will enable you to develop CRM software that can skyrocket your customer retention, churn rates, and Returns on Investments.

FAQs

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software development helps you manage and store existing and potential customer information. Whether you have a startup or an enterprise, CRM software can help you improve customer relationships. By supporting sales management, delivering actionable insights, and integrating existing systems, CRM tracks and analyzes sales opportunities.

CRM uses JavaScript and Java for writing code and tools like Oracle SQL Developer for data modeling. Other languages include HTML5 for object-oriented programming with scripting languages like PHP and Peri. Other than these, Ruby, C++, C# and Python can also be used for faster data storage and task management features.

The three types of CRM are collaborative CRM, operational CRM, and analytical CRM. You can choose the type of CRM based on your needs. If your organization needs a common platform for supporting all departments, then a collaborative CRM is ideal. Operational CRM streamlines the process of customer relationships, and analytical CRM enables analyzing custom data to gain valuable insights.

The first step for developing CRM software includes ensuring that it is deployed and implemented according to organizational needs. Secondly, decision-makers need to make sure that they set objectives and expectations. The third step is to develop qualified leads and follow through to identify potential opportunities. The fourth step involves paying close attention to the data they are entering into the systems.
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Jayanti Katariya

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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