How to Build a CRM Solution for your Business from Scratch

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How do you manage customer-related data?

This is why you might want to build your own CRM.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process dedicated to managing a company’s relationships and interactions with all existing and potential customers.

If you want to explore a custom CRM creation that will meet all your business requirements, this article provides the answers in great detail.

Feature-Set for Custom CRM Development

Let’s review some must-have and advanced CRM features that are mostly used.

Basic Features of Your Own CRM

Basic Features to Build a CRM

The table below represents the basic functionality.

Advanced CRM Functionality

Advanced Features of CRM

How Much Does it Cost to Build a CRM?

Here are a few methods you can choose from:

  • Work with freelancers
  • Address local IT firms
  • Outsource software development to Eastern Europe

Ukraine, in particular, offers a unique environment combining competitive prices with the strongest tech talents. If you decide to work with a company from Ukraine, you will get a high-quality product tailored to your specific business needs.

Cost to Build a CRM Based on Software Development Vendor

The cost to develop a CRM can range from $60,000 up to $230,000 or even higher based on factors like the number and complexity of features, design complexity and uniqueness, number of supported platforms, vendor type, location, and rates you choose, etc.

The time needed for developing a custom CRM fluctuates between 3–6 months for a simple CRM system version, 4–9 months for a full product, and 9+ months for a large product for two or more supported platforms.

Take a look at the table below providing a CRM cost and timeline breakdown based on development stages and product volume.

Please note that this cost is calculated based on the average rate of $40 in Ukraine.

CRM Development: Services and Processes

  • Discovery — an exploration of market possibilities, competitors, and overall project planning with a project mind map, functional specifications, and product backlog
  • Development — all tasks associated with software development.
Stages & Services of Custom CRM Development

Let’s explore the main stages of providing custom software development services.

1. Discovery Stage

  • Market analysis (on demand)
  • Competitor analysis (on demand)
  • Concept mind map creation
  • Documentation of functional specifications
  • Product backlog
Product Backlog Sample

UX/UI Design is dedicated to creating the logic for user interaction (UX) and for creating the user interface and CRM design. The main deliverables of this stage include:

  • UX — user experience (wireframes)
  • UI — user interface (mockups)
  • Branding elements (e.g. logo)
  • Animations and illustrations

2. Development Stage

Below is a table presenting technologies used to build software on different platforms (Web, iOS, Android).

Below, you can see a table describing some valuable integration and third-party APIs that you might use to build a CRM.

QA, Testing, & Deployment — a service of high importance that allows developers to check functionality, performance, and security.

Ongoing Software Support & Development — ongoing work on the solution’s functionality, improvements to its security, and performance.

8 Key Considerations & Steps for CRM Development

Key Considerations when Building a CRM from Scratch

1. Define Commercial Goals

Building your own CRM delivers a number of benefits, such as automation of internal operations, better work by the sales team, and integration with marketing and other departments.

Why Create a Custom CRM for Marketing, Sales, Service Departments?

2. Finalize CRM Roles

3. Check Out Legal Restrictions

4. Decide on the Supported Platforms

5. Specify FRS & SRS

6. Staff Training Considerations

7. Thoughts about Service Support and Improvement

8. Usage of Artificial Intelligence in Future Versions

Learn from CRM System Types and Examples

Types & Examples of CRM Systems

1. Operational CRM

Hubspot- Operational CRM System Example

Examples: HubSpot, Salesforce, Creatio.

2. Analytical CRM

Salesforce- Analytical CRM Example

Examples: Salesforce Einstein, HubSpot Marketing Hub, Zoho Analytics, Zendesk Explore, Mixpanel.

3. Strategic or Collaborative CRM

Microsoft Dynamics 365- Collaborative CRM Example

Examples: Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP Business One (SAP Customer 360), Sugar CRM, Sage, CRM, Copper, Pipeliner CRM.

Custom CRM Creation based on User Type

1. CRM for the Sales Team

These CRM database applications usually include the following features:

  • Account management
  • Sale scheduling
  • Sales analytics

2. CRM System for Marketers

CRM software for marketers can include the following functionality:

  • Promo and sales campaign management
  • Exploring customer types
  • Business performance analysis

3. CRM for Customer Support

A customer support CRM can include the following functionality:

  • Information base
  • Customer support interface
  • Automated analytics

Key Benefits to Create a CRM from Scratch

Main Disadvantages of Ready-Made CRM Solutions

  • Many additional fields
  • Improper UI / UX design
  • Difficult to stand out

Let’s now review some of the most promising advantages and learn why ready-to-use solutions are not always the best choice.

1. Solution Tailored to Your Needs 100%

2. Centralized Data Aggregation and Editing

3. Analytics about Customer Insights

4. CRM Ecosystem Scalability

How to Find the Perfect IT Partner to Build a CRM

What’s next?

Process for Finding CRM Developers

You will need to find and hire CRM developers to turn your software idea into a real product. The following checklist will help you make the right choice:

  • Pay attention to the questions asked
  • Check the portfolio
  • Check reviews
  • Choose a geographical region
  • Get in touch with prospects
  • Ask the right questions

Note: This is a summary of a guide.
Check out more details and recommendations to build a video chat app in the complete article on the MLSDev blog.

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