Even if your business is a startup, customer relationship management (CRM) software is an essential tool to include. By employing it, you get lots of opportunities to grow your business and surpass your competitor, even the bigger ones. Many companies, who purchased ready CRM tools, couldn’t put them into practice effectively. This article is for you if you are willing to build your own CRM system for micro-enterprise. We include a full guide on custom CRM tools for small businesses. Keep reading to find out what features to involve and how to develop CRM software for a small enterprise that will fit all your requirements perfectly. Let’s get started!
What is a CRM system, and who needs it?
The Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) is a relatively fresh business approach. CRM tools deal with data from various sources, such as website and social media analytics, user interactions, etc. It is a top tool for business analytics, sales, and advertising.
CRM manages many processes automatically, so it won’t take much effort to use it. It lets you manage contacts, monitor sales, report activities, interact with users, and much more. According to Statista, the CRM software market is forecasted to hit $36.9 billion in revenues in 2020.
We can say that building a CRM for a local business is an affordable and easy option for any company.
Why is CRM important for small businesses?
Let’s single out the main benefits of CRM development for small business owners.
1. Boosting the workflow by automation
There is one popular rule for efficient company performance. What needs to be optimized has to be optimized. It is mainly related to small enterprises that don’t employ many people. CRM provides an opportunity to deal with the core tasks, while the system deals with processes of secondary importance. Don’t overwhelm yourself with unnecessary tasks and optimize your enterprise’s operation.
2. Assisting you to grow
Building a CRM for a local business is a relatively inexpensive way to bring a company to a higher level. The more data about your application or website users you gather and examine, the more effectively you can build your marketing strategies. The development cost of building a CRM system to correspond to your own requirements is higher than employing a ready-made one. But it will pay off by attracting more customers.
3. App ecosystem scalability
CRM is not a simple system. It involves many specific web-based tools and applications for every team member. For instance, sales department employees need access to customer data. A marketing team from the same company needs user performance analytics. No ready-made CRM system involves various applications right away. But a custom one can.
4. Centralized data management
With CRM tools, analyzing and gathering information becomes a piece of cake. All the information that may interest you is situated in one place. You can operate your customized database in any way you want by adding the necessary features or developing a simple interface for each employee.
Main types of CRM systems
The first thing you should do to make a CRM for a micro business is defining its type.
It aims to automatize sales, customer service, and advertising. The functionality includes:
- lead and contact managing;
- distribution channel;
- assistance service.
Its purpose is assistance with planning the sales. Analytical CRM involves:
- real-time information analytics;
- analyzing the effectiveness of sales and data commercialisation tactics.
Collaborative CRM is made for enhancing team communication. It usually involves an environment to share information and stream the activities.
All these types can be mixed into one multipurpose CRM. With customized development, you can include any range of features you want.
3 Steps to create a CRM for a small business from the ground up
Ready-made CRM software for small businesses is available in the market, but if you want to make a custom one, consider this instruction.
Step 1. Designing
When it comes to designing, User Experience is crucial. It all hinges on your particular enterprise demands. The UX design should be made first, and then you can move on to the UI part. This stage is over if the designer created a library of UI elements, operational scheme, outlined the functional processes, and made a working prototype.
Step 2. Developing and testing
Give your dev team all the accomplishments from the previous stage. Schedule the project time frames and plan. Then it comes to writing a code. The testing stage is essential, and we don’t recommend skipping it. When talking about the CRM for small business development cost, it may vary according to the project scale and functionality you want to include. You are free to add anything you want, but we offer our list of essential features.
Must-have features for a CRM system
- contact and lead management;
- setting and scheduling tasks;
- dashboards and reports to monitor performance;
- support for mobile devices;
- integration of third-party applications (such as Google Analytics);
- Tracking the referred leads (crucial for small retail businesses);
- Chatbots and notifications;
- Sales forecasts.
Make sure your CRM tools include all of this, as these features give a significant boost to the quality. It may cost more, but the benefits will outweigh the cost in the future. Besides, developing multiple applications designed for various team members is also important. Make sure they are functionally linked to one database.
Step 3. Introduction and tracking
Time is necessary for implementing the new tools in the company’s workflow. You need to spend some time integrating a database and installing the programs on all the company devices. Teaching the employees to use the system may also be a problem. See the way it behaves with real people and how your staff operates inside it. Some features may be unnecessary; some can be lacking. Always improve your CRM and make it perfect for your company’s needs.
If you are a small business owner and are interested in its further success and growth, integrating CRM tools is necessary. Custom CRM development is a challenging and time-consuming process, but the results will overcome all your expectations. We hope our article gave you some insights on building a custom CRM, and now you can create a clear plan of action. We wish you good luck in developing a perfect CRM that will help your company grow.