Any business involves working with customers in one way or another. And here the question arises: where to store the data of these customers and how to take them into account? There are three ways.
Store data in notebooks. Exaggerated, but in principle, it is the same difference between notebooks and files. The point is the same. This option will not be considered.
Install or use a CRM system. What are the pros and cons of this solution that will be considered in this article.
Develop your own CRM system by your own efforts or by contractors, pre-designing it so that it turns out exactly what you need for business. And moving industry software development will help you with this.
Setting tasks for the development of a CRM-system
Before you develop something, you have to make a plan. This consists of two components: analysis and design. Before designing the system itself, you have to decide on the tasks that you intend to solve. And here is the first difference from the CRM systems. Ready-made products are made for everyone, trying to please everyone. Each company functions differently and has differences in business processes from other companies. Therefore, ready-made CRM systems are characterized by redundant functionality, which is not required for a customized CRM system.
It is necessary to start with the requirements. And they should be formulated based on the actual business processes. For example, we always ask what processes will automate. For example – the process of cold calls or recording of incoming requests for events with the distribution of leads or locations, the formation of groups. Or you need to automate the process of calculating the cost of the order and the formation of commercial offers.
When the requirements are formulated, you can choose the implementation options that are sure to solve the problems in the best possible way. This maximizes the time for operations in the developed CRM system and reduces the cost of developing a CRM system by eliminating the unnecessary.
Designing before developing
Designing is usually performed by the company, which is engaged in the development of a CRM system. In our company, there are preliminary and basic design. The preliminary design allows you to preliminarily estimate the amount of work and the cost of developing a CRM system.
The main stage of design starts with the design of interfaces, and it is called prototyping. This is a preparation and drawing prototypes of interfaces, which will work with the user of the future CRM system. This approach allows you to visualize the future process of working with the system, most importantly – do not miss the details. What does it mean? You can imagine working with the future system and find out that there is no necessary button or function you forgot to tell us about, and we hear about it. You can imagine exactly how the system will work and what it will and will not have. At this stage you add functionality, you understand what’s missing. And adding this functionality will not lead to altering the existing solution, you will not have to spend money on changing the code and the already made interfaces.
After this visualization and accurate determination that yes, this is exactly what needs to be developed, the terms of reference are written. The statement of work is written based on the approved interfaces and describes the technical implementation. It contains a description of the data stored in the system, a textual description of the interfaces and the mechanics of their work, as well as the user logic and tests. For instance, what should be done to add a new deal to the CRM system, display a quote, or calculate an order. This describes the sequence of pressing buttons and entering data into the system.
The terms of reference also contain requirements for the system in terms of quality and safety, the set of technologies used.
The actual development of the CRM system
This is a boring process of programmers’ work, the customer does not interfere in this process and expects the result. Then there are the internal processes of testing the project inside the developer’s company, and the project comes back to the customer as a ready and working system. Then, as a rule, the processes of improving the system follow. The developed system, no matter how much it is tested, may contain errors. In custom development, this cannot be avoided. What matters is how developers respond to their detection and how quickly and free of charge they fix them. From the developer company on the developed CRM system should be a guarantee.
The advantages of developing your own CRM-system
The most important advantage is that you develop a CRM system based on your own business processes, and you end up with exactly what is required. That is, the system will not contain “this doesn’t fit”, “this needs to work differently”, or “this cannot be used”. About this last point – it won’t happen if you approach the design stage correctly and take part in it. Because only you know how you want it to work.
No unnecessary. This is actually a very important factor for efficient automation. Because you do not have to enter data and fill-in sections, which are of no use either for the business process or for the company. And do it because a purchased template system requires you to do it. There are no unnecessary fields to waste time on or that take up unnecessary useful interface space. The interfaces are designed to arrange the fields you need to fill out in an optimal way.
Integration with any other systems that can. In the individual development of a CRM system, you can link up the future program with any other programs that allow the exchange of data (all modern systems can do it). For example, link to the accounting program, warehouse, telephony, external analytics systems such as call tracking, banks, or other systems of the company.
The development of the system is limited only by your imagination. If everything is clear with off-the-shelf systems, then the system you have developed can be refined and expanded, automating more and more business processes of the company and bringing more and more benefit.
Other departments and employees. Developed CRM-system is almost always not only about CRM, it is about other processes involving employees of related departments in the company. This is special analytics on the indicators of interest to the manager automatically into a messenger in the evenings. This is special separate access for employees of production, accounting, delivery, warehouse, purchasing department, other participants in the process associated with sales. This is prompts first-hand information by allocating separate access to the system and creating special interfaces.