The times of manual management of customer data are far behind. With a tailored CRM system you optimize your sales lifecycles, improve business agility, and boost customer satisfaction. According to the Grand View research, around 82% of businesses already utilize CRMs for more effective sales reporting.
So, what benefits will you gain with CRM system adoption? Which industry trends can you use to your advantage? And how to find a credible CRM services provider for your custom software development? Find answers to these and many other questions in our article.
CRM system: what is the actual meaning behind the term?
Let’s take a closer look at what a CRM is and outline its structural components. CRM application is used to build and manage customer relationships with a focus on customer-related data and analytics. In other words, CRM systems connect, synchronize, and analyze all collected customer data, such as their contact information, activities, communications with company representatives, service requests, and more. With the customers’ interactions being open to view, businesses are able to offer users unique personalized experiences and minimize customer retention issues. Accenture states that 91% of consumers are more likely to trust organizations providing custom offers . In addition, enterprises might seamlessly streamline their workflows with the help of CRM solutions, since all customer data is easy to reach. The Nucleus research shows that the upgraded data accessibility offered by CRM technology can decrease the complexity of the sales cycle by 14% .
When it comes to CRM systems, experts differentiate four major software functioning components:
- The communicative component that implies control of all communication channels;
- The solution’s operational part, responsible for data acquisition from different sources;
- The collaborative element supports interdepartmental data alignment;
- Analytical component that controls data processing and interpretation.
CRM development: how it works?
The fundamental characteristic of the CRM development process is its continuity. Despite the fact that CRM solutions go through the usual SDLC flow, they are constantly stuffed with updates and integrations even after the deployment. Yes, it can be a never-ending cycle. However, in general, the CRM software development lifecycle can be split into six main steps:
- The business planning phase covers your business needs definition, development of a CRM strategy and a business plan, as well as process planning activities;
- During the project design phase, your engineering team will define the project's key features, its structure, criteria for success, and outline the deliverables;
- Next comes technology selection, when your CRM software development company evaluates the tech stack options from the point of view of their operability, reliability, and commercial viability. This step is a part of the Product Discovery to clarify tech requirements, find the best approach and tech stack, as well as to conduct prototyping;
- The CRM development stage includes the system’s customization and customer database implementation;
- Getting to the CRM solution’s delivery, your tech team will deploy the CRM either on-premise or Cloud, prepare documentation, and conduct user training (if needed);
- The final phase of maintenance and improvement covers the solution’s technical support and constant updating.
What are the key benefits of custom CRM development services?
When it comes to data consistency, many enterprises struggle to develop a unified approach to customer data governance. Adopting a CRM software will ensure regular updates of the customers’ information and histories. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about inconsistencies in client data: a CRM will serve a single point of truth for all your departments.
The demand for personalization has changed the way businesses handle customer relationship management forever. CRM application development will open a door to customer-oriented interactions through customer data analysis. In other words, by examining insights of your customers’ behavior, you are able to get more personal in further communication. Based on this data, CRMs customize the messaging, boosting customer satisfaction and retention levels. Some of the most common CRM communication features span tailored email templates, message reminder integrations, and AI chatbots. In addition, utilizing CRMs can add up to your further customer engagement: the systems allow you to set up automated follow-up emails and calls. Another hot trend in CRM development is the integration of CRM systems with third-party software. Implementing numerous integrations creates unique workflows within your CRM that act as a single ecosystem. So, by adopting an effective system of integrations, you create a unified CRM that stores all customer updates and communication flows in one place.
Lead engagement analysis
With a reliable CRM software development company by your side, you can make the most of your lead management. The efficient CRM system will boost your lead qualification and scoring capabilities as well as help you prioritize potential client opportunities. Advanced information collecting and reporting workflows allow business owners to access and generate detailed reports on their sales prospects.
Сustom CRM software development: industry trends
How to make use of the CRM’s advantages to the fullest? Keeping an eye on technology trends will help you to be at the forefront of the market race. In the world of automation, using a CRM with a basic set of features is no longer enough to boost your company’s sales and get ahead of your competitors. One way to promptly reach your marketing goals is to implement a custom solution with cutting-edge technology integrations. Let’s have a look at the latest industry trends in CRM software development that can transform the way you manage your sales:
Machine Learning & Artificial intelligence
Lots of businesses make use of CRM subsystems based on ML and AI technologies. Built into the CRM software, Artificial Intelligence tools can help you automate the data entry and log lead engagement communications. Moreover, such AI-driven CRM components as cognitive chatbots are taught to maintain hyper-personalized communication with your customers. For example, as a part of the digital transformation project for Lebara, N-iX tech specialists upgrade the cognitive chatbot for the CRM that could deal with basic human requests in different languages. One of the cutting-edge AI functionalities is sentiment analysis—the use of natural language processing, computational linguistics, and text analysis to examine the customers’ opinion on the product you sell. For CRMs, it usually implies text categorization: the system classifies user messages into positive, negative, and neutral. Based on the received information, business owners can get a comprehensive picture of their customer satisfaction rates.
A considerable number of tech enterprises utilize Machine Learning algorithms in CRM software development. ML integrations help business owners recognize the patterns in customer information and make accurate sales predictions based on the data. As a result, you seamlessly improve the customer lifetime value and optimize the lead prospect scoring. Moreover, the last word in digital—deep language models—will help you uncover implicit messages in texts, where users express their sentiments indirectly.
Advanced analytics & reporting
When it comes to complex analysis, the present-day tech market offers businesses a wide range of predictive modeling algorithms and deep learning services. Exploring and analyzing your data might give you a powerful insight into your business patterns and help you understand and predict your customers’ behavior. Instead of running through piles of spreadsheets with data, you can use an interactive dashboard visualizing lead generation results, sales opportunities, and win/loss details. Moreover, you can access lead handling and lead conversion reports, as well as sales performance summaries—all in one place. Advanced analytics and reporting features allow you to visually present the currents to your team and make deductions regarding your next marketing steps.
Extensive integration capabilities
With CRM integrations, you can seamlessly connect your custom solution with third-party software, like marketing automation systems or customer service features. The integrations extend the CRM’s functions while creating unified synchronized workflows between all the system’s components. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular types of integrations:
- Email integrations cover the synchronization of your CRM with the mailing tools (for instance, Gmail). Automated inbox management will allow you to enable two-way communication between you and your customers. As a part of mailing integrations, you also get access to templates and data analytics features (e.g., email marketing performance metrics);
- Developing calling software integrations will extend your CRM functionality list with video call features, namely, direct meeting scheduling and call synchronization. Such integration type covers integrations with large video platforms like Zoom, call tracking software, as well as tailored call center applications.
- Prospecting software integrations will facilitate your lead engagement with personalized outreach. Some of such integrations imply generating and sending icebreakers within your CRM to reach potential leads;
- Direct integration of team communication software such as Slack or Microsoft Teams into your CRM, will allow you to utilize features of both applications simultaneously, without a need to switch between windows or set up complex workflows;
- As businesses seek to learn more about their leads and customers, they make use of forms and data collection integrations. This integration type means implementing custom question forms into your CRM, that will help you collect more data about your leads. The most common data collection integrations are with feedback software such as Survey Monkey and Typeform;
- The most common calendar integration is linking the Microsoft Outlook which enables instant sending of meeting invites and notices with your CRM users;
- With connector integrations, you are able to bridge your CRM and several additional tools at once to create customized automated workflows;
- Custom integrations activate the potential of the CRM applications to the fullest since you implement them according to your specific business requirements. Within the system of several custom integrations, you create a unique automated workflow that will work for all of your organization’s departments.
How to choose the best CRM software development company?
Selecting a reliable partner to optimize your sales operations may become a challenging task. CRM development companies considerably differ in size, applied technologies, and industry experience. As of the moment of writing, Clutch lists around 3,900 engineering vendors that specialize in custom CRM development services. But how to select the trustworthy partner that will build a tailored and scalable CRM solution for you? Here are the key criteria that distinguish a reliable CRM software development company:
#1 Solid technology expertise
The vendor’s technology list will give you the first hint about the company’s CRM development potential. Here is the must-have technology expertise to look for in your future outsourcing partner:
- Clouds, namely Microsoft Azure, AWS, and GCP;
- DevOps and CI/CD practices;
- Low-code and no-code development;
- Big Data, Data Science, Data Analytics, and BI;
- Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence;
- Digital platforms, such as SAP, Salesforce, and OpenText.
#2 Agile approach to development
Breaking up your CRM development project into several iterations will make the implementation process more flexible and easier to control. When looking for a reliable CRM software development company, opt for tech enterprises that practice step-by-step implementation. Partnering with the agile-oriented team will allow you to have a shippable deliverable with every iteration and receive feedback from users quickly and incorporate it effectively.
#3 Information security and compliance
Sufficient protection of sensitive data is one of the vital aspects that differentiate a trustworthy tech vendor. It is essential that your CRM software development company adheres to international security standards, such as ISO 27001:2013, ISO 9001:2015, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR. The latter regulation is of the utmost importance for CRM application development, as GDPR clauses on lawfulness, purpose and storage limitation, and confidentiality, ensure secure system operation without any threats to personal customer data.
#4 Experience with enterprise software development
One of the CRM software applications is solving the business needs of large enterprises. In most cases, this means the customization of the already existing CRM software to fit your particular requirements. A proven track record of tailored CRMs development is a guarantee that your CRM software development company will effectively build a complex custom solution that will fit your unique customer-related workflows.
Why trust N-iX with your CRM software development?
- N-iX is a global software development service company with offices and development centres across Europe and in the USA;
- The company has established long-lasting partnerships with Lebara, Gogo, AVL, Fluke, and several Fortune 500 enterprises;
- Our team counts over 2,000 IT experts with extensive experience in enterprise solution development, Cloud implementation, Big Data, Business Intelligence, CI/CD integration, and more;
- Over 25 tech specialists at N-iX specialize in CRM development and currently handle 3 active projects for legal and telecommunications industries;
- The company’s tech specialists are well-versed in a wide variety of CRM-related tools, including Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and more;
- N-iX adheres to the international standards, including GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO 27001:2013, and ISO 9001:2015.
- Accenture Personalization Pulse Check Report
- Nucleus Data Accessibility for Sales Teams Research