A CRM system is a huge investment. Once implemented, your CRM system will become one of the integral parts of your business. Because of this, you need a CRM system tailor fitted to your business and ready to go.
Even if you opt for a commercial CRM system, you will still need a heavy amount of calibration and fine-tuning. But if you want a CRM system for your specific needs, you will need CRM system development specialists to help you. Here are a few things to know about CRM development.
What Do You Need Your CRM System to Do For You?
A CRM system, ideally, is an answer to a problem. Remember at a basic level a CRM system’s function is to facilitate customer relations. You know best how you deal with your customers, clients, and other people who are a part of your business. When looking at CRM offerings, take that into account.
If you are a small business, or one with a small, narrowly defined client base, then you probably do not need a large enterprise CRM system. It is not always about what system has the most bells and whistles, or which system claims to automate every possible activity.
It is about what you need your CRM system to do for you. For example, ask yourself a few of these questions:
- How much automation do you want?
- Which processes would you like to automate?
One of the key components of a CRM system is that it can automate a lot of your day-to-day processes. Some business will need more automation than others. And some will only need certain functions automated. You may want or need some processes to remain with your current systems while automating others with the CRM system.
- Do you want on-premise or cloud deployment?
- Which of your current systems would you like to integrate into your CRM system?
These days, just about any software solution can exist in the cloud. Equally, just about any of them can also integrate into a CRM system, especially with some fine-tuning and development. At the same time, your choice of cloud or on-site servers can make a large difference in price as well as in support options.
- What is your budget?
- What is your timeframe?
Price is not the most important consideration when it comes to a CRM system, but it definitely plays a large role. Some things you might find are simply impossible because you cannot afford to implement them. Your timeframe is important as well.
Rolling out a CRM system is not always easy. Sometimes you have to do it in stages. This can mean some downtime, some expense for training, and some system issues as everybody gets used to the new platform.
The Importance of Questions
As you can tell, many of these questions will lead to other questions. This is important in helping you to nail down your specific needs. And specific needs are important when it comes to a CRM solution. Or to put it another way, ask yourself what you want to pay for.
Do you want to pay for an expensive CRM solution that requires a lot of work to implement and deploy? Or would you rather pay for a CRM solution made to address your very specific needs?
In fact, choosing a CRM solution should consist of as many questions as you can throw at it. Just as importantly, you should have someone that can help you answer those questions. CRM development is not all about the product; it is also about the support that comes with dealing with a professional developer.
This also leads to a question. Do you work with an independent CRM consultant and developer? Or do you want to work with a commercial CRM company?
The Benefits of Independent Consultants and Developers
You probably know the benefits of dealing with a CRM consultant that represents a specific company. They know the ins and outs of a particular service. But that is all they know. They can tell you the benefits of their platform and they can work with you to implement that particular platform.
That does not mean the platform is right for you. Even that platform’s developer will attempt to move you towards the platform whether it is the right one for you or not. The plan is to make it the right one for you no matter what kind of changes you have to go through to achieve that concurrence.
By contrast, an independent consultant and developer can do a lot more for you. They can help you figure out what you need from a CRM solution. From there, they can help you develop one from the ground up or otherwise help you choose a commercial product you can actually fine tune to your specific tastes.
In either of these cases, it is important to know that CRM businesses are not always a one-stop-shop. Your CRM consultant is not always your developer. It helps if you can choose a CRM company that can facilitate the whole process for you starting from the beginning.
For example, your CRM company, independent or not, should help you with these points:
Planning – You may not even need a full CRM solution for your needs. Alternatively, you may need a more robust platform than you originally thought. You will need help figuring this out.
Requirements – Do you know what kind of equipment or bandwidth you will need to run the CRM solution you want? Implementation of CRM solutions can often mean a gradual change in many of the processes you use to align them with the CRM system.
Development or Vendor Selection – Now comes the choice of an independent development, a commercial platform, or a hybrid of these systems. Remember CRM systems are built on various technologies. They are not just one thing or one type of system.
CRM system development can make all the difference for your business. You need a professional, independent service to help you figure it all out. You need a partner, not just vendor. For all of that and more, contact DotComWebDesign about your CRM development needs.