Software systems for customer management are essential for businesses which work with individual clients or companies. Even if you have a relatively small audience, a solid CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application will be useful because it increases data accessibility, transparency, and efficiency greatly. Often, salesmen are happy with traditional preprogrammed products but also often they want to get something unique. In this case, you want to know more about custom CRM developers and their features.
This guide includes all the basic info about CRM development, especially, its custom side. We’re going to talk about software engineers who create customer management systems, pros of these apps, and hiring/cooperation processes. Be sure to check the last section with frequent questions and answers, as well.
CRM software developer tasks and duties
So far as CRM platforms can boost company’s sales and increase customers’ loyalty, it’s crucial to choose developers carefully. Overall, you can deal with freelancers or contact a development team. Without denying the benefits of freelance cooperation, we want to focus on dedicated companies which tend to work as tech partners and focus on quality instead of price. Moreover, we also want to pay higher attention to custom CRM developers.
CRM developer meaning
Ultimately, any developer has one main task: to create a product or a part of this product if there’s a whole team. Hence, an average custom CRM software developer focuses on designing, coding, implementing, testing, and supporting applications for customer management.
As a rule of the thumb, teams which create bespoke solutions can use various technologies depending on the client’s desires and the project’s features. Here are some examples:
- Back-end: .NET, Python, Java, PHP.
- Front-end: Angular, Vue.js, jQuery.
- Data: MySQL, Azure, Oracle, Firebird.
These smart boys and girls differ from developers of ready-made apps in terms of, well, development. It’s simple to understand because custom authors create software from scratch while those who handle prepackaged products focus on minor customization only.
Types of designers
By the way, let’s review the differences between the two development approaches in details. Apart from freelance-outsourcing rivalry, there’s another strong competition between custom teams and ones which distribute ready-made applications. Here are their pros and cons:
- A custom CRM developer center. Focuses on user requirements and delivers unique applications with requested features. Custom products suit the business needs perfectly and will be more profitable in the long run but they also come with higher initial investments and require more time to be deployed.
- A company with prepackaged products. Creates one product with several pricing/functionality plans for different customer groups. Prepackaged apps have quicker implementation and are developed according to best methods in any given industry but they are way less customizable and rarely fulfill all requirements.
At the end of the day, you can choose any partner if it suits your requirements. For example, a trusted international bank such as BNP Paribas should deal with millions of customers all over the world. Thus, it’s forced to handle different currencies and languages, so an advanced CRM platform with multi-layer catalogs and the real-time connection between branches is necessary. Simultaneously, a recently-established reseller of phone cases will be happy with a basic package of CRM features from Microsoft or SAP.
Key responsibilities to know
Also, if you want to hire CRM developers to build a product from scratch, it’s better to know which tasks they can complete. Compared to distributors of ready apps, custom authors are more flexible. When the first category provides for deployment only (with other services for an extra price), the second one covers everything from business assessment to lifelong maintenance. Here are these services in details:
- Advisory management: analysis of business needs, available resources, potential benefits and risks, the most suitable technologies and software, and general consulting.
- Customization management: adding, replacing or removing specific CRM modules, e.g. user catalogs, telephony, email services, subscriptions, personal profiles etc.
- Implementation management: preliminary data migration, all the required tests and QA processes, the deployment itself, and post-launch monitoring.
- Update and support: regular upgrades which help to keep in touch with market changes, tech/user support for employees and clients, security updates, and so on.
Our team also handles all these tasks. Beginning with the first consultation handled by a dedicated CRM software developer, we cooperate with each client, develop a personalized work plan, and discuss each wish and requirement to create a tailored product. That’s why we’ve moved from hourly payments to quote-based prices, so our customers can be sure in timely delivery.
Hire CRM developers step by step
To get the best possible CRM system, you do want to cooperate with the best possible development team. Skilled programmers and industry experts have enough experience and knowledge to create even the most unusual system for nearly any sector from aerospace to online retail. But it may be tough to find a developer of your dreams. Thus, we’ve prepared a small guide with key milestones important for any company which wants to hire CRM developers.
1. Set goals
Good work starts with a good plan. Before hiring and looking for devs, ensure that you know what you want. Meet with stakeholders, discuss tasks which the future software should solve, ask managers about their wishes, and so on. CRM apps aren’t as large and expensive as ERP ones but they also require some preparations.
Here are some things to consider in terms of goals:
- Which industry you are focusing on? CRM for different market sectors may include different functions and modules.
- Which features do you want to see? Respectively, applications may consist of various subsystems such as accounting tools, end users’ profiles, reports etc.
- What technologies you want to see? If any. Sometimes, it’s better to rely on developers but if you want something specific like IoT or blockchain, mention it.
- Which platforms the software will use? Usually, modern apps are compatible with all existing systems including desktop and mobile ones.
- Are there extra services you want to get? Apart from design and deployment, custom CRM developers can provide evaluation, testing, and support.
Plus, remember about time and money. Means, you want to define deadlines and budget caps before the project’s launch. With all this stuff foreseen, it will be easier to agree on conditions further (the point #4).
2. Explore the market
Initial research is the second most essential thing you should remember about. There are somewhat 23 million developers worldwide with an estimated growth to 27.7 million by 2023, according to Evans Data Corporation 2018 report. And there are definitely more than 100 outsourcing companies because we know about various TOP-100 ratings. Yes, 100 is a lot.
Considering these facts, you may want to invest some money and time in market exploration. For example, read about leading development teams in your region or check reviews of individual CRM creators. It’s also useful to talk with partners and external consultants to evaluate the chosen firm.
The more you spend on studying the more likely you will find a good team.
3. Contact a team or post a vacancy
Here, managers have two options:
- Find a dedicated team independently. Contact developers via their website or social media profile. Thus, you can expect a more personalized approach.
- Use a third party service. Start looking for freelancers or teams using content marketplaces. Remember about fees!
If you’ve studied the offerings carefully, you should be aware of leading devs and their differences. It will be better to work without intermediaries, so you will save on mediation. However, agencies and aggregators like UpWork or Clutch can help if you don’t have time on proper exploration.
4. Agree on terms and conditions
Once a first agreement is reached, prepare for negotiations. Similarly to the first step, here, you should discuss everything related to the development: time, budget, the scope of work, potential upgrades, risks, and so on. Feel free to use a previously concluded plan in addition to new ideas and insights from partners.
Precisely, during this stage, you should create and sign two papers: Software Requirements Specification (SRS) with descriptions of all desired features and Design Requirements Specification (DRS) with the final vision of the system. Later, both employees and developers will be able to refer to these documents in case of miscommunications.
Mainly, remember that detailed contracts can save a lot of resources and nerves.
5. Start working
Finally, a chosen CRM software developer or developers will start designing the product. Now, you and stakeholders can provide feedback, monitor development, and ask for minor changes but not more. The team will be stick to SRS and DRS until the final version or an MVP is finished. In Agile processes, you can rethink the strategy and requirements at the end of each sprint, so consider working with companies based on this methodology.
After the launch, it’s possible to extend cooperation. Sign new contracts or introduce amendments to get more services, e.g. tech maintenance or customer support. Usually, custom CRM developers agree to continue working if everything’s alright.
Advantages of custom products
Finally, let’s answer one of the most frequent questions: why you should opt for custom solutions instead of ready-made alternatives? We’ve revealed some of the benefits earlier but here are three key advantages in a nutshell:
- Perfect match to needs. That’s it. A bespoke CRM application will be designed for your company exclusively with only the required features. Means, by cooperating with custom CRM developers, you avoid risks of paying too much for unnecessary stuff or getting too low functionality without customization options.
- Seamless integration. Respectively, a tailored product can be installed in the existing system without ruining ongoing processes. While out-of-the-box CRM apps are hardly compatible with other platforms, especially, legacy ones, custom solutions can be adapted to any ecosystem. That’s important for teams with several departments.
- Good scalability. Traditional turnkey solutions feature extra payments for each new user and extension. With custom ones, you are free to specify any demand such as future updates required for fast-growing business. Thus, companies can use CRM as core platforms with further upgrades regardless of scope, size, and industry requirements.
Our CRM developer center
Here, in DICEUS, we focus on all-in-one development of various software products. Emerged as an outsourcing team, we work as tech partners now, so we are interested in quality results not less than our clients. A dedicated CRM developer center is built around experts who conduct domain expertise, BI, and market studies. Our staff members design flexible solutions with user-friendly interfaces suitable even for non-tech clients. We can create CRM apps as separate products or parts of larger ERP systems like InsuBiz. For each client, our team creates a personalized contract with quote-based payments based on the desired features.
As promised, here you can explore some intriguing questions related to custom CRM developers and their products. Some points will be similar to already covered in the article but don’t worry as we just want to remind important things.
What is CRM developer?
It’s a person who creates CRM applications, put simply. Additionally, devs can modify existing software, maintain it, consult clients, administer systems, and so on
What is Junior CRM developer?
It’s a recently graduated or just inexperienced programmer who only begins his/her way. For Juniors, the main goal of development is to create a working application.
What is Middle CRM developer?
It’s a quite skilled professional with enough knowledge in one or a few tech areas. Middles also think that good software is working software, so they focus on performance.
What is Senior CRM developer?
The main difference between Junior, Middle, and Senior developers isn’t about experience only. It’s about vision because Seniors look at both current usefulness and scalability.
Which development type to choose?
Basically, we recommend hiring CRM developers who match your requirements. Choose custom teams if you need unusual tasks to solve and opt for distributors of ready-made software if it will satisfy you fully.
CRM may save entire businesses, literally. When properly implemented, such applications optimize customer interaction greatly, boost revenue and clients’ loyalty. Nonetheless, before deploying an app, you should compare potential profits and risks because some companies simply don’t require CRM platforms. If you’re unsure about needs, you can check a good guide by Forbes for SMBs. Alternatively, you can ask our experts to analyze your brand and its business goals. At the end of the day, custom CRM developers are able to deliver more tailored products which match the needs of any client perfectly.