A robust CRM system is a strong need for every IT company that deals with partners and clients. Such companies may sell software products or services and build their own sales pipelines. CRM software for IT services companies is a robust tool that automates administrative tasks and enhances the productivity of a sales team.
Here’s what you get after implementing a powerful software tool for managing relationships with the clients:
- Efficient sales processes. You build pipelines for each category of the clients that you can track and update if required.
- Precisely targeted marketing campaigns. You don’t waste time, efforts and costs on the campaigns that have a high probability to fail.
- Planning and managing projects. You don’t have to do it manually, most of the administrative tasks are automated.
- Project controlling. You don’t have to manually track the progress of each project, find information in different departments or wait a few days until you get it.
What’s the best CRM software for service industry: Information technology
What CRM platform can you remember right now? What do you know about them? What are the best variants for you? Here we’ve collected a short list of the most popular CRM systems that you might be interested in.
It’s one of the best solutions for small businesses. This CRM system has about 20 years of history and a big number of happy customers. There are four types of cooperation that you can order: “Lightning Essentials”, “Lightning Professional”, “Lightning Enterprise” and “Lightning Unlimited”. “Lightning Essentials” is good for startups or small companies. You have a monthly fee per each user in the system. It’s a SaaS solution with the fee starting from $25 per user for one month.
The top version of Salesforce is “Lightning Unlimited”. Here you will have a fee starting from $300 per one user for one month. How does it differ from the basic one? You can have a big enterprise, you have access to the developer’s sandbox. It means you can upgrade the software to your needs. You also get support and online training.
It’s the number one choice if you have a very small IT company. Its first advantage is a free version. You can test the software before you have to pay for it. There’s no limit for the number of users, so there will be no problems if you hire or fire people in your team. It offers businesses two plans that you can choose from.
One of them is “Marketing”. The initial cost here is $50 per one month, the basic plan is $200 and a “Pro plan” is $800 per one month while “Enterprise” costs $2,400. Here you don’t have limits for the number of users.
Another pricing plan is “Sales”. There are a few available tariffs that include a limited number of users for each of them. For example, you can have one user if you pay $50 per month. You will need to pay $400 if you have five users in your team. This is a monthly subscription.
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This CRM system is good for startups. It was an open-source version in 2004 and now it’s a good tool for managing and tracking sales. There’s one weird thing about this CRM platform. You pay per each user in the system but you should have at least ten of them to get started. It means you have to pay over $4,000 for one year of subscription.
There are two tariffs with and without access to the sandbox where you can make any updates that you need. The “Enterprise” tariff gives you good analytical tools, forecasting, and reporting features, and you have 60 GB of free space on the cloud.
This software solution is good for businesses of any size from startups to enterprises. It’s a SaaS solution that offers different tools along with a CRM platform. Developers state that this software is super easy to implement and use. You get a pack of standard tools for emailing, dealing with new and old leads and other things.
There are five tariffs for this platform where the cheapest one costs nothing and the most expensive one costs a custom price that is calculated for every company separately. You can pay each month or annually. Most of the tariffs are based on the number of users in the system.
Less annoying CRM
This CRM platform has an interesting name and it has the lowest prices. It offers IT companies a standard set of features and specs that will help them solve their daily tasks. The cost for the app is $10 per one user and nothing more. At first, you have 30 days of free use and then you move to a paid version.
What about CRM software for financial services industry? Can you unite your financial operations with a CRM? For example, you may need to have a sales pipeline and you let your clients pay in some time after the purchase. It’s good to have one software solution that will let you track all the processes that happen in your company.
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How to develop a CRM software for IT services?
You can build a new software product yourself if you have a team that can take care of this project. Or you can hire a dedicated team that will do this task for you. In the second case, you will not have to disturb your employees and interfere with the daily tasks that they perform.
We will give you the basic guideline to building a new CRM system from scratch.
Build a CRM strategy
The first step is having an image in mind of how you’re going to use the CRM system to increase your revenue and make your business grow. You can think of future sales pipelines and customers’ journeys. It’s good to start with defining your business goals, unique selling proposition, the value you offer to your clients and so on.
You can have a talk with your employees on what kind of problems they face when dealing with customers or any tasks that they perform during a day. You can ask your sales team to draw a map of the customer’s journey if you don’t have it by now. You can highlight the most efficient sales channels and add the ones you want to test.
You should define how a CRM app will help you sell IT products or services. You should understand the needs and requirements of your current customers and leads, and predict these for your future clients.
Define features, roles and a platform
Despite the size of your company and the budget you have now, you should define the features you want to see in the CRM software. Here are the basic features that you might need (you can add as many other features as you want):
- Contact book. Here you will collect and store information about name, address, age, occupation, hobbies, social media accounts and so on. You can have as many fields for each contact as you need. You will not have to do this manually – the app will automatically gather all the information through available channels.
- Leads and sales. A CRM system will track all the people that come to you, sign up for the news or updates, buy something or just spend some time viewing the content of your pages and so on. There might be a lot of variants but the software should give you a 360-degree view of each new customer and the ones that are interested in your goods or services but haven’t made a purchase yet.
- Reminders. Here we mean remarketing campaigns, follow-up emails and other activities that make people come back to you. You can plan all these actions and create algorithms of actions for each case. Once you set them up, you will only track their efficiency and update if needed.
- Reporting/Forecasting. Here you can have attractive visuals that will show you the revenue for the last month, the number of sold products, the number of visits to your website and much more data. You can pick up what you want to get and limit access to some pieces of data for the teams.
- Mobile. Here we mean access to the information from any device and location. Mobile CRM apps can improve the workflow of your sales team as they can access information wherever they are. You can have a web-based system that will have a separate mobile version or a responsive version of an existing app.
Pick up the technology stack
If you think that the choice of the stack influences everything, you’re wrong. It’s an important step but the expertise of the team plays a much more important role. You should mind that there’s a great number of available stacks and technologies that can let you implement all your ideas into a real project .
Here are the stacks that can be used for building a CRM platform:
- LAMP: Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP
- MEAN: MongoDB/Express.js/AngularJS/Node.js
- Ruby Stack: Ruby/Ruby on Rails/RVM (Ruby Virtual Machine)/MySQL/Apache/PHP
- Django Stack: Python/Django/Apache/MySQL
- Bitnami DevPack: PHP/Django/Ruby on Rails/Java/MySQL, PostgreSQL/Apache Tomcat
There’s no need to choose a single framework or language for the whole project. If you have no experience in building an app from scratch, it’s good to find a person to help you with this. It can be a consultant or a project manager that will supervise the process and help you hire a professional dedicated team.
Build an MVP and test it
It’s a kind of a prototype – a minimum variable product will show you how the future project will look and behave. You can test it and check if it can fully meet your requirements and business needs. You spend little time on building such an app and you can start analyzing the likings and behavior of your clients.
You should be ready and have some time for testing. We recommend adding one feature for one testing cycle. This will let you check each feature separately and not get lost in a variety of them. You will need a landing page where you can run an A/B testing and see what’s working better. You will see how your new software product works in real life and you might want to add some more features or exclude the ones that distract you from the core tasks. The goal of crafting an MVP – to see how your app works in reality without spending much time and costs.
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Build a CRM application and test it
When you know that you are fine with the way your software looks like and behaves, it’s time to make a full version of the app. Here you have a standard lifecycle of the software development process. You will have coding, testing, and deployment at the end. It’s good to have one team that will manage the development process from start to finish.
Or hire a software vendor to develop a CRM app for you
What is the easiest and the hardest at the same time way to develop a software solution? It’s hiring a dedicated team. These guys will act out as a part of your in-house team and they will provide you with the time and expertise that you lack. Hiring a dedicated team is much easier than hiring a team for your office. You have an intermediary in the form of a software partner.
This partner takes care of searching and training their staff, and the routine with expenses and taxes. You only need to check the portfolio of this company, check the expertise of the team and mind their location. It can be a remote team from Eastern Europe that has become the top destination for outsourcing software services.
DICEUS – how we do it
We’re a team of professionals that have solid experience in building robust and comprehensive CRM software . We know how to evaluate the business needs of our partners and offer variants that can solve them. If you want to improve interaction with customers, let us know about it and we will discuss all the variants of our cooperation.