Choosing a CRM system to save the company's budget
What a modern company cannot do without is a CRM system. The market offers many options, the functionality of which is becoming more diverse from year to year. Which system to choose so that it meets all the requirements of the company and is not wasteful for the budget? We, too, have been asking these questions for a long time. What solution did we find?
CRM-system is a tool for customer relationship management and business process optimization.
In the sales department, we use the CRM system for its intended purpose - for internal work with clients throughout the entire sales funnel: from the moment of response to an application to the conclusion of a contract. Additionally, CRM allows you to store the necessary data about the client, his project, related materials - this is very convenient when everything you need for work is stored in one place and there is no need for a long search for the necessary information.
In addition to sales managers, CRM interacts with:
- tech leads;
- project managers;
- heads of design and QA departments;
- as well as other specialists who are assigned to work with a specific order.
How to choose a CRM system?
The main criteria for choosing a CRM system are, in fact, the needs of the business and the company. Before you start looking, ask yourself these questions:
1) What tasks should the tool solve?
2) Which processes should be optimized first?
Decide what your company lacks, what routine it is time to automate, what system is more convenient for employees, whether they have used similar tools before, etc.
Do the criteria for choosing a CRM system depend on the direction of a particular department?
Absolutely yes! What is needed for the technical department may be completely useless and redundant for the design department and vice versa. All departments have their own specifics of work, established processes in accordance with the regulations and tools used. For example, when choosing a CRM system for sales managers, you should pay attention to the convenience and informativeness of key functions - collecting information about the client and indicators necessary for analyzing the effectiveness of the sales department. And for marketers, in addition to the described functions, mailing lists and the ability to segment the audience will also play a key role.
What then should be the CRM system to please everyone at once?
The most ideal version of a CRM system is a product that is optimized for the needs of each specialist who uses it. Finding the very balanced instrument is not always possible to do so fast.
What CRM systems can be found on the market?
As we noted earlier, the market is replete with various CRM systems that help simplify business processes in companies, regardless of the line of business. As a rule, they are divided by purpose (for which department the system is intended), by the type of data storage (on the server of the developer or the consumer company) and by the type of tasks performed. Let's take a look at the last criterion.
By the type of tasks performed, CRM is divided into:
- Analytical: collect data and evaluate it. In such a system, you can set up end-to-end analytics, conduct audience segmentation, evaluate efficiency, and predict the performance of sales channels. Such systems are especially appreciated by marketers and sales managers.
- Operational: indispensable assistants for the sales department or project managers. They automatically combine all customer data into a single card: contact information, order information, messages, and more.
- Collaboration: allow you to set up a mailing list to communicate with a client - notify about the status of an order, inform about an appointment with a specialist, collect requests for a callback, and so on.
- Combined: the most popular product, as it combines many functions at once. Such CRMs allow you to automate the workflow in the company, and client data, and evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing department, and much more.
What is the best CRM system?
Many ready-made CRM-systems are equipped with a fairly wide functionality and can satisfy the most specific business needs. But the best one will still be the one that is developed individually for your company and its needs.
Is it worth developing a CRM system for every business sphere?
In our opinion, no. However, developing your own personal CRM has many advantages, among which are the following:
- business gets exactly what it needs;
- the system is not littered with unnecessary functionality;
- self-configuring the security level allows you to restrict access as much as required by the business;
- data is stored on personal servers, which reduces the possibility of leakage;
- contributions are made only for the maintenance of servers, no subscription fee - significant savings;
- it is possible to integrate CRM with any other systems/services as needed;
- the system can be developed gradually, there is no need to spend years on development (the minimum functionality can be built in a short time, and then gradually increase additional tools).
Third-party CRM users may have concerns when switching to their own: what to do with the data that remained in the previous system? We dispel fears - many third-party systems allow you to export data in JSON, CSV or other formats. This makes it possible to start using a third-party product while building an individual CRM, and upon completion of development, export the data and bring it into your own.
How we developed our own CRM system
A few years ago, these arguments seemed convincing enough to us to start developing our own CRM system. At the time of launch, we had already implemented an internal personnel management system named Staff.
What is Staff? The system allows you to manage employees: their access, status, data. Through it, employees submit requests for time off, sick leave, vacation, leave household applications. Processing, inventory management, corporate regulations and other functionality required by our company can also be found there.
For this reason (the presence of an internal personnel management system), the development was carried out in close conjunction with the existing architecture.
We built the CRM system right away along with the integration into Staff and set up the functions necessary for the business at the same time. For example, the payroll of sales managers was implemented based on analytics from CRM.
For the implementation of CRM, suitable relevant technologies were selected, such as:
- Web socket.
And also a separate developer was allocated, who was engaged in the implementation of all the required functionality, based on our non-standard requirements. We will not bore you with the technical side of the issue, let's focus on the pluses that we got in the end.
What gave us the development of our own CRM-system
We have already mentioned above that our tasks required specific functionality and a special approach, the implementation of which we did not find among ready-made solutions on the market. At least to the extent that they wanted.
Third-party systems are mostly designed for the sale of goods and are more difficult to adapt to internal tools, for example, to the same Staff system.
In addition to the maximum flexibility that we needed, our own CRM also gave us the opportunity to experiment using non-standard ideas of employees. An example is the introduction of OpenAI * in the process of work.
*OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research lab. Known for her achievements, including the development of the GPT-3 neural network, which has the ability to generate human-like texts and perform a wide range of tasks.
And now the most interesting thing is what we got in the end, except for flexibility, the ability to implement the necessary functionality that the business needs in the shortest possible time, and the implementation of any, the most non-standard idea. First of all, we saved the budget as much as possible. In third-party services, you have to pay for each person in the system, which is quite expensive even with a small staff.
Own CRM also allowed to:
- automate all internal processes;
- carry out integration with the corporate messenger and our internal personnel management system, which we have already discussed;
- aggregate analytics in any way that is required for a particular task;
- increase the speed of the appearance of new functionality that will work exactly as we need it.
For several years, the functionality has grown and optimized so that work processes have become even more efficient and comfortable. For example, we have greatly improved the analytics features that track all the metrics of the sales funnel. The process of creating a CV for our specialists has also become easier - all information is taken from the database, edited as necessary and assembled into a beautifully designed document, which is very important for operational work and presentation of services to the customer.
The development of our CRM-system is ongoing and is being finalized for the needs of all departments, based on the general development of technologies, as well as on the requirements of the market.
In sum, we note once again that although not every business needs its own CRM system, its development not only has significant advantages in automating processes, but also optimizes the company's budget as much as possible. We have such experience, which means that we can help you with the implementation of an individual CRM system, if the business requires it.
August 21, 2023