Customer Relationship Management

What does it take to build a viable CRM system?

How to build a CRM - and why you shouldn't do it yourself

To build a CRM system that operates on multiple levels for your brand, you as the developer need to be heavily involved in the system assembly process. That means understanding your various options and the phases involved in putting together a workable, high functioning CRM system that can integrate with other emerging technologies. With CRM in eCommerce becoming more important every day, you need to know exactly what it takes to build a viable CRM system. Let's take a cheat sheet glance at how.

Option 1: Begin with a CRM strategy in mind

Andrew Brittain, a prominent digital strategist says that a CRM system is an essential tool in building customer loyalty and encouraging retention and competition, but it's not uncommon for businesses to use it as a standalone tactic, instead of a strategic function.

If you're going to successfully build CRM system infrastructure you have to:

  • Think about replacing old systems completely

  • Use new technologies to enhance customer connections

  • Use new channels and touchpoints for greater CRM diversity

Business processes and practices across all levels need to be considered in your CRM strategy - including marketing, customer service, stock ordering, staff management, technical support, and of course business intelligence. No good system can be established without a good strategy in place first.

Related: CRM strategies businesses can’t ignore

Option 2: Selecting a pre-built CRM package to customize

Off the shelf CRM systems are popular and many can be customized, which is important when your brand wants to scale and tweak some essential functions. Most of the packages available are alright, as long as they allow for customization! Some of the top solutions are Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and GoldMine if you need to pick one. Remember to consider your development budget and resources before deciding on which integrated CRM system to go for. Sometimes you only need simple solutions, in which case a boxed package will be fine as long as it is one of the packages mentioned above.

Option 3: The case for the custom CRM build

When given the opportunity to build a CRM system, many developers opt for a custom build. This is because pre-built CRM software solutions are often generalized, there are lots of features that you will never use or that don't apply to your brand. It's a trade-off that many developers know well - complexity for convenience. You could choose to custom build your CRM system, so that when you have to take your company's SMS marketing strategy and integrate it into your CRM system - it works. Your exact needs will be met, the systems will integrate better with each other and with your business operations - which will make your sales departments very happy.

Related: While you're delving into building a viable CRM system, be sure to check out why chatbots matter to CRM.
Technology is moving fast, and you'll be left behind if you're not paying attention. 

To build a CRM system infrastructure that is really going to benefit your company, you need to consider all of these routes - because they can all be taken with varying measures of success. From collaborating and building a CRM strategy first, to selecting a pre-built software package or building your own from the ground up, the decision needs to be made, based on your brand needs, goals, and existing CRM budget.

SMS marketing and your CRM system

You can also energize your CRM system with two-way SMS. Download the whitepaper we've put together a for you to inform you of just how to do this. Our bulk SMS gateway, Clickatell Platform, will allow you to easily and simply set up two-way SMS integrations to take your CRM strategy to a whole new level. Read more about the Clickatell Platform or why not sign up for a free account today and try it out with free testing in our Sandbox environment.

Explore other articles

Step into the future of business messaging.

SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.