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How to Implement CRM for Your Mid-Sized Business

  • 15-16 min read
  • May 24, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (10 votes)

These days no business company can scale and grow without implementing software solutions. Talking about medium-sized companies, custom internal systems are a must in order to get the highest workflows` productivity and increase revenue and/or profitability.  As the number of employees within one medium-sized enterprise can reach 1000, the number of daily operations that should be performed by different branches can go through the roof.

Commonly, large businesses face many struggles because of a lack of time and human resources that could track each activity within the company, huge probability of confusion or losses of customer data, poor connection between the various departments that can lead to long wait times for requesting and obtaining information about a particular customer, report and other documents. 

Integration of CRM or Customer Relationship Management system is an excellent solution to the aforementioned issues. Further, we would like to discuss the core functionality that each modern CRM software should offer and how a custom CRM solution can boost your business` productivity. 

Ongoing features of CRM system 

Despite CRM enterprise systems having quite similar functionality, the tech trend being implemented into business software changes constantly and it is vital to keep up with the latest modern technologies and look for ways of implementing them into your internal systems. Here is the list of common and advanced options that CRM should provide your company with.

The CRM market is expected to grow to approximately 21.1 billion U.S. Dollars by 2021.

Statista

Tracking performance and productivity

It is a challenging task to monitor each daily operation in a large business company as it has various departments and many employees that execute different actions. CRM`s task is to automate the company workflows and track their performance and report about their efficacy for the company in general. 

It is worth mentioning that each operation taken by workers is the result of a particular company strategy. Monitoring the company activities lets heads of departments or company leaders review their strategies and decide whether they maximize the business productivity or whether some changes.

Sales analytics and predictions

An appropriately and smartly built sales strategy is an instrumental key to the successful development and growth of a business. Each company should have the ability to track and analyze all sales activities in order to monitor their efficacy and find out what sides need to be updated to improve the company’s service offerings. Moreover, based on this analysis of sales data, an enterprise CRM software can forecast the future sales successes and methods to reach them in the way of changing the current sales and marketing strategies. Additionally, this information helps to monitor the changes in the marketing market and be ready for any changes, and manage potential risks for your business. 

Enterprise customer management 

The CRM system`s task is to organize the available company data transparently and conveniently every month so that each employee could have quick access to this information if needed. 

Enterprise customer relationship management solution automatically collects information about each customer like names, phone numbers, emails, addresses, positions, links to social media accounts and records it in a single database with different levels of access to this information depending on the employee level. Thus, the ultimate purpose of easy access to customer information is to help provide an excellent customer experience, as well as avoid any confusion or data losses. 

Cloud-based solution

Cloud-based solutions are a must-have foundation for modern CRM systems for middle-sized companies. Regardless of the size of a company, there are inevitably huge amounts of data being processed every day and every minute. All this data is vital and needs to be collected, structured, and saved. And a cloud-based CRM allows your company to scale the database up to your company`s demands. 

Managing the company data manually sounds kind of outdated since CRM can perform all required actions on an automated basis. Along with gathering and recording important business information, the CRM for the medium business can easily analyze it and generate custom reports. Hence you can see if your company data is used efficiently and find new ways of using your company information more productively and profitably for better outcomes.

AI-powered chatbots

Chatbots are excellent assistants for managers as they take part in daily tasks and execute them very well. AI technology actively penetrates the business world and provides more and more features that are able to solve issues of different levels of complexity without human resources intervention. 

STATISTICS

According to Statista, AI technology implemented into CRMs is to bring an additional $394 billion to the United States in the next 5 years.

Statista

Integration with social networks

CRM for mid-size businesses is tasked with tracking not only internal activities but offers the function of monitoring the company’s social media profiles, particularly numbers of new users, subscriptions, link clicks, comments, likes, and other ways of interaction with the company. In case a potential customer waits for a response to a request, the managers will get a notification asap to provide a quick response. Thus, the customer experience will always remain in the best possible shape. 

Full automation of workflows

Modern business owners who run large companies are looking for automation of most of their daily operations for the purpose of saving time and other resources, including money. These days CRM systems offer more advanced options of automating like data analytics, email marketing, report generation, KPI monitoring, etc.

Go mobile

Along with the possibility to monitor the sales operation from any location, the mobile version of CRM provides the ability to perform all required tasks related to customers, especially when a particular customer needs a quick response. It is like a simple web-based version but much more compact and convenient to use in urgent cases.

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CRM for the retail industry
Click the link to learn more about CRM solutions and their features for the retail industry

Reasons why your company needs CRM

As we have already figured out, CRM`s main task and benefit are to provide the customer with a great customer experience and look for concise ways of improving the resource efficiency and services offered by the company. You may ask why your particular company requires the implementation of a custom CRM solution. And we would like to highlight the core arguments that will convince you of the necessity of having an integrated CRM system supporting your daily operations. 

The benefits you will gain with a custom CRM are the following:

  • Improved customer experience; 
  • Appropriate sales and marketing strategies;
  • Improved and well-managed sales activities;
  • Available detailed data analytics;
  • Generating automated sales reports based on analyzed data in order to expose the weak sides and turn them into strengths;
  • Increasing the general company productivity and workflow efficiency;
  • Easily-accessible angle database where all customer data is collected and stored;
  • Lead management
  • Tracking of interactions with customers;
  • Exact sales forecasts;
  • Company’s department unification by making internal communication quicker and more efficient.

Ready-made CRMs and their pricing plans

Now we will discuss our research findings of the most popular ready-made CRM solutions that are widely used daily in different business industries worldwide. Check out below a summary description of what features they provide and how much you will have to pay for them.

Zoho crmZoho

Zoho is supposed to be one of the most popular ready-made CRM solutions as it offers customer engagement from diverse channels and all of them can be easily managed via this system. In addition, it can be implemented in companies of any size and eventually scaled up to include any amount of data. Among the core functions we would like to note are:

  • multichannel management;
  • predictive sales activities;
  • partial customization to your company operations;
  • automated marketing tools. 

To say a few words about Zoho pricing, like other ready-made CRMs, it has various levels of differently priced plans and the price starts from $17, and goes all the way up to $63 for one employee every month.

pipedrive crm logoPipedrive

Pipedrive is a widely used CRM solution whose main task is to collect all sales data for a company into a single place in order to provide data and sales strategy analysis, monitor the quantity and quality of leads, provide reports based on the analyzed information, etc. Additionally, this ready-made CRM offers a mobile version that is really convenient to work from different locations. Of course, Pipedrive is not free and applies several pricing plans and payment methods like monthly and yearly subscriptions:

  • Essential plan amounts to $750-$900 per 5 users;
  • Advanced plan amounts to $1500-$1700 per 5 users.

salesforce crm logoSalesforce

Salesforce is a relatively new, yet incredibly well-known and popular cloud-based CRM solution that suits practically all companies of all sizes. Frankly speaking, it is pretty similar to Pipedrive, even visually. It provides lead and data management, a mobile version of the system, partial customization according to the company`s workflows, quick access to sales data to make quick decisions. 

Salesforce also offers 4 different pricing plans each of which applies different features and opportunities so the choice mostly depends on the company size and business objectives. So the cost per 1 user varies from $25 up to $300 every month based on those factors. 

microsoft 365 crm logoMicrosoft Dynamics 365 

Microsoft Dynamics is a cloud-based CRM system developed by Microsoft that counts more than 40,000 member companies that use this solution. It is tasked with gathering all company data in a single place in order to analyze it and use it most effectively for better outcomes. Among the core functions of this ready-made CRM are:

  • Virtual assistant
  • Access from diverse devices remotely
  • Financial management
  • 3D models of orders created by customers

Nevertheless, the services of Microsoft Dynamics are quite expensive and the price is averaged to $10 per employee every month, and please don’t forget that we are talking about mid-sized companies, where the number of employees can reach 1000. In other words, costs can end up being quite substantial.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365
If you are interested, then click the link to find out more details about Microsoft Dynamics 365 and why a custom CRM is beneficial for your company in the overwhelming majority of cases and scenarios. 

capsule crm logoCapsule

Capsule is a new CRM solution that offers basic functionality for smaller sales teams. This system is easy to use and simple so the integration process will not take much time and effort. However, the functionality is really limited, not scalable, and barely customizable to your individual needs. Talking about the pricing, Capsule provides 3 diverse plans that range from $17 to $51 per one user monthly. 

Disadvantages of ready-made CRMs


Pricing plans
A ready-made CRM solution could be quite a good option for small companies or startups where the number of workers is still modest. Speaking about medium-sized companies with more than 100 employees, the cost of ready CRM with suitable functionality would come up to a large monthly sum. Undoubtedly, the CRM system covers and automates a lot of daily company operations, including routine tasks, and has many beneficial features for business. Though, let us ask you one question – are you ready to pay from $1700 to more than $60000 every month for one single system? The decision is yours to make. 
Can not cover the amounts of work and information
The more a company grows, the higher the volume of operations it performs on a daily basis. Most ready-made solutions do not consider the actual sizes of the companies and provide limited functionality. The significant drawback is that this solution cannot be scaled, extended, or updated further down the road, meaning that the system will always remain the same all the time, and all you can do about changing that is upgrading a more expensive pricing plan.

The average spend per employee in the Enterprise Software segment, particularly CRM, ERP, SCM, BI, has reached US$67.41 in 2021.

Benefits of CRM custom development

Comparing all pros and cons of a ready-made CRM solution, there could be a logical conclusion that developing your own CRM can prove to be far more beneficial and we would like to give you some reasons why.  It is a fact that ready-made solutions if made correctly, will be a good fit for your company. However, they are developed based on basic functionality that is common in all CRMs. It means that it cannot suit all your daily operations with individual filters so you can not get the highest productivity from using the ready-made software. 

Custom CRM is going to be built based on the requirements of your company, business industry, modern market trends, and your goals that should be reached after implementing this type of software. The list of system specifications depends on the number of workers and branches, the number of daily operations that should be managed with the CRM, specifics of the services your company provides. All this information will become available after the discussion of your company’s problems that influence the productivity of different departments (or lack thereof). 

In addition, a custom CRM solution will not take too long to integrate as it is developed according to your common daily operations, just in a better and improved version. Taking everything into account, custom CRM makes much better economic sense as you pay once for the development and get unique business software that is easy to scale and update in step with the latest tech trends. 

Example of CRM system developed by GBKSOFT

GBKSOFT team has wide experience in developing Business Intelligence software for different companies and different business industries. And now we would like to provide you with one of our past CRM projects that we successfully developed and integrated into the client’s company. 

We come to talk about the development of a CRM system for Little Apple – an educational establishment for hearing impaired children that helps them study with different specialists like providers. This facility struggled with manually collecting contact information and managing them. Of course, it took too much time and effort so other daily operations suffered from lack of time and attention in turn allocated to them. Moreover, there was a huge probability of human errors and document confusion and mix-up.

The company owner realized and turned to the need for automating and organizing the structuring of customer information and the status of their records. Little Apple also required thorough invoice tracking as they had already faced cases when money was lost.

As a result of our closely-knit cooperation, we managed to build a custom CRM system that provided the following capability:

  • a unified system with clients` records;
  • invoice management;
  • provider management; 
  • document database.

How to build a custom CRM solution?

Basically, project development flow depends on the complexity of the solution, the range of specifications that define the project’s scope, and the available budget. The development of the custom business solution is a great investment into the future growth of your company as this system will be designed and developed according to your company’s requirements, meaning it will cover all needed daily operations in order to increase the general productivity. The ready-made solution could be a good assistant but surely is not a silver bullet to fixing your underlying business or bottom line struggles, say if your business is completely loss-making in nature, then you need to look elsewhere for change as CRM typically works best for healthy businesses.

The development of custom software implies gathering a full team of specialists from the Scrum Master to the maintenance team. For building a system like a CRM, you will certainly need to hire:

  • Software architect
  • Product owner
  • Server administrator
  • Designer
  • Scrum master
  • HTML developer for front-end part
  • PHP developer for back-end part
  • Tester

We would like to present you with an estimation of MVP development of a custom CRM solution based on our experience. The final cost commonly depends on the specific project`s requirements and the level of the specialists that were involved in your case.

Specialist Cost Required hours
Specifications $960 30
Admin $638 29
Scrum Master $1863 81
Design $975 25
HTML/CSS $900 36
PHP $16723 553
Testing $3026 178
Total cost: $25085 932

FAQ

Initially, it is important to choose a reliable software development company that will provide you with easy to understand and clear estimation of your project considering your business aims and demands. The MVP development of the CRM system will amount to at least $25,000 and the final sum can vary due to the project`s entire scope and of course your budget.
You may think custom software development takes lots of money and effort. On the one hand, it is not cheap; but the flip side is that it is a valuable investment into the future success of your business. Custom CRM is designed according to your individual requirements to cover all your daily operations properly and correctly. A custom solution can easily be scaled to your company’s growth, adding new features and technologies along the way.

In closing

Compared to the past, modern CRM systems have definitely expanded their functionality and extended their imprint and bearing on the profitability of mid-sized businesses. Along with automating the daily activities of all departments, custom CRM is tasked with analyzing each of these activities, report about their necessity and efficacy in order to boost the overall company by changing its approaches and strategies, particularly when it comes to sales and marketing branches. 

Every business company has individual needs, which may differ even between rivals within the same industry. Implementing a CRM solution will be of the highest added value if this solution perfectly suits and covers all company workflows. Contact our team for further in-depth analysis of your current company situation so that they can look for ways to boost your company’s productivity and hopefully eventually profit. 

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Creator

Due to my Master`s Degree in journalism, I focus on the details while doing the research on the topic. My particular curiosity is about the latest mobile app developments that start in 2015 that make life easier and save much time to spend it more productive. I am an expert in reviewing and consulting web projects related to web applications, especially if they are connected with wearables.
Alexandra Rostovtseva

Expert

Being a proficient leader with over 10 years of experience in Project and Product Management, Business Development and Sales, I have strong skills in Negotiations, Crisis, Client and Risk management. Being an outstanding communicator I’m also a good mentor and leader in the tech industry. Experience and expertise are the key foundations in my ability to provide deep insights into the industry and as result I’ve also been published or was a contributor to several tech and business articles.
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