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Step-By-Step Guide To Custom CRM Software Development

Software Development December 19, 2023

9 out of 10 businesses are currently using CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, witnessing a threefold increase in conversion rates and a substantial 29% boost in sales. CRM software is crucial for businesses as it helps identify, track, manage, and engage with customers, aiming to reach more prospects, enhance conversion rates, and ensure customer satisfaction.

In the competitive business landscape, having your own CRM system is like having a secret weapon for success. While ready-made solutions might not fully meet your needs, a personalized CRM tailored to your exact requirements can be a game-changer.

Even though developing your CRM may sound challenging, the benefits, like improved efficiency and precision, make it worthwhile. This blog will guide you through building your custom CRM, covering design tips, essential features, development costs, and choosing the best CRM software development company.

Let’s explore.

But before diving into development, it’s important to know the four types of CRM systems:

4 Types of Customer Relationship Management Systems

1. Operational CRM:

Purpose: Operational CRM is primarily concerned with automating and improving the operational aspects of customer-facing processes. It aims to enhance efficiency in sales, marketing, and customer service.

Key Features:

  • Sales Automation: Tracks and manages the sales pipeline, automating tasks such as lead management, contact management, and opportunity tracking.
  • Marketing Automation: Helps in planning, executing, and measuring marketing campaigns. It often includes features like email marketing, lead nurturing, and campaign analysis.
  • Customer Service and Support: Streamlines customer service processes by providing tools for issue tracking, case management, and customer interaction history.

Popular Example: 

Salesforce Sales Cloud: Operational CRM for sales automation, lead, opportunity, contact, and account management.

2. Analytical CRM:

Purpose: Analytical CRM focuses on analyzing customer data to gain insights that can inform strategic business decisions. It involves data mining, pattern recognition, and predictive modeling.

Key Features:

  • Data Analysis: This involves examining past customer information to discover trends, patterns, and connections. This helps us better grasp customer behavior and preferences.
  • Customer Segmentation: Divides customers into groups based on common characteristics, allowing for targeted marketing strategies and personalized customer experiences.
  • Predictive Modeling: Uses statistical algorithms and machine learning to forecast future customer behavior, enabling businesses to proactively address potential issues or opportunities.

Popular Example:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights: Analytical CRM with advanced analytics and machine learning for customer data insights.

3. Collaborative CRM:

Purpose: Collaborative CRM is designed to improve communication and collaboration between different departments within an organization, as well as between the company and its customers.

Key Features:

  • Communication Tools: Provides tools like email integration, social media monitoring, and chat functionality to enable seamless communication with customers.
  • Cross-Departmental Collaboration: Ensures that information is shared effectively among sales, marketing, and customer service teams to provide a unified and consistent customer experience.
  • Customer Interaction History: Maintains a complete record of all customer interactions, allowing any team member to have a holistic view of the customer’s journey.

Popular Example

Zendesk: Collaborative CRM focusing on customer support, ticketing, live chat, and knowledge base management.

4. Small Business CRM:

Purpose: Small Business CRM solutions are tailored to meet the unique needs and constraints of smaller enterprises. The primary goal is to help these businesses efficiently manage customer relationships, streamline processes, and grow their customer base.

Key Features:

  • Contact Management: Offers a centralized database for storing and managing customer information, including contact details, interactions, and preferences.
  • Lead Management: Helps in tracking and managing leads through the sales pipeline, from initial contact to conversion. This feature is crucial for small businesses aiming to convert prospects into customers.
  • Sales Automation: Streamlines sales processes by automating tasks such as lead assignment, follow-ups, and order processing. This ensures that sales teams can focus on building relationships and closing deals.
  • Email Marketing Integration: Allows for seamless integration with email marketing tools, enabling small businesses to send targeted campaigns, newsletters, and promotional materials to their customer base.

Popular Example:

Zoho CRM: Small business CRM with contact and lead management, sales automation, and email marketing integration. Affordable, user-friendly, and scalable.

5 Key Features To Look For In Custom CRM Software Development

When developing custom CRM software for your business, it’s important to focus on features that seamlessly align with your operations. Here are five essential features to include:

Email Collaboration:

Effective communication is key for good customer relationships. Your CRM should easily work with email, helping you keep track of conversations and tasks. It should also automate email-related tasks and connect them to specific contacts or deals.

Leads Management:

To boost sales, your CRM needs a central place to manage leads. It should have a user-friendly database for tracking leads, with the ability to score them based on importance. Integrating with marketing tools will further smooth the process of turning leads into customers.

Workflow Coordination:

For your team’s success, the CRM should help manage tasks efficiently. This includes assigning and tracking tasks, integrating with calendars for timely reminders, and allowing collaborative work on tasks related to customer interactions.

Data Insights and Analysis:

Smart business decisions come from understanding your data. A good CRM should have easy-to-use tools for creating reports and dashboards that show key performance indicators (KPIs). Predictive analytics can also help identify trends for informed decision-making.

Customer Support:

Great customer support is vital. Your CRM should include a help desk and ticketing system for managing inquiries. Integration with different communication channels ensures a unified support experience. A knowledge base or FAQ section can empower users to find solutions on their own.

Alongside these features, consider customization and scalability, user interface, security, integration capabilities, and mobile accessibility in your custom CRM software development process. By choosing features that suit your business, you’ll create a tailored CRM solution that improves customer relationship management throughout your organization.

Key Phases of Custom CRM Software Development Process

As a custom CRM software development company, here are the seven phases we encounter while developing the software:

Requirement Analysis:

The custom CRM system development team digs deep into understanding exactly what your business needs. Through discussions, meetings, and surveys, they collect detailed insights from everyone involved. This sets the stage for figuring out what your CRM system must do, like handling specific types of data.

Design and Planning:

With all this valuable information, the development team moves on to sketching out a plan for CRM system. They engage in sprint planning sessions, creating a backlog of user stories and defining the system architecture. The focus then extends to scalability, ensuring adherence to microservices principles for future growth. User interface design follows UX best practices, emphasizing an intuitive and responsive design.


Th custom CRM software development phase begins as developers transform plans into working software, adhering to best practices for functionality and ease of management. Continuous integration and version control tools keep the process organized. Proficient developers follow coding standards, implement design patterns, and utilize Test-Driven Development (TDD) principles for code quality through automated tests and continuous integration.


Testing is like a thorough checkup for the system. The custom CRM software development team ensures all parts work together smoothly using special tools for efficiency. Before the big launch, comprehensive testing, including unit, integration, and system tests, is conducted. Quality assurance is crucial, with practices from behavior-driven development (BDD) integrated. Automated tools like Selenium assist, and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) involves stakeholders to confirm the system aligns with expectations before moving forward.


It’s time to transition your CRM system from testing to the live environment. The development team sets up everything, ensuring a smooth process with automated tools. The agile deployment phase starts with continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, configuring servers, deploying databases, and using containerization like Docker for consistency. Automated testing in the deployment pipeline boosts release reliability. End-user training, with elements of agile sprint review, ensures a seamless transition.

Maintenance and Support:

After the launch, the custom CRM software development team ensures the system’s well-being by fixing issues promptly and making updates for smooth operation. Utilizing good tracking systems, they swiftly address any hiccups and maintain communication with users for feedback, ensuring continual improvement.

Post-deployment, the team focuses on continuous maintenance and support with a DevOps approach. They monitor the system using tools like Prometheus for performance and error tracking, following ITIL practices for incident response. User feedback gathered through agile retrospectives guides updates and patches, ensuring the system evolves in line with changing business needs and version control principles.

How To Choose A Custom CRM Development Company?

Here are 5 critical factors to consider when choosing the right custom CRM software development company-

Experience and Track Record:

Assess the company’s experience and track record in custom CRM development. Look for evidence of successfully completed projects, preferably in your industry. A company with a proven track record is more likely to deliver a reliable and effective CRM solution.

Technical Expertise:

Ensure that the development company has the technical expertise required for CRM development. Check the skills and certifications of their development team, ensuring they are proficient in relevant technologies and can handle integrations with other systems seamlessly.

Client References and Reviews:

Seek client references or read online reviews to gauge the satisfaction of previous clients. Feedback from others who have worked with the company can provide valuable insights into their reliability, communication, and overall performance.

Security and Compliance:

Prioritize data security and compliance. The chosen company should adhere to high standards of data protection and comply with relevant regulations. This includes compliance with ISO/IEC 27001 for robust information security management, GDPR for European data protection, HIPAA for healthcare industry requirements, and PCI DSS if handling payment card information.
Ensuring alignment with these standards is essential, especially when dealing with sensitive customer information.

Communication and Collaboration:

Evaluate the company’s communication practices and collaboration approach. Opt for a development partner that maintains transparent and open communication channels, understands your business needs, and collaborates effectively throughout the development lifecycle. Effective communication is key to a successful partnership.

By keeping this consideration in mind, you can choose a custom CRM software development company that aligns best with your requirement.

Now, let’s understand the most important factor!

Cost To Build Custom CRM Software

The cost of developing custom CRM software varies based on factors such as complexity, team size, location, and technology stack. For instance, with a team of four developers (PHP, JavaScript, or Ruby), QA, and designers working 1000 hours, the cost in the US could be around $600,000.

In Western Europe, rates may range from $240,000 to $320,000, while Eastern European companies may charge approximately $160,000 or less.

Factors influencing costs include feature complexity, team size, location, and technology stack. Therefore, tt’s advisable to obtain quotes from multiple development companies and ensure they have relevant CRM experience in your industry.

Summing Up,

In conclusion, developing your custom CRM software can significantly boost your business by streamlining processes and increasing sales. Our team at Zealous has a proven track record in developing software that transforms business operations.

We prioritize security with multiple layers of protection and regular checks. If you’re ready to start your custom CRM software development journey, connect with our experts for top-notch services aligned with the latest trends. We’ll guide you through the entire process for lasting success.

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    Pranjal Mehta

    Pranjal Mehta is the Managing Director of Zealous System, a leading software solutions provider. Having 10+ years of experience and clientele across the globe, he is always curious to stay ahead in the market by inculcating latest technologies and trends in Zealous.


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