What is bespoke CRM software?

Bespoke software is custom built business software that is specifically designed to perfectly suit your individual business needs. Off-the-shelf products might be a quick and easy solution when you’re first starting out, but as your business continues to grow and change, you will begin to develop a clearer idea of how you need your software to perform. You may discover that standardised software is not flexible or specific enough for your demands. If you’ve arrived at this point, it’s time to start thinking about finding a bespoke software developer who can tailor a CRM program for you.

One of the main advantages of choosing bespoke software versus off-the-shelf is that it’s easy to use because it’s set up exactly the way you want it. Developer Paul Stanley explains that “Generic screens, not specific to your business, may be much slower, harder to user than a bespoke software screen built.” Customised software also allows for changes to be made easily, so that as you discover new business requirements, your developer can make adaptations and updates as needed.

How can bespoke CRM software increase efficiency?

Customer relationship management is a vital aspect to successfully managing your business. The right CRM system allows you to easily manage your existing clients’ data and lead opportunities through the entire process of sales, service, marketing, accounting, operational data and more. In order to maintain healthy relationships with customers, you need to have a well organised method for communication and data recording. A CRM system will help you to keep accurate and detailed records of each contact and provide the optimal customer service experience to your clients.

Imagine that a customer calls in for support about a product or service that they recently purchased. By using a CRM system, the company can store information about the conversation with that customer so that the next time they call in, no matter who answers the phone, the customer support representative will already know all about any previous issues and inquiries. Anytime there is an updated feature to previously purchased product, or when a complimentary product or service is made available, the CRM will tell the marketing and sales departments exactly which customers will benefit from being notified about those updates, and a campaign can be designed specifically for those relevant potential repeat buyers. As you begin to identify a client’s buying patterns and needs, you can easily spot openings for upselling and cross selling. A well organised CRM helps businesses to recognise and take advantage of sales opportunities.

A CRM system not only allows you to store and track data, it also allows for easy and convenient sharing of data across all departments. As the customer service team records support calls and technical issues, the IT department can gain access to this information to better determine what areas need improvement and extra maintenance. The marketing team can review results of various marketing campaigns against revenue and incoming inquiries, as well as manage and record efforts to gain contact with leads. The right CRM will create a seamless customer management and data sharing system for the entire company.

Business News Daily’s Sara Angeles sums up the many ways in which your company can benefit from a CRM and optimise efficiency in the following points:

Lead generation. Find new customers by automatically generating leads from various sources like social media, website visitors, inbound calls, newsletter sign-ups and more.

Prospect nurturing. Follow up with leads automatically with preset emails and tasks, or contact them directly yourself. CRM can nurture prospects all the way through the entire sales pipeline, from lead generation to closing the sale.

Email marketing. Automatically build email lists, launch email marketing campaigns and measure performance. CRM can also send email reminders to customers and prospects to drive sales — for instance, by reminding them of abandoned carts, suggesting products that they may be interested in (based on preferences or purchase histories) and other ways to make up for missed sales opportunities.

Sales quotes and invoicing. Create and store sales quotes for individual customers and customer groups. When they are ready to purchase, CRM can automatically turn those quotes into invoices, which are then imported to your accounting, POS and other designated solutions.

Order tracking. Get tracking information straight from your CRM dashboard. Order information appears on customers’ individual accounts for quick and convenient access.

Sales forecasting. Automatically project short- and long-term sales potential and opportunities with just a few clicks, which eliminates the need to gather data and produce charts from scratch.

Performance tracking. CRM software typically gives each sales reps their own accounts, which allows them to keep track of their own sales numbers, quotas, incentives and other metrics to help them reach their goals.

Competitor tracking. Keep an eye on what competitors are doing — such as their social media activities, press releases and other sources of news — to stay ahead of the game.”

Will bespoke software be more expensive than off-the-shelf?

Not necessarily. Especially if you find that you need to make customisations to your off-the-shelf product, bespoke software can actually be less expensive. You will likely also save yourself time as it can be very time consuming to acquaint yourself with a pre-made program and learn how to use the integrated tools. A custom designed program will already be set up to do exactly what you want it to do, exactly the way you want it done.

Why use a local bespoke CRM instead of offshoring?

At first glance, you might think that hiring an offshore developer will be the best choice because it could be more affordable. However, there are many factors that can turn hiring offshore into a headache. When you have an issue or a question for your developer, you need an answer right away. Working with an offshore developer can mean large time differences, making immediate communication difficult. When it comes to running your business successfully, there’s no time for delay. Other issues you might encounter are language and cultural barriers that make communication more difficult. Being able to meet your developer in person helps to create a better understanding of one another and allows you to better explain your needs and expectations.

Ready to get started with your own bespoke CRM system?

Code Dock London specialises in creating bespoke CRM’s and other user experience driven management information systems. For more information, contact us at contact@codedock.co.uk or give us a call at +44 (0)20 3637 8870.

Marcelo Lazaroni