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Build your own CRM system: Succeed with these steps

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Creating a CRM yourself is often too expensive and time-consuming for small and medium-sized companies. They make compromises and use CRM software that is not an ideal fit for their own company. Unmet requirements and unused functions are the result. The development of CRM systems with low-code software provides a way out.

In this blog post, we'll show you the different ways to get your own CRM and which steps you need to take if you want to build your CRM system yourself.

Why companies need a CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM for short) is at the heart of all business processes. It centralizes all information about customers, leads and deals and is therefore a important engine for increasing sales. CRM systems have three main tasks:

  • improve customer relationships,
  • increase sales,
  • Drive business growth.

Companies that want to grow and maintain strong relationships with their customers cannot ignore CRM. CRM systems also help automate processes. They thus create more efficiency and ensure that sales can concentrate on contact with customers.

Zwei lächelnde Geschäftsfrauen arbeiten zusammen an einem Projekt zum Thema CRM selbst programmieren.
If you program a CRM yourself, you can even improve employee satisfaction. The system is adapted to your needs and there are no more workarounds.

3 different paths to the CRM database

Anyone thinking about a CRM is spoilt for choice. The system landscape is diverse and can be overwhelming at first glance. Many companies therefore initially use Microsoft Excel as a CRM database. Although Excel can be used to store and sort information, a real CRM system has more functions.

There are three ways to get to your own CRM system:

1. Buy or rent CRM software

The most common option is to rent or buy CRM software as a subscription. Companies have access to a database and can fill it with their data. The advantage of a SaaS CRM is that all data is backed up in a cloud. Plus, prices for SaaS software are often affordable. If, on the other hand, you buy the CRM, you need your own server capacity to store the database. One downside of CRM software is that the system is limited to existing features. Interfaces may expand the scope, but the system cannot be individually adapted.  

2. Program CRM yourself

Large companies often develop their own CRM system. Developers can also use open source software. The advantage lies in the high degree of individuality. You can tailor the CRM system exactly to your needs and processes if you build it yourself. However, in-house development is very expensive and time-consuming. For small and medium-sized companies, in-house programming is therefore rarely a solution.

Hände arbeiten an einem Entwurf, um ein CRM System selbst zu erstellen, mit bunten Markern und Papier.
It's not that easy to build a CRM system yourself. It requires a lot of planning and design.

3. Build your own CRM with low-code

Low-code platforms, on the other hand, promise little effort and yet maximum flexibility. They contain development elements that can also be used by non-developers. Companies are provided with a database and can adapt it to their own needs. Ninox CRM also includes a number of templates that can be installed with a mouse click. The integrated CRM can be used directly. However, thanks to the low-code approach, you can fully automate the database.

The benefits of a custom CRM

A ready-made off-the-shelf CRM solution is not the right choice for every company. Many providers have focused on classic online companies. The functions and requirements of traditional industries fall by the wayside. Companies must therefore invariably make compromises that cost them resources and efficiency in everyday business life. With a custom CRM, on the other hand, no requirement falls by the wayside. When you build your CRM system yourself, you benefit from the following benefits:

  • High adaptability: Individual adjustment to specific business needs.
  • Complete control over your own data management: Absolute control over privacy and security.
  • Scalability: Easy adjustment and expansion as the company grows.
  • Integrations: Seamless integration with other business applications.
  • Affordable price: Long-term cost savings by avoiding unnecessary functions.
Geschäftsfrau präsentiert, wie man ein CRM selbst erstellen kann, während Kollegen zuhören.
Of course, there are also disadvantages to creating a CRM yourself: It takes a lot of time at the beginning. But in return, you will work much more efficiently in the long term.

Step-by-step guide: How to build your own CRM system

Creating a CRM system yourself is no rocket science thanks to low-code solutions like Ninox. You don't have to be a programmer and you don't have to be afraid to use it. Thanks to the user-friendly interface, you can create your own CRM yourself — in no time at all. Follow the steps below to do so:

Step 1: Define requirements and core elements

A CRM system is not the same as a CRM system. The range of functions differs from software to software. Therefore, the first step is to define your requirements.

If you opt for a low-code solution like Ninox, there are no limits to your ideas, as you can individually adapt the database to your needs. However, Ninox also offers a pre-built, integrated CRM system. Here you can look forward to all important CRM functions:

Contact management: Manage your contacts in one place and centralize all customer interaction to build an even better relationship with your customers.

Lead and opportunity management: Always keep track of all leads and sales opportunities. The central image also helps you create tailor-made offers, which you can also send directly from Ninox.

Team management: Distribute tasks within the team and create usage rights so that everyone has access to the data that is relevant to them.

Reports: Analyze your sales opportunities and deals An analysis area underpins your CRM system with data-based decisions.

Integrations: Send emails directly from Ninox through seamless integration. Other interfaces, such as the DATEV connection, provide you with seamless financial accounting.

Step 2: Select a software and customize it to suit your needs

The advantages of low-code applications over traditional software are obvious. While you have to choose a system when it comes to finished CRM software, with Ninox, you can design the solution that's right for your business. Without programming knowledge and completely intuitive, you get a CRM system that is completely tailored to your business processes. Compared to in-house development, you save a lot of money and time.

Team klatscht Beifall während einer Präsentation zum Thema CRM erstellen im hellen Konferenzraum.
Your sales department should definitely be involved in the process.

Step 3: Import data into your CRM database

The CRM system is the central point of contact for all your data. Import your contact lists, leads, and sales opportunities manually or use the import function. If you have worked with another system before, you can transfer your data directly or upload it via CSV file.

Step 4: Create access rights for the team

Set access rights for your team to ensure that everyone can view and edit the information they need based on their role and responsibilities. This ensures efficient collaboration while protecting sensitive data when you build your CRM yourself.

Step 5: Avoid these mistakes when integrating a CRM system

Before you get started, make sure you've considered the following mistakes when setting up your CRM system:

  1. Inconsistent data quality: Ensure that data imported into the CRM system is accurate, consistent, and error-free to ensure a reliable basis for decision-making processes.
  1. Inadequate employee training: Avoid problems caused by inadequately trained personnel. Give enough time so that all team members have the necessary understanding of the CRM software and its functions.
  1. Lack of connectivity: Make sure that your CRM system is seamlessly integrated with other business applications to ensure a smooth exchange of information and ensure data consistency.

You need more tips on how to make your It is best to introduce a CRM system in a company? Then follow the link for more information.

Conclusion: Don't make compromises

When you choose a CRM system, you shouldn't make big compromises. Define your requirements and choose the software that's right for you. With low-code software like Ninox, you enjoy the convenience of integrated templates and can still build and design your CRM yourself. A custom CRM system will help you achieve your goals in the long term, as it grows with your business.

Build exactly what you need — nothing more, nothing less.