CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems have become an integral part of a great number of business processes. Today such systems are used by the majority of businesses and help them to manage a wide range of everyday tasks including and focusing on the organization of the interaction with their customers. If you start googling for web-based, cloud or desktop CRM systems, you will see that there are numerous ready-made options available. But do you believe in “one-fits-all” solutions? And are you sure that these CRMs provided by third-party vendors will fully meet your personal demands and requirements?
In this article, we are going to consider the features and functionality a good CRM system should have today and will explain why we so strongly believe in Delphi as a tool to write CRM apps.
CRM systems: functions and features
CRM systems in their modern understanding and look started their history not so long ago, only in the 1990s.
The first software of this kind had a rather limited scope of functions, including:
- sales force automation;
- database marketing;
- contact management.
Nowadays these products are much more complex. They can provide predictive insights to optimize sales and have the support of collaboration between multiple teams. Moreover, it is possible to integrate into the system other business services like marketing, sales within online and offline channels.
Having analyzed a great number of CRMs that are currently being used by businesses from different spheres, we prepared a list of system functions that are considered to be a must-have:
- Lead management. To generate leads is task number 1 for any seller. The system may help you to get lead data from numerous channels, including but not limited to social media networks, phone calls, online platforms and comments. This feature will help you not to lose any leads and to use them in a proper way. It will also ensure proper tracking of the processes of leads going through the sales cycle.
- Contact management. We believe that it is one of the core functions of any CRM system. This feature should presuppose the recording and storage of your clients’ names, contact numbers, addresses, links to their social media accounts and so on. All these details should be kept in a convenient searchable database. Moreover, it is good when your software will also keep the information about your interactions with this or that customer and the outcomes of this communication.
- Email management. The most widely used communication channel in B2C and B2B spheres is email. Though you may say that you do not need any additional email features as you already use such products as Gmail or Outlook, we could recommend you to integrate these apps with your CRM system. And doing that, you will have a powerful tool to track your email conversations, send email automatically as well as to hold various email campaigns.
- Analytics and reporting. All core business functions that are supported by CRM require good analytics and reporting. Good CRM software will provide you with precise reports of how your company is doing according to different metrics. You can use these analytics data in decision-making as well as planning activities.
- Marketing management. This function of your CRM app will be able to cover a wide row of tasks including marketing resource management, content marketing, social media marketing automation, online campaign optimization and so on. With this tool, it is possible to significantly reduce your expenses in marketing and enhance the efficiency of your efforts in this field
- Sales pipeline management. This feature is intended for visualization of the entire sales cycle. It helps to sort your deals and perform different actions (like sending emails) based on various parameters. For different products, you can create different pipelines.
- Workflow automation. Using this function, you can create workflows with special rules and logic to facilitate and automate many routine tasks. The system will also send notifications and reminders if any manual actions are required from users.
- Document management. File creation, editing and sharing will become possible directly from the CRM system. The system can also store all versions of each doc and allow you to set different access rights to different files.
- Proposal management. Quotes and proposals can be sent directly from the CRM system. You can revise them, export them to files of different formats, sent them to your team and customize them as well.
- Making forecasts. The system can analyze your past and current performance and offer predictions for potential revenue and sales.
Of course, that’s not a full list of all the features that can be added to your desktop, web and cloud CRMs. Maybe you wish for something more. And that’s quite okay as different businesses have different needs.
Delphi as a tool for building CRM systems
As well as any other software products, CRM systems can be created with different tools. One of them is Delphi.
A typical Windows CRM app written in Delphi can be enriched with a wide scope of blocks and features, for example:
- file storage;
- email integration;
- data visualization;
- notifications and reminders;
- calls and much more.
Delphi is widely used in Windows native apps development but it can be easily applied when you want to create cross-platform software that will also run on Linux or macOS. Delphi can support many 3rd-party services and APIs. And given its nature, Delphi development is quite fast and easy for professionals.
CRM systems built in Delphi can be rich in functions and can be seamlessly integrated with cloud-based systems if you have such a necessity in the future.
Yes, as we have already mentioned, today many vendors offer CRM solutions that you can just buy and start using. But what can you do if you see that there are no ready-made solutions for you? The best thing that we can recommend you to do is to contact Softacom and share with us all your pains. Having rich expertise in custom software development and particularly in Delphi development, our specialists will help you to get a perfect solution.
- Do you want to create a CRM system from scratch? No issues, we will help you.
- Do you already have a CRM app but see that it lacks some important functions or it requires integration with other systems? We are also ready to lend you our helping hand.
- Do you want to migrate your software to the cloud? Great, we will analyze your case and find the best approach to cloud migration.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to hearing from you.