How to build a custom no-code/low-code CRM in 2024
Customer relationships dictate the success of businesses, making a robust and efficient Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system an indispensable tool. However, smaller enterprises are often overwhelmed by the thought of building a traditional CRM system from scratch. The complexities and costs involved can seem like a daunting mountain to climb. Luckily, there's a game-changing solution that paves the way for CRM implementation for businesses of all sizes – the No-Code CRM.
Why do you need a custom CRM?
While off-the-shelf CRM solutions offer convenience and immediate availability, they may not always align perfectly with your business's unique requirements. Generic CRM platforms come with an array of features that might not be relevant to your workflows, resulting in unnecessary costs and complexities. When you opt to build a custom CRM, you gain the freedom to tailor the application precisely to suit your specific needs.
You can make sure that every aspect of the CRM aligns seamlessly with your business objectives, and have a highly personalized customer management experience. Also, you will avoid spending money on expensive software licenses. You can make sales and not worry about them covering your licensing and software implementation expenses, which aren't cheap.
Moreover, a custom-built CRM gives you full control over data security, compliance, and scalability. With the ability to expand the application as your business grows, a custom CRM becomes a powerful tool that evolves with your organization, eliminating the need to switch to a new solution whenever internal operations change. Ultimately, building a custom application will help turn leads into paying customers and increase sales.
The Benefits of a No-Code CRM
- 100% Customizable
Unlike off-the-shelf solutions that come with inherent constraints, a No-Code CRM empowers you with limitless customizability. You have the freedom to tailor the platform entirely to your unique business needs. This level of customizability ensures that your CRM aligns perfectly with your specific workflows and processes, providing a seamless and personalized customer management experience.
Embracing a No-Code CRM solution significantly reduces operational expenses as you avoid the high costs associated with traditional CRM development. No-Code CRMs are accessible and cost-effective for businesses of all sizes. This allows you to invest in other areas to drive growth and innovation, without compromising customer relationship management quality and efficiency.
- Accelerated Development
Opting for a No-Code CRM provides a significant advantage in terms of time-to-market and rapid implementation. Unlike traditional CRM development that involves months of coding, a No-Code CRM allows you to save valuable time and resources. Additionally, once built, teams can seamlessly grasp and utilize the No-Code CRM, experiencing a smooth and efficient adoption process.
- Seamless Integration and Automation
Integrating a No-Code CRM with your existing tools and systems is a breeze, streamlining data flow and enhancing overall efficiency. Additionally, the automation capabilities of these platforms allow you to automate repetitive tasks, saving time and ensuring consistency in your processes. By automating manual tasks, your team can focus on high-value activities, fostering better customer interactions and driving productivity.
- Versatile Mixed Use
Beyond its primary function as a Customer Relationship Management tool, a No-Code CRM can serve as a versatile platform that supports various business needs. From project management to financial tracking, inventory management, or sales analysis, these adaptable systems can help you consolidate multiple aspects of your business under one unified interface.
Choosing the Right No-Code CRM Tools
When exploring No-Code CRM options, it's essential to analyze and compare the available tools, considering their unique features and ease of use.
- Insightly: Offering a range of features, Insightly caters well to mid-sized teams across diverse industries. Its sales pipeline-specific focus makes it a strong contender for sales teams. The platform provides a decent library of integrations, ensuring seamless data flow.
- Bubble: As a robust no-code web app builder, Bubble is a good choice to build a custom CRM. It offers numerous pre-built integrations, such as Twilio for customer communication and dynamic data visualization tools like Simple Charts. You can also choose to start with a ready-built CRM template, there are both free and paid options.
- Pipedrive: Known for its sales CRM capabilities, Pipedrive offers a specialized solution for managing sales pipelines. While it provides integrations, some users find them less intuitive, impacting the overall experience.
- Glide: Glide can be a powerful, cost-effective solution to build a custom CRM. This platform comes with built-in integrations to a range of tools, from Zapier and Slack to Stripe, Google Calendar, and Gmail. What sets Glide apart is its ability to handle up to 10 million data rows, ensuring efficient customer data management.
- Zoho: With broad territory management features and add-on modules, it offers scalability and rapid adaptation to growing businesses. Zoho’s reporting capabilities and data analytics ensure comprehensive insights for users.
- Airtable: A flexible database-spreadsheet hybrid, Airtable enables collaborative app building, including sales CRM functionality. Its customization options and affordability make it an attractive choice for businesses seeking tailored solutions.
- Notion: While its out-of-the-box features primarily center on note-taking, it can be adapted as a solid starter CRM with insights into customer interactions. A CRM built on Notion can store customer data, track interactions, and document vital information. Users can easily organize and access relevant information by leveraging various customizable views of a single database. Additionally, Notion offers shortcuts and automation options, like the Web Clipper for adding leads.
Preparation for building a custom no-code CRM
Contact database structure
In building a No-Code CRM, structuring your contacts database is essential for effective management. While you have the freedom to track contacts in various ways, maintaining consistency in fields for names, emails, addresses, and other details ensures your CRM remains manageable and searchable. This organized approach enables quick access to crucial contact information and sets the foundation for efficient customer management.
In addition to individual contacts, tracking relationship details about the companies and teams each person works for is equally important. Creating a new database table for companies allows you to store relevant information such as names, locations, industries, and more. By linking contacts to their respective companies, you can easily manage relationships and expand this approach for versatile relationship tracking. This interconnected structure provides a holistic view of interactions with different entities, enhancing your understanding of business connections.
Manage your contacts database
Once all data is structured and linked in one database, your No-Code CRM offers powerful management capabilities. Efficient search and filter options enable you to find specific contacts, companies, or relationships based on various criteria. Beyond simple search functions, you can implement automation to make bulk changes, such as updating company email addresses after a rebrand or domain change. Your custom-built CRM also provides the freedom to personalize the database layout according to your needs, whether it's a Kanban view for sales funnel management or a timeline to track customer interactions. As your CRM grows, you can explore more advanced features, but organizing your data from the start ensures a smooth transition to enhanced analytics and insights in the future.
Implement security measures
Robust security measures and a defined user hierarchy are essential in building a No-Code CRM. When you safeguard sensitive customer information and business data your CRM is protected from potential threats and unauthorized access. Implementing appropriate security protocols enhances data integrity, providing peace of mind in managing valuable customer relationships.
Defining clear user roles and permissions ensures that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data, maintaining confidentiality and streamlining CRM operations effectively. A well-structured security framework enhances the overall reliability and trustworthiness of your CRM system.
Step-by-Step Guide to Building a No-Code CRM with Glide
Step 1. Setting up your database
When starting out, the first thing you should do is think about what are the necessary data structures for your app. Begin by creating a document to serve as your database. Input the relevant data fields, such as customer names, contact information, and any other details you want to track in your CRM.
Consider creating multiple databases to manage various aspects of your CRM. For example, you could have separate databases for tasks per customer or documents. This organization will provide a clear picture of how data is related and interconnected within the CRM.
Step 2. Designing your app in Glide
Once your database is ready, open Glide and create a new app to link with your data source. If you choose to link with Google Sheets, Glide will automatically create a default app to give you a starting point. In addition to supporting external database platforms like Airtable and Google Sheets, Glide offers its own native tables for databases. These native tables will work seamlessly with the solution you're building, and you'll be able to manage your data all-in-one place. If you choose to start with Glide Tables, you will have a blank page. Then, you can start customizing its appearance and add elements like text, images, buttons, and more.
Step 3. Automation and integration
With your app's layout finalized, it's time to streamline your workflows. You can utilize Glide's automation to optimize your CRM in many ways. For example:
- Automated Lead Nurturing: Set up an action that sends a follow-up email to leads after a specific period of time, ensuring consistent communication and nurturing potential customers.
- Task Reminders: Create actions that send reminders to your team members when specific tasks are due or require attention, helping to keep everyone on track and productive.
- Data Validation: Use automation to validate data entries and ensure that your CRM remains accurate and reliable. For instance, automatically flag incomplete or incorrect information for review.
Then, consider taking advantage of the integrations Glide offers with popular platforms and tools, some of which you might already be using. For example:
- Integration with Communication Tools: Integrate your CRM with communication platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams to receive real-time notifications about important updates, such as lead conversions or customer interactions.
- Email Marketing Integration: Integrate your No-Code CRM with email marketing platforms like Mailchimp or Sendinblue to sync contacts and automate email campaigns based on customer interactions.
- Calendar Integration: Integrate your CRM with calendar apps such as Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook to automatically schedule meetings and appointments based on customer interactions, saving time and avoiding scheduling conflicts.
Step 4. Publishing and sharing your app
Once your CRM app is complete, it's time to share it with your team or clients. You can publish the app as a web app or mobile app, making it easily accessible to everyone. When you're ready, you choose your subdomain (.glideapp.io) and that's it. To use your own domain, you must have a Glide membership. You can also share the app's link or QR code, and your users will be able to access your CRM effortlessly.
Learn more: A guide to Glide app bilder
Leveraging CRM templates for a quick start
CRM templates are pre-designed frameworks that provide a structured approach to organizing customer data. Every template will have its own focus, but, even if they are not the perfect fit for you, you can still use them as a foundation for your own CRM project. You can choose the template that is closest to your needs and then further customize it as needed.
- Airtable CRM templates
Airtable is one of the no-code tools that allows you to easily create a database. This tool is a classic for anyone who doesn't want to bother with Excel's cross tabs anymore. Airtable is a flexible database-spreadsheet hybrid you can use to build collaborative apps like sales CRM.
It offers some customization options, not as many as other platforms and it also lacks native communication capabilities, its direct approach to database management makes it a good option for creating a tailored CRM. It also has a very intuitive UX, and offers many CRM templates.
- Notion CRM Templates
Notion is a versatile and customizable tool with an active community offering hundreds of CRM templates. While it excels in notes-centric workflows, it can also serve as a solid starter CRM with intuitive insights into customers. Whether using the Sales CRM template or starting from scratch, Notion can be a good companion for managing client interactions.
- Bubble CRM templates
Bubble.io is known as one of the most complete no-code development tools. With Bubble, you can create task management, kanban boards, calendar events, staff information, chat, file browsing, account management, and commenting systems, making it perfect to build powerful and versatile CRM solutions.
There are many Bubble CRM templates, some of them are free and others have licenses that range from $35 to $250. For example, the EZ CRM is a paid-license template with a minimalistic design and offers mobile responsiveness. This CRM Analytics Dashboard is free, and it stands out for its charts and graphs to gain valuable insights into your customer data. Every bubble template offers a preview so you can explore its features and layout before making a decision.
- Glide CRM templates
Glide, a powerful no-code platform, sets itself apart with its native database, which can accommodate up to 10 million data rows. This remarkable feature lays the foundation for the many CRM templates available to streamline your customer management processes. There are templates thoughtfully designed by the Glide team itself. They cover the essentials and cater to various business needs, providing users with a solid starting point for their CRM projects. Additionally, the Glide community contributes a diverse range of templates, bringing diverse and innovative options, some of which may be paid.
Examples of No-code CRMs
IntroCRM's No-Code CRM is a powerful platform that enables businesses to efficiently handle incoming leads and manage contacts. The CRM was built using a unique combination of Integromat/Make for parsing CSV files and Glide for the front end. After its implementation it proved to be effective for lead nurturing strategies, leading to a significant 45% increase in lead conversion rates. IntroCRM provides warm leads and contacts to the team with unmatched efficiency, and the enhanced communication capabilities have facilitated meaningful interactions with prospects.
- Contractor's CRM
Contractor's CRM is a highly effective tool that allows contractors to efficiently manage their projects with ease and precision. With its robust capabilities, contractors can guarantee a smooth communication process: deliver clients real-time updates, progress reports, and essential information. The robust Contractor's CRM, built using Bubble.io, offers contractors a professional solution to improve project management and provide outstanding services to their clients. With the help of this no-code app, they can stay organized, ensure customer satisfaction, and accelerate the growth of their businesses in this extremely competitive sector.
In conclusion, the no-code CRM is an efficient, cost-effective solution that can help businesses manage customer relationships. With its many benefits, including customizability, accelerated development, and integration capabilities, a No-Code CRM is a valuable solution for businesses of all sizes that are seeking to optimize their customer strategies.
A no-code CRM opens the door to endless possibilities for streamlining workflows, automating tasks, and gaining insights into your customer interactions. With the flexibility and scalability of the no-code CRM you can rest assured that the platform will fit your business needs exactly, and it will grow alongside your company.
While building your own no-code CRM is an option, you must consider the expertise and support a no-code agency can provide. Having a team of experts by your side can help you go through the trickiest parts of building a no-code CRM. They are well-prepared to incorporate best practices and ensure your CRM is future-proof and capable of evolving with your business. Even more, they can implement custom code features to provide a truly personalized platform for your team. With the support of dedicated experts by your side, you can be confident in the success of your CRM.
This way, you’ll get a smooth and successful implementation of your new solution while freeing your team to focus on what truly matters – building strong relationships with your customers.