How to build a custom CRM without hiring a developer

May 6, 2023
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In today's competitive business landscape, managing customer relationships is crucial to success. A custom CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can help you track, organize, and analyze your customer interactions, leading to better decision-making and improved customer satisfaction. In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you how to build a custom CRM without hiring a developer, using the no-code platform Noloco.

What is a Custom CRM?

A custom CRM is a tailored solution for managing your business's customer relationships, interactions, and data. Unlike off-the-shelf CRM systems, custom CRMs can be designed to meet the specific needs and requirements of your business, ensuring that you have the right tools and functionality to streamline your sales process and provide exceptional customer service. With a custom CRM, you can automate tasks, centralize customer data, and analyze performance metrics, leading to better insights and more informed decision-making.

Why your Business Needs a Custom CRM

There are several reasons why a business might need a custom CRM:

  1. Unique business processes: Off-the-shelf CRM solutions may not align with your specific sales processes or customer management strategies. A custom CRM allows you to design a system that fits your unique business requirements.
  2. Scalability: As your business grows and evolves, your CRM needs may change. A custom CRM can be easily adapted to accommodate new features, integrations, or data requirements.
  3. Data centralization: A custom CRM can bring together data from various sources, such as spreadsheets, emails, and other applications, providing a unified view of your customer information.
  4. Competitive advantage: By creating a CRM tailored to your business needs, you can optimize your sales processes and customer interactions, giving you a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Building a Custom CRM with Noloco

You can build a custom CRM for Noloco in just a few steps by cloning the Sales CRM Template.

Step 1: Sign up to Noloco

Visit the Noloco website and sign up for an account. Once you've completed the onboarding process, you'll have access to the Noloco dashboard.

Step 2: Create a New App and Clone the Sales CRM Template

From your Noloco dashboard, click on "+ New App." Browse through the available templates and select the "Sales CRM Template." This template includes a variety of features and components to help you get started with your custom CRM, such as contact management, deal tracking, and reporting.

You can preview the template here

Step 3: Choose to build your CRM with Noloco Collections

Noloco supports both Airtable and Noloco collections for the Sales CRM Template. Noloco collections are Noloco’s built-in-database, that’s faster and more powerful than a spreadsheet, and totally free.

You could choose to power your CRM with the Airtable template provided, but for the purpose of this guide, we’ll use Noloco Collections to power our tables.

Step 4: Choose a name for your CRM

You’ll need a unique name for your custom CRM, this will be how you will access it, and where you can send your teammates and colleagues.

Noloco will suggest a name based on your email address or first name.

Once you pick a name and click “Next”, Noloco will build your custom CRM, set it up with some sample data and create your user account before opening up your brand new CRM.

Step 4: Import Your Existing Leads and Deals from Your Spreadsheets

Now it's time to import your existing customer data into your new CRM. In the Noloco app builder, navigate to the "Data" tab. From there, you can import data from various sources, such as spreadsheets, CSV files, or other apps.

To import your Contact data from a spreadsheet:

1. Click on the “Contacts” table

2. Click on "Import"

3. Choose the file you want to import and click "Upload."

4. Map the columns in your spreadsheet to the corresponding fields in your CRM. For example, you might map a "First Name" column in your spreadsheet to the "First Name" field in your CRM.

5. Click "Import" to complete the process.

6. Repeat this step with any of your other tables that you need to import data into

Step 5: Customize Your CRM

With your data imported, you can now begin customizing your CRM to fit your business needs. Use the point-and-click interface to modify the layout, add or remove fields, and create custom views for different users. You can also create custom forms, reports, and workflows to automate tasks and improve efficiency.

Adding a new field

You can add a new field to any of your tables by clicking the “+” icon in the last column.
From here you can set the field name, and choose the field type.

In this example we’re adding a “Status” field to the “Contacts” table, to represent if they’re a cold or warm lead.

One that’s done you can navigate back to your Contacts page in your app using the first icon in the sidebar.
To add your new field to your layout, simply turn on build mode using the Switch, and click anywhere on the page.

This will open the build mode sidebar, which allows you to change the fields, layout, filters etc.

We can now group our layout by our new field by clicking ‘Display’ and then setting the Second grouping level to ‘Status’

If you turn off build-mode you can see that our layout is now grouped by a second layer, our new Status field.

From there you can drag your Contacts between the different groups.

Customizing your workflows

Navigate to the Workflows tab (the lightning bolt in the sidebar). There is a sample workflow there that email the opportunity owner if an opportunity is won.

It does this by running anything the “Status” of an opportunity is updated, and only sending the email if the status is equal to “Closed–won”

You can customize or extend this workflow to do anything else you might want to do when an opportunity is closed.

When you’re finished, remember to turn it on. 

Invite your team:

After you’ve customized your CRM to fit your specific business needs, the last thing you need to do is invite your team.

Noloco has a “Users” table available from the sidebar where you can control who can log into your app. Simply invite your colleagues and they’ll receive an invitation to log into the app you just built.

From there you can assign them opportunities and accounts, and the views will show them the deals and customers that are relevant to them. 

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