How to design a CRM system: best practices and tips

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25 Apr
24 Apr

Ever feel like you’re juggling way too many customer details? Names, emails, phone numbers — there is too much to remember. And, sometimes, it becomes overwhelming, among other important tasks you need to deal with. To keep track of it all, there is one standout solution for business owners — Customer Relationship Management system (CRM).

A well-designed CRM can help you get rid of the customer data chaos and optimize business operations. In situations when you have a happy client, you might forget their name or interests a few months later. This system can help you remember those details accurately. But to make it work for you and your team, a simple interface and pretty design elements are a top priority. So, let’s explore some easy steps to get you started.

Why is good CRM design important?

A well-designed CRM helps you spend less time hunting for customer details and more time closing deals. It optimizes the sales process, putting all the information you need at your fingertips without scrambling to remember past conversations or decipher cryptic notes. With structured data, everyone understands what’s going on, keeping projects moving smoothly.

A well-designed CRM clears things up
When your team has the right tools they need to succeed, everyone wins.

The main steps in a CRM system design process

So, if you’re ready to design a CRM system that boosts sales, keeps your team humming, and makes everyone smile, it’s important to understand where do you even begin. Follow along, as we break down the key steps involved in crafting a CRM system that’s perfect for your business.

Analyze customer goals

Before you dive headfirst into building your CRM, take a step back. To create a system that truly works, you need to understand your customers. This means getting to grips with their goals and aspirations. What are they hoping to achieve? What problems are they facing that your business can help solve? Think of it as getting to know their pains and dreams to design a CRM that makes their lives easier.

Study your competitors

Designing a CRM from scratch can feel a bit frightening. But there’s a good chance other businesses in your field have already gained success. Here’s where a little “competitor tracking” comes in handy. By taking a peek at the CRM systems other companies are using, you can gain valuable insights. This way, you might learn from someone else’s mistakes (and successes!). When understanding their choices, you can avoid potential pitfalls and make informed decisions about the features and functionalities that will make your CRM stand out.

Interview your users

Now that you’ve gotten a feel for your customer’s world and peeked at the competition, it’s time to bring in the people who will be using your CRM every day. With an interviewing method of your potential users, you can gain insights into their daily struggles. By listening to their experiences, it’s easy to identify pain points and tailor your CRM design to solve their real-world problems.

User interviews are the key to crafting a CRM that tackles the challenges your team faces head-on.

Use information architecture

With informational architecture you can prevent things from getting mixed fast. It helps you visualize the entire structure of the system, laying out all the different components and how they’ll work together. You can figure out where each piece of content will live, how users will navigate to it, and how everything connects. This way, your information architecture will guide users straight to what they need, saving them time and frustration.

Мake use of prototypes and wireframes

Before you start coding away, it’s wise to create wireframes and prototypes. The first one is a basic sketch of your CRM layout, showing how the overall flow will work. A prototype takes it a step further, allowing you to actually interact with a mock version of the system. The benefits of these two methods remain the same — you can iron out any kinks before investing a ton of time and resources into building the final product. If you’re interested in specific insights, check out our detailed article “The differences between wireframes, mockups, and prototypes.”

Best practices for CRM design

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s get down to brass tacks! There are a few tips that we have learned from our own experience and are happy to share with you. So, let’s explore some best practices for CRM design to make it a joy to use for your entire team.

Simple navigation

A system cluttered with menus and hidden options just frustrates users and wastes precious time. Simple navigation is crucial. Things should be easy to find so that everyone can grab what they need and get on with their day. By designing a CRM with clear menus and intuitive layouts, you’re helping your users navigate the system hassle-free. They’ll spend less time hunting for information and more time focusing on what matters: building strong customer relationships.

Simple CRM navigation saves valuable time for everyone

Understandable functional system

While a few basic features might leave your team feeling under-equipped, overloading the system with too many bells and whistles can backfire. The key is finding the sweet spot — a balanced set of functionalities that cater to your specific needs. It’s important to focus on business goals, prioritizing the core features your team uses the most. This way, you create a system that's not only powerful but also user-friendly.

Usability and accessibility

The CRM should be intuitive and straightforward, letting users navigate and complete tasks with minimal effort. Think of it like filling out a quick form — short, sweet, and to the point. No one wants to waste time wrestling with complex interfaces or endless data entry. Plus, your CRM should be mobile-friendly and accessible to people with disabilities, allowing everyone to stay connected and productive.

Visual design and colors

First impressions matter, and your CRM’s design is no exception. A modern, visually appealing interface tells users your company keeps up with the times and takes pride in your product. Consider using clean lines, intuitive layouts, and a color scheme that’s easy on the eyes. After all, nobody wants to stare at a dull, outdated design all day. By choosing a color palette that’s clear and contrasting, you can create a CRM that becomes a joy to use, keeping your team happy and productive.

Scalability and adaptation

As your customer base expands and your business processes evolve, your CRM needs to keep pace. A scalable system can accommodate this growth, adding new features and functionalities as needed. This ensures your CRM remains a valuable tool, not a relic of the past. Also, a system that’s adaptable allows you to adjust to unforeseen changes. New business opportunities might emerge, requiring tweaks to your workflow. A flexible CRM allows you to make these adjustments, keeping your system optimized for success.

A CRM that grows and adapts with your business remains a powerful asset for years to come.

Design a CRM that works

By following these steps and best practices, you’ll be on your way to designing a CRM that keeps your customers happy, your team productive, and your business thriving. But creating this system from the ground up can be a massive undertaking, requiring significant time, effort, and resources.

Halo Lab can help you focus on crucial tasks without getting bogged down by this complex process. Our team of experts will guide you through detailed planning, development, and testing to ensure the outcome will meet all your business needs. With a well-designed system and a little help from us, you can get a CRM that sets you on the path to long-term success.

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Thanks to Halo Lab's work, the client scored 95 points on the PageSpeed insights test and increased their CR by 7.5%. They frequently communicated via Slack and Google Meet, ensuring an effective workflow.
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