How to Develop a CRM App like Zoho and Salesforce: Costs, Features, and Types

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March 2024 | 5 min read

Head of Marketing & Development

Usama Shahid

Head of Marketing & Development

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Maintaining good and enduring client connections is critical in today's highly competitive business world. Client Relationship Management (CRM) software has become a must-have tool for organizations of all kinds in order to manage client contacts, optimize procedures, and boost productivity. Zoho Corporation, a well-known leader in the CRM business, provides a comprehensive range of CRM solutions. If you're thinking about creating a CRM software like Zoho, you're going on an complete guide that has the potential to greatly improve your company's productivity and customer happiness. In this complete blog, we'll look at the features, types and CRM software development cost in USA.

What exactly is a CRM App?

A client Relationship Management (CRM) app is software that assists organizations in managing client contacts, tracking leads, automating sales processes, and improving customer service. It acts as a centralized repository for storing and analyzing consumer data, enabling businesses to make data-driven choices and provide personalized experiences to their customers. CRM applications are used by sales, marketing, and customer service teams to improve productivity and customer satisfaction. And in this complete tutorial we will also check out custom CRM application pricing in USA as well.

CRM Software Development Quote And Why Create An App Like Zoho?

Before we get started, it's important to understand why you should consider creating a CRM software like Zoho:

Customization: When you develop your CRM software, you may personalize it to your company's specific needs and operations. You may design a solution that is completely tailored to your industry and goals.
Cost-Efficiency: While several CRM software solutions are on the market, developing your own can be more cost-effective in the long term, particularly as your firm grows.
Competitive Advantage: A customized CRM app may provide you with a competitive advantage by providing features and capabilities that differentiate you from your competition.
Data Ownership: You own and manage your data, guaranteeing data security and compliance with privacy rules.
Scalability: As your company expands, you can quickly scale your CRM programme to handle more data and users.

Steps needed to create a CRM App like Zoho

Step 1: Define the Goals of Your CRM App

Before you begin development, you must explicitly identify the goals of your CRM software. This entails answering critical questions such as:
- Which specific business issues do you want the CRM app to address?
- Who are your intended users (sales, marketing, customer service, and so on)?
- What features and functions are essential for attaining your goals?
- What is your development budget and timeline?
A well-defined set of objectives will lead you through the whole development process and allow you to make educated decisions at each stage.

Step 2: Select the CRM App Type

CRM software exist in a variety of flavors, each catering to a distinct set of company requirements. CRM applications are classified into the following categories:
Operational CRM: Focuses on enhancing customer-facing activities including sales, marketing, and customer service. Lead management, contact management, and sales automation are among the features.
Analytical CRM: Analytical CRMs analyze customer data to acquire insight into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. This aids in data-driven decision making and the creation of focused marketing initiatives.
Collaborative CRM: Collaborative CRMs encourage cross-functional collaboration inside a company. They improve communication and information exchange among various teams, such as sales and customer service.
Strategic CRM: Strategic CRMs are designed to handle long-term customer relationships. By providing personalized experiences, they want to establish and sustain strong, devoted consumer connections.
The CRM app you use should be in line with your company's goals. In many circumstances, a mix of these categories may be needed to meet a variety of demands.

Step 3: Create the User Interface (UI) and the User Experience (UX).

User adoption and happiness are highly dependent on a well-designed user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). The UI of your CRM programme should be straightforward, aesthetically appealing, and simple to use. Consider the design concepts listed below:
User-Friendly Navigation: Make sure users can quickly access and navigate through the CRM's many areas.
Responsive Design: Make the software available on a variety of platforms, such as desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Personalization: Allow users to tailor their dashboards and displays to their own needs and workflows.
Data Visualization: Present data in a visually appealing and intelligible manner by using charts, graphs, and reports.
Accessibility: Make sure your app is accessible to individuals with disabilities and follows accessibility guidelines.
To detect and fix usability concerns, consider doing user testing and receiving input throughout the design process.

Step 4: Select a Technology Stack

Choosing the correct technology stack is critical for developing a solid and scalable CRM solution. Programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and databases should all be part of your technological stack. The following are some prominent technology stacks for CRM app development:
Front-end Development: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, React.js, or Angular.js for user interface development.
Server-side Development: Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Python (Django or Flask), or PHP.
Database: For data storage, use MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, or Cassandra.
Cloud Services: For scalability and data storage, consider cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.
APIs: To improve functionality, integrate with third-party services and tools using APIs.
Mobile App: If you intend to provide a mobile version, you can pick between native development (iOS and Android) and cross-platform frameworks such as React Native or Flutter.
Your technological stack should be in line with the knowledge of your development team and the app's scalability needs.

Step 5: Create Core Features

A CRM programme, such as Zoho, often includes the following features:
Contact Management: Enables users to save and manage client contact information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, and company information.
Lead Management: Track leads from first contact through sales funnel completion, including lead scoring and conversion tracking.
Sales Automation: Use automation to automate sales operations like lead assignment, email nurturing, and follow-ups.
Marketing Automation: Design and manage marketing strategies such as email marketing and consumer segmentation.
Customer Support: Make tools available for handling customer enquiries, support tickets, and issue resolution.
Analytics and Reporting: Provide powerful reporting and analytics services to assist users in extracting insights from their data.
Integration: Allow for integration with third-party software tools such as email clients, calendars, and marketing platforms.
Allow users to customise fields, processes, and dashboards to meet their individual needs.
Security: Put in place strong security procedures to safeguard sensitive consumer data.
User Management: Controls for administrators to manage user roles, permissions, and access levels.
Keep in mind that constant feedback from users and stakeholders is essential during the development process. Improve and modify your CRM software iteratively depending on user feedback.

Step 6: Testing and Quality Control

Thorough testing and quality assurance are required to guarantee that your CRM software is dependable and free of bugs. The following areas should be tested:
Functionality: Verify that all features and functionalities perform as planned.
Compatibility: Determine whether the app is compatible with various browsers and devices.
Performance: Evaluate the app's speed and responsiveness, particularly when managing large amounts of data.
Security: Perform security testing to discover and fix issues.
Usability: Collect user input on the app's usability and make any required changes.
Integration: Run integration tests with third-party services to guarantee smooth data flow.
Consider introducing automated testing to speed up the testing process and discover problems early in the development phase.

Step 7: Installation and Hosting

When your CRM software has been properly tested and is ready for production, you must deploy it and choose a hosting provider. Cloud hosting providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud are options, as is on-premises hosting if you wish to handle your infrastructure.
Make sure your deployment process is well-documented, and that you have a strategy in place to scale as your user base expands.

Step 8: User Onboarding and Training

A successful CRM software deployment includes user training and onboarding. Provide extensive training materials, tutorials, and assistance to assist users in becoming acquainted with the software. Consider providing live training sessions as well as a dedicated support crew to answer user inquiries and resolve difficulties.

Step 9: Ongoing Improvement

The development process does not finish with the first release. Continuous innovation is essential for keeping a competitive CRM app. Collect user input, track app performance, and iterate on additions and functions in response to changing company demands.

Step 10: Maintenance and Support

Maintain and support your CRM app on an ongoing basis to ensure its stability and security. This includes bug patches, security upgrades, and feature additions on a regular basis.

Cost of Developing a CRM App

Customer Relationship Management app development estimate can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the app's complexity, features, technology stack, development team, and ongoing maintenance. To provide a rough estimate, let's break down the key cost components and look at the overall CRM software budget in USA:

Development Team: The App development price for CRM system includes hiring and retaining a development team which is one of the most significant expenses. This includes software developers, UI/UX designers, quality assurance engineers, project managers, and possibly business analysts. Salaries and benefits for these professionals can vary widely based on location and expertise. For a mid-sized CRM app project, this cost can range from $100,000 to $500,000 or more per year, depending on the team's size and location.

Technology Stack: The choice of technology stack impacts development costs. Licensing fees for software, frameworks, and libraries, as well as ongoing maintenance costs, need to be considered. Budget for software licenses, cloud hosting fees, and third-party API costs. Depending on your choices, this can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands annually.

Design and User Experience (UX): Investing in high-quality UI/UX design is essential for user adoption. Design costs can vary significantly but might range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on complexity and customization requirements.

Testing and Quality Assurance: Thorough testing and QA are essential for a reliable CRM app. This may require additional resources, tools, and possibly outsourcing. Testing costs can vary from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the app's complexity and testing needs.

Maintenance and Support: Ongoing maintenance and support costs are a critical part of the budget. This includes bug fixes, security updates, and regular feature enhancements. Maintenance costs can range from 15% to 25% of the initial development costs annually.

Hosting and Infrastructure: Costs for hosting and infrastructure can vary depending on whether you choose cloud-based hosting or on-premises hosting. Cloud hosting costs can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands per month, depending on usage and scalability needs.

Marketing and User Acquisition: Once the CRM app is developed, you'll need to budget for marketing and user acquisition to attract customers. Costs for marketing campaigns, advertising, and sales efforts can vary widely based on your target market and strategy.

Legal and Compliance: Ensure that you budget for legal and compliance-related expenses, including data protection regulations (such as GDPR) and any necessary patents or trademarks.

Training and Onboarding: Costs associated with user training and onboarding should be considered, including the creation of training materials and any additional staff required for support.

Customization and Scaling: As your user base grows and business needs change, you may need to budget for additional development to customize and scale the CRM app.

It's essential to keep in mind that these estimates can vary greatly based on your specific project requirements, geographical location, and the development approach (e.g., in-house development vs. outsourcing). Additionally, unforeseen challenges during development can impact costs.

To get a more accurate estimate, it's advisable to consult with experienced software development firms or professionals who can provide a detailed cost analysis tailored to your unique CRM app project.


Creating a CRM system like Zoho may be a game changer for your business, allowing you to better manage client interactions, streamline procedures, and gain a competitive advantage. You may begin on a successful CRM app development journey by following the stages indicated in this article and carefully analyzing pricing, features, and kinds. Remember that continuous improvement and client input are critical to the long-term success of a CRM software. Your CRM software might become a useful tool for your organization and its clients with effort and the appropriate plan.

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Head of Marketing & Development

Usama Shahid

Head of Marketing and Development

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