How to Build a CRM System From Scratch with No-Code

Max Haining
June 22, 2023

A solid CRM system will help you learn more about your customers, leading to higher rates of customer retention and, most importantly, I think, conversions! 

The trouble is, though, off-the-shelf CRMs include lots of bells and whistles, and you could end up paying for features you don’t need. Fortunately, thanks to no-code, you can build a CRM system to do precisely what you want, and you’ll own it!

Keep reading if you’re ready to take matters into your own hands by developing a custom CRM system. 100DaysOfNoCode will take you through different CRM systems and what’s required to build one from scratch.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system is a tool businesses use to manage and nurture interactions with customers and potential customers.

A CRM system helps improve business relationships to grow your business. It gives teams the correct information at the right time to deliver personalized, connected, and seamless customer experiences.

Different types of CRM

Operational CRM systems

An operational CRM is a blank term that simplifies customer interactions with marketing and sales. It also delivers service automation, so sales, marketing, and customer service tasks are handled efficiently and with less work.

Businesses use operational CRM platforms to increase sales and increase the number of loyal customers. It helps improve customer acquisition and retention by:

  • Generating and nurturing new leads
  • Converting new leads into customers
  • Retaining customers through marketing communication and excellent customer service

Salesforce is one of the best Operational CRMs, offering a comprehensive system with sales processing and collaboration support functionality. What makes it stand out is its Customer 360  feature, which unites sales, marketing, and IT teams together under one platform, making it much easier for teams to get to the route of customer needs, closing sales much quicker.  

Analytical CRM systems

Analytical CRM tools analyze large quantities of your business's collated customer data for meaningful insight and tangible action.

Customer data is contact data, customer information, and properties from online and offline behavior. It stores it securely for analysis and identifies trends and patterns in your customer’s behavior to help enhance operations and streamline business processes.

Example of an Analytical CRM Platform

Zoho Analytics is one of the best analytical CRMs for small teams. It delivers comprehensive analytics on a huge number of metrics, which allows teams to analyze and identify areas of their marketing or sales campaigns that can be improved. 

Collaborative CRM systems

Collaboration CRM systems focus on enhancing the customer’s experience by making it seamless throughout their journey. It achieves this by breaking down silos among all teams for more efficient collaboration and the ability to share the same current information in real-time.

Example of a Collaborative CRM Platform

Microsoft Dynamics 365 delivers a comprehensive suite to support collaborative functions for

all your business processes. With Microsoft 365, you can use OneDrive to make sure any spreadsheets or docs are available to everyone in a team or across departments, for easy collaboration.

Strategic CRM systems

A Strategic CRM system focuses on winning and keeping profitable customers by delivering better value than competitors. This type offers many of the same features as collaborative CRM. That said, strategic CRM focuses on long-term customer engagement, while collaborative CRMs are for immediate enhancements.

Strategic CRMs collect customer needs and priorities data to support businesses in providing lasting value. They are valuable for businesses needing long-term customer relationship management, like a Telecommunications company providing ongoing phone and broadband services.

Example of a Strategic CRM Platform

Freshsales, formerly Freshworks, is one of the best tools for strategic CRM, offering a complete view of all your customers, leads, and contracts.

Why are CRM Systems Important?

  • Offers detailed, reliable, actionable analytics. CRM systems typically contextualize data into easy-to-understand metrics, allowing teams to act accordingly.
  • Customer segmentation. It supports your business in personalized messaging and outreach by automatically grouping your lead and customer data into smaller groups based on similar essential characteristics, like age or gender. 
  • Cost-effectiveness. Implementing a CRM may be expensive upfront but pays for itself over time, and its process automation frees up time and resources.

How to Build CRM Systems from Scratch with No-Code

1. Identify your business goals

Other than increasing your ROI, pinpoint precisely how a CRM will help your business expand. Is your goal to maximize customer loyalty, or do you need it more for streamlining, automating, and integrating your business processes for more productivity?

An efficient way to help define what you want to gain from building a CRM system is to use the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting method:

  • Specific: Define your goal and how a CRM system will help you.
  • Measurable: Define criteria to verify your CRM is complete and fit for purpose.
  • Attainable: Based on your resources and other commitments, realistically assess for capacity to achieve developing a CRM system.
  • Time-bound: After thorough consideration, set a completion deadline.

2. Determine the features required

During your functionality requirements Discovery Phase, list the specifications for your CRM project. Study the various CRM types to help determine the scope and desired functions before choosing the best one to suit your objectives.

You’ll need a Project Specifications document describing all the main features like wireframes, user stories, types, and flows. The developers can use these details to plan development time and set deadlines. For some ideas, the chart below shows the most requested CRM features.


A Project Specifications doc helps decide how you will roll out your solution. For example, you may wish to start by making only basic functionality live for a quick start.

3. Create a budget

To get an idea of your budget, you’ll need to learn how much the functionality you want will cost to build. In addition, you’ll need to consider the other phases involved that could be pricey; these typically are: 

  • Documenting technical requirements
  • UI/UX wireframes and prototype designs
  • Architecture creation
  • No-coding
  • Testing
  • Maintenance and support 

To cost the overall project, consider creating budgets for each phase. 

4.  Start the development process

With all your requirements in place, no-coding development can begin. By choosing no-code development, you’ve not only reduced your overall project cost significantly, but the quick turnaround means you can start using your CRM to reap its benefits sooner.

And you can reduce your costs even more by joining the 100DaysOfNoCode community to get started in no code easily.

You don’t have to be a techie for us to help bring your CRM system to life with our fun and engaging epic courses, bite-sized lessons, and live boot camps.

See how some of our alumni have changed their circumstances through learning no-code.

5. Test, refine, and deploy

Before fully implementing the CRM, test the functionality by asking a group of people to use it. A pilot helps uncover any pressing issues that need fixing before making the system live.

When your CRM system is ready, let everyone know when it will be launched and the benefits and changes to current processes.

6. Ongoing maintenance

The beauty of building your CRM system is the freedom to add or remove functionality as and when you need. While people use your system, you can get their feedback on improvement ideas. And as your system is in-house, it will be easier to carry out ongoing maintenance rather than relying on third parties.

Improve Customer Relationships with a Custom-Built CRM System

Although building a CRM from scratch sounds like a mammoth task, it’s quite appealing, especially when you don’t need to learn how to code. With a custom-built system, you can tailor it to your specific requirements; it’ll be easier to implement and save money on a monthly subscription.

At 100DaysOfNoCode, we offer people with some to zero coding knowledge with a community of 12k+ no-coders, boot camps, challenges, and accessible courses to learn no-code at your own pace. Sign up today to get the ball rolling with your CRM system.

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