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Small and medium businesses (SMBs) worldwide use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to improve marketing efforts, optimize sales funnels, and elevate customer experience. CRM software consolidates important customer data, allowing businesses to nurture relationships, strengthen brand loyalty, and improve revenue growth over time. Yet, some SMBs fail to perform adequate CRM testing, resulting in preventable issues that affect business outcomes.
Statistically, businesses investing in CRM software have seen up to 8 fold returns for every dollar spent. With increasing adoption, the financial benefits CRM solutions provide will be more prominent soon. Functional CRM software allows business owners to improve sales, retention, and customer engagement, underscoring the importance of testing CRM applications.
In this article, I’ll share what CRM software testing is before expanding into the challenges, benefits, and resources that SMBs need.
What is CRM Testing?
CRM testing is a software practice that evaluates the CRM software against business requirements, technical functionalities, regulatory compliance, data security, and other performance metrics. Typically, companies run CRM testing to identify and remediate known and latent issues before they deploy the software.
For example, your CRM software was developed by a third party without a strong understanding of your business needs. The software lacks critical features your business needs to scale customer engagement across different demographics. With CRM testing, you can detect such inadequacies before migrating customer data to the new CRM software.
To perform CRM application testing, businesses need:
- software team of quality assurance specialists;
- test engineers.
The testing teams coordinate several types of tests, such as functional tests, performance tests, and regression tests, to assess the CRM performance accurately. In some scenarios, they use automation tools to streamline the process, enabling faster and more consistent results.
Why SMBs Face Issues When Testing CRMs
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) form a significant portion of CRM users. According to Grandview Research, 91% of companies with over 10 employees use CRM. Despite the strong interest, many SMBs face challenges when performing their CRM tests. Here’s why.
Most CRM implementations involve customizations to tailor the software to specific business requirements. Performing a comprehensive CRM test requires understanding overlapping business logic, data pipelines, integrations, and custom modules built into the software. Many SMBs may not have a trained IT team capable of performing detailed tests without affecting their primary roles.
Lack of resources
CRM application testing is a resource-intensive effort. SMBs may need to commit time, budget, and software experts they couldn’t afford. For example, business owners must invest in costly automated testing tools and hire QA teams to conduct the tests. This will strain the limited budget most SMBs have. Moreover, assembling a QA team is challenging if you’re unaware of the appropriate skills CRM testing requires.
Data handling concerns
Companies may hesitate to test their CRM platforms thoroughly because of data security concerns. During testing, SMBs must ensure that customer data stored in the system remains protected. Without qualified and experienced testers, SMBs risk data loss or exposure, which could damage customer trust and incur hefty penalties.
How Does CRM Testing Benefit SMBs?
Despite known challenges, doing away with CRM testing only puts inevitable issues off temporarily. Instead, your business will experience growth in several areas when you test the CRM software thoroughly before deploying it.
Improve customer experience
CRM testing uncovers technical issues that prevent the software from functioning appropriately to deliver an engaging customer experience. For example, software bugs in the real estate CRM may go undetected, resulting in missing notifications and incorrect messages delivered to customers. These issues jeopardize customer experience, leading to miscommunication, unhappiness, and high drop-offs.
Increase sales and revenue
CRM promises customer retention, which results in sales and revenue growth. However, this is only true if you ensure the CRM platform performs optimally before onboarding your sales team. With thorough testing, you can identify issues, such as inaccurate product information or service delays, that prevent effective customer engagement and repeat purchases.
Strengthen data security
Data security is a priority for SMBs seeking to digitize their customer journey. While CRM vendors strive to provide secure solutions, business owners share responsibilities in safeguarding customer privacy. Rigorous CRM tests can reveal latent vulnerabilities that bad actors may capitalize on for nefarious purposes. For example, if you develop a CRM for a healthcare app, testing CRMs helps you comply with data privacy laws in the regions you operate in.
Optimize sales workflow
Businesses use CRM to set up sales funnels, analyze customer behaviors, receive alerts, and perform other related tasks. A buggy CRM software hampers efforts in converting, engaging, and retaining customers. Hence, SMBs perform CRM testing to resolve telephony and other issues that affect sales productivity. Testing also allows you to affirm that all software workflows are aligned with business requirements.
Undetected issues and non-compliance in CRM software may cost businesses dearly. It takes more effort and resources to rework an operational CRM software than to rectify issues spotted in pre-production testing. Also, security incidents resulting from flawed CRM software lead to fines and reputational damages.
How To Prepare for CRM Testing: 3 Steps
The key to successful CRM implementation lies in a methodologically structured test, covering all aspects pivotal in optimizing sales processes. Drawing from our experience, I share a CRM testing framework that helps you assess, validate, and refine your CRM platform.
Step 1: Designing the CRM test
First, you define relevant test cases that help your QA team evaluate an existing or under-development CRM software. Test cases are hypothetical situations revolved around user stories to characterize their journey when using the CRM. For example, sales personnel expect the CRM to filter highly engaged buyers for a retargeting campaign and display them on mobile interfaces.
Pro-tip: When designing test cases, it’s important to set measurable goals, recommended actions, and clear objectives. Communicate them to all test specialists involved to ensure consistent and accurate results.
Step 2: Preparing testing resources
Once you’ve planned the test, you must allocate the necessary resources. This means assembling the CRM testing team, setting aside a budget, and assigning a timeline for all test stages. Usually, CRM testing takes between 4 to 12 weeks, depending on software complexities and business requirements.
For simpler test requirements, SMBs might find it manageable with their in-house team. Business owners may want to augment their teams with CRM specialists or test automation engineers to improve test efficiency. This way, they can optimize testing costs while ensuring comprehensive results within a short time frame.
However, you will find it more financially viable to outsource CRM testing when the software consists of complex integrations, customization, and business logic. Outsourcing is also preferable if your business operates in finance, healthcare, and other strictly regulated industries. Partnering with experienced CRM testing teams like Uptech spares you the effort from tedious preparation and alleviates concerns about data security.
Pro tip: Consider your test requirements, budget, and timeline before deciding on in-house or outsourced testing. Carefully evaluate the testing vendor’s past results, experience, and reliability before choosing one.
Step 3: Performing CRM tests
With all preparations done, your QA team put the CRM to a series of tests. They use appropriate testing tools, test scripts, and frameworks to gather valuable test data. Each test was designed to probe, analyze, and evaluate different aspects of the CRM software.
- Data integrity test - Data engineers assess the CRM software for data duplication, inaccuracies, and vulnerabilities that might result in a data breach.
- Functionality test - The testing team ensures the CRM is architected to reflect sales and marketing workflows. Testers also assess other fundamental performance metrics, such as response time, data capacity, device compatibility, and more.
- Integration test- QA teams test the CRM software for incompatibility when connected to third-party services. For example, they monitor data losses, timeouts, and access privileges between the CRM and cloud databases.
- Regression test - This test ensures the CRM software is unaffected by modifications introduced along the way.
- Security test- QA testers probe the CRM codebase, tech stack, and dependencies for security issues to prevent unauthorized access that may compromise customer privacy.
Pro-tip: Compile results from all the tests performed to gain an oversight of the CRM’s reliability, functionality, and security. Follow up with the necessary remedial works before deploying the platform.
Who Do You Need In A CRM Testing Team?
When assembling a CRM testing team, it’s essential to consider technical capabilities and understanding of business processes. These are software specialists that businesses need to perform CRM tests.
The QA manager designs test strategies and leads the team throughout the CRM test stages. QA managers oversee and refine the test workflows to improve efficiency and efficacy.
They are software specialists who execute the test scripts according to pre-determined requirements. Test engineers are also responsible for consolidating test results for remedial actions.
UX researchers ensure the CRM aligns with the user’s needs by studying active interactions with the prototype’s interface. They apply user feedback and data analytics to ensure the CRM incorporates user-friendly visual and navigation elements.
Test automation architect
These professionals curate automation tools and devise appropriate frameworks to automate CRM tests in various stages.
Test automation engineer
Test automation engineers run the automated CRM test scripts and analyze the results to uncover valuable insights. They work closely with CRM developers to devise more effective test scripts.
Which Tech Stacks Are Required For CRM Testing
CRM testing is an expansive process that covers every aspect of the platform. At Uptech, we use these tools to aid our testing strategies.
- Web application testing tools allow software teams to perform functional, regression, integration, and other tests on browser-based CRM applications.
- Mobile application testing tools provide similar functionality as their web application counterparts, except they’re geared towards mobile CRM apps.
- Security testing tools allow test engineers to analyze the CRM source code, modules, and APIs for vulnerabilities.
- Test automation infrastructure tools allow test engineers and developers to automate test scripts and seamlessly revise the CRM with necessary improvements.
- Test management and defect tracking software lets QA managers coordinate test cases, compile defect reports, and systemize problem resolutions.
How Much Does CRM Testing Cost?
It’s impossible to place a standard price for CRM testing because of the various factors involved. For example, testing a CRM for complex business workflows takes longer than a simpler one and is more expensive. Likewise, testing CRM that caters to a small team is less costly than assessing one for larger businesses.
CRM testing is also more expensive when numerous integrations and customizations are involved. In such cases, QA teams must devote more time to devising, running, and analyzing more test scripts with various automation tools. You will also pay more for CRM testing if it requires rigorous security testing and compliance checks for GPDR, HIPAA, and other regulations.
How Uptech can help
Uptech helps businesses bridge the usability gap when accelerating prototypes to production-ready solutions. As an international app development company, we take a people-centric approach when building solutions for our clients. Over the years, we have helped numerous companies worldwide, like DSC, Aspiration, and GOAT design, validate, and turn ideas into purposeful solutions that customers love.
We bring these skills and experience into CRM testing, where our QA team collaborates closely with business managers to align testing scripts with sales workflows and requirements. Our team recognizes the need to balance costs and time while designing comprehensive CRM test cases. Moreover, our experience developing healthcare apps proves helpful in ensuring your CRM software is free from vulnerabilities that might result in data exposure.
Talk to our team to optimize your CRM platform for better business outcomes.