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Traffic arbitrage

Can I work in medical billing CRM without using Asana or Trello?

CRM systems allow automating business processes. While initially developed as a way to manage customer relationships (hence the abbreviation Customer Relationship Management), they later evolved into solutions that enable the automation of business processes and task management.
The larger your team, the more essential a CRM becomes. It's simple: messages and chats in Telegram and other messengers can get lost, overlap, and so on. All of this will lead to one thing - task deadlines will start to shift, you'll have to monitor each employee separately, and the overall profit will decrease.

When and why is CRM needed?

In this case, everything depends on how your work is organized. Certainly, if your team consists of 3-5 people, having a personal CRM may not be necessary, and you can manage with a few chats and personal communication. However, as soon as new employees or departments responsible for different tasks but interconnected (e.g., pharmaceuticals, design, and buyers) come into play, the implementation of a shared task management and control system becomes indispensable.
CRM in media buying should address the following tasks:

  1. Facilitate task assignment and control task execution. There will be no need to individually write to each employee, explaining what needs to be done. Specialists will see their assigned tasks, deadlines, and other relevant details. Meanwhile, you will have visibility into what each team member is working on and how the overall progress is going.
  2. Provide shared access to necessary data. CRM allows multiple team members responsible for a task to collaborate seamlessly. As a result, farmers and designers can pass completed accounts or creatives to buyers without relying on chat messages or personal communication.
  3. Gather performance statistics (essentially recording data on who completed tasks and within what timeframe). This helps identify which employees work more efficiently and which ones might need additional support. It also aids in optimizing task assignment, setting deadlines, and so on.
  4. Generate reports (directly derived from the collected performance statistics of individual employees or departments). These reports will help you identify high-performing individuals, pinpoint areas where support is required, and highlight processes that could be optimized for faster workflow.

What is needed for development?

First and foremost, you need to define the tasks that your team faces every day, from the overall goal of "earning a certain amount of USD per month" to daily objectives like "developing and delivering 20 creatives for a specific offer." Next, you must understand how you want to organize the interaction between departments or team members. Based on this, you can outline the specific data you want to receive, such as statistics, reports, etc.

With this information, you will be able to create a technical specification (TS) for CRM development. It is essential to involve someone who understands how the team operates in preparing the technical specification. For example, the TS should clearly depict the process of:

  • Providing resources for pharmaceutical accounts.
  • Developing creatives based on buyer or assistant requests.
  • Handing over login credentials for advertising campaigns.
  • Launching advertising campaigns.
  • Monitoring results.

When creating the TS, using mind maps (similar to website development) can be helpful. They visually outline business processes and provide guidance to the developer for the future workflow. It's crucial to have a clear vision of how your CRM should look from the beginning – the simpler it is to use, the better. Therefore, you can and should review systems like Trello, Asana, and others to see how they are structured. This will help you make your system easy to learn and use.
And most importantly, what budgets and specialists are needed. Be prepared that developing your own CRM is similar to construction work: it can take time. You will need a developer who can accomplish the assigned tasks (the final solution can be written in any language - from PHP or Python to C# or Java).

IMPORTANT: It is crucial to ensure that the CRM operates as a web application. This way, any employee can access it regardless of their operating system, browser, driver versions, etc. Essentially, this is how all modern solutions work - from Asana to Megaplan and Amo.

What should I pay attention to?

There are several conditions that will not only help make the CRM simple and user-friendly but also significantly simplify the development process.

  • Multi-user functionality. Remember that tasks are assigned to different specialists (including the entire team, regardless of department).
  • Assignee capability. It's beneficial and straightforward when each task has one designated person responsible for completing it. If the task requires assistance from other team members, implement the option to involve them in each specific task.
  • User interface. Tasks are best organized in the form of a tree, table, or kanban board. The choice depends on the team's habits and preferences (take the time to conduct a survey before development to understand what your employees prefer - this will make it easier to integrate the created service into their daily work).
  • Logs and statuses. These features should be included to notify task participants of status changes. This way, they can see when their colleagues have completed their part of the task and can proceed with their work. You can also use this to track task completion speed and progress. Additionally, it is recommended to include the ability to leave comments (links, issue reports, etc.).
  • Unified dashboard for employees. This is one of the essential requirements. Ideally, employees should see all the tasks they are directly or indirectly involved in.

Initially, the CRM should be as simple as possible. However, as the system gets integrated, the need for improvement arises, or business processes become more complex, you can gradually add new features.

Ready-made solutions or custom development?

Of course, there are many ready-made CRMs available on the market, such as Bitrix, Amo, Asana, Trello, and others. However, they have common drawbacks:

  • Orientation towards a wide range of consumer desires. In this case, you acquire a ready-made template that might work, but it may not specifically cater to your needs. Therefore, you can't just "buy and use" it as is.
  • Unnecessary features. Evaluating ready-made CRMs, you may find that they offer tools and functionalities that you don't need, yet you still have to pay for them as the solution comes as a complete package.
  • Limited customization. Essentially, you get a ready-made service that cannot be easily customized to remove or add specific features. You have to use it as it is.

Moreover, there is a concern about data privacy. When using ready-made CRMs, you need to be aware that all your tasks, data, uploaded links, and more will be visible to the service creators. This might not be critical for some, but it could deter others from using template solutions.

Developing your own CRM is a relatively lengthy process. It will require not only reevaluating your business from scratch but also preparing for a prolonged optimization phase, during which the solution will gradually be tailored to your preferences. On the other hand, you can set up a small server in your office, where the CRM will operate, and all data will be stored solely with you.

Questions and answers

Denis, Team Lead, Internal Development at ZM TEAM

How can you understand that your team needs CRM?
When you have multiple departments and more than 10 employees, and you notice the following signs:
Processes are starting to become inefficient.
There is a lot of confusion and clutter in chat communications, or there are simply too many chat conversations to manage effectively.
What is needed for development (technical specification, programmer, testers, etc.)?
A person who understands all the processes from the inside (preferably with technical understanding of data flow within your team).
For example:
Created an account.
Entered login/password, etc.
The buyer submits a request to obtain an account.
We provide a free account for this request.
  • A developer who will implement all the ideas (using PHP or Python).
What functions are needed in a CRM for media buying or an arbitrage team?
Key processes:
Transfer of resources between departments.
Various automations and monitoring of task completion success (here, specific microservices for each vertical may be required).
Reporting.
How much can CRM development cost?
It's hard to say; it's like a construction project, it could last forever. A good specialist may cost around 100,000₽ per month. After one or two months, you can have the first MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and then move forward. Further enhancements and improvements can be made. Once the CRM is launched, you can hire more people into the team/teams because everything will be streamlined. The aspects that still cause inconvenience will be automated over time.

Victoria, CEO of Traffic Devils

When is CRM needed?
To begin with, you need to ask yourself: "Why do you need CRM, what problems should it solve, and what should be its key functions?"

Based on the answers to these questions, we created a technical specification (TS) for automating our company. It is also essential to understand the timeframe for implementing CRM and how many resources it can free up with this automation.
What is needed for development?
What is needed:

Clear technical specification (this is the most crucial aspect of any automation project).
A good developer (to ensure everything is written perfectly and avoid any crashes or issues).

Naturally, once the first version is ready, it should be tested by technical specialists and media buyers who can provide feedback and identify any shortcomings.
How often do you update your CRM?
We have never had a situation where we developed the CRM and left it as is. We update it every month, adding new features, ensuring its relevance, and improving the quality and user-friendly functionality.

For our webmasters, the CRM is like an individual cabinet where they can create any offer they need, choose any naming for their interested application, add splits to streams, regulate traffic flow, view various statistics, get domains, share information, and much more.

Conclusion

CRM is an essential tool for an arbitrage or media buying team. It speeds up communication between team members, eliminates the need to create unnecessary chats regularly, helps visualize and analyze the team's overall efficiency. Ultimately, it positively impacts the company's profit. Developing a custom CRM allows creating a solution tailored specifically for your needs, avoiding the need to "fit square pegs into round holes" and deal with issues caused by constant updates of third-party software.