What do CRM developers do?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, a term used to describe any system a business uses to manage its customer-related interactions. CRM systems commonly have ties to several internal business functions, including sales, marketing and communications and customer service.
In the past, CRM systems were very analog, centered on conventional mail, phone and mass media methodologies. While call centers are still very much a part of modern CRM strategies, most of these other traditional components have been replaced with software-based solutions.
CRM developers design and create software applications (usually an integrated suite of them) that enable businesses to manage their customer relationships in order to achieve the optimal results with the greatest efficiency.
What's the job outlook for CRM developers?
CRM systems have been around for many years, but they truly hit their stride in the Internet-enabled era, and in recent years in particular. Recent developments and growth in cloud technologies, social media channels, mobile devices and Big Data platforms (which enable massive data storage and retrieval without the need for expensive supercomputers) have transformed CRM solutions into highly intelligent and scalable systems that are still remarkably affordable for many organizations, whether they are based on business-to-customer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) models.
While very large businesses have commonly found it necessary or desirable to develop their own internal CRM systems, many small-to-mid-sized businesses have found it to be more economical and efficient to outsource their CRM functions to an external vendor. There are several providers of custom CRM solutions for businesses, including the following industry giants:
The proliferation of modern CRM systems has increased the demand for software developers experienced in this field. This demand has likely influenced current predictions being made for software developer job growth. According to recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of jobs for software developers is expected to increase by 22 percent between 2012 and 2022, a growth rate predicted to outperform most other U.S. job categories.
What's the salary for CRM developers?
While there isn't a specific "CRM Developer" job category maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some insight can be gained by examining the "Software Developer, Applications" classification.
BLS numbers place the median hourly wage for the "Software Developer, Applications" category at $44.55 per hour, with a median annual wage of $92,660.
What training or certification is required to become a CRM developer?
Software developers commonly hold a Bachelor's degree in a computing-related field. With CRM development, there is an expectation that a programmer will have some knowledge or experience with business processes that pertain to customers. Sales, marketing and/or customer service experience is particularly valuable.
One popular CRM platform vendor, Microsoft, offers the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification program. Also, Java programming training remains a popular and sought after skill set.
"Software Developers," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19 May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm
"15-1132 Software Developers, Applications," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19 May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/OES/current/oes151132.htm