Build CRM with Laravel: A Comprehensive Guide for Developers

Is your customer relationship structure right now just overflowing spreadsheets and scattered notes? It can cause serious confusion among the customers, resulting in unsatisfactory results and delayed timelines. So what’s the solution? Customer Relationship Management (CRM), a digital haven for organized interactions and boosted client satisfaction.

But building a CRM can feel a little daunting. That’s where Laravel comes in, known for its clean syntax and robust features. So how do you build a CRM with Laravel? Before we move on to the “How”, we’ll see why the web development services prefer this PHP framework for this software creation.

What is a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is designed to assist businesses in managing interactions with both current and potential customers. It serves as an efficient tool for organizing customer data. That includes contact information, purchase history, and communication logs.

CRMs can enhance customer relationships, improve customer retention, and streamline sales processes. It can also facilitate sales management, customer support, and marketing automation.

A CRM enables businesses to consolidate customer data, monitor interactions, and personalize communication. That results in a better understanding and engagement with customers. Furthermore, CRMs provide valuable insights through analytics and reporting. So businesses can have targeted marketing, efficient task management, and data-driven decision-making.

So why should you hire a Laravel development company to build a CRM? Or even build it yourself with Laravel?

Why Build a CRM with Laravel?

Laravel is an excellent choice for building a CRM due to its robust features, scalability, and active community support. The framework provides a solid foundation for creating complex web applications, ensuring efficient CRM development.

Here are a few reasons to build the CRM with Laravel:

  • Open-source framework: Laravel is free to use, saving you significant licensing fees compared to proprietary CRM software.
  • Reduced development costs: You only pay for the development and customization needed for your specific needs. It helps avoid unnecessary features in pre-built solutions.
  • Tailored experience: Build a CRM that perfectly aligns with your unique business processes and workflows.
  • Extendable framework: Laravel offers package development and libraries allow you to add specific functionalities as needed.
  • Future-proof solution: Adapt and expand your CRM easily as your business grows and evolves.
  • Modern architecture: Laravel offers a robust and secure foundation for building web applications.
  • Scalability: The framework easily scales to accommodate increasing data and user demands.
  • Security features: Laravel security practices help protect your customer data.

Building a CRM with Laravel offers a powerful and cost-effective way to manage your customer relationships. So how do you go about building the customer relationship management system with Laravel? Well, you can either consult with dedicated Laravel developers or follow the process elaborated in the next section.

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How to Build a CRM with Laravel?

Creating a customer relationship management system with Laravel can be a little tedious. But with the right approach and a step-by-step process, you can make it easier. Let’s take a look.

Define the Requirements and Scope of the CRM

First off, you need to define the requirements and scope of your CRM. That ensures your system truly addresses your business needs and avoids costly detours. Here are a few questions that you should consider:

  • What are your primary objectives for building a CRM? Do you aim to improve lead generation, streamline sales processes, enhance customer service, or a combination of these?
  • What are the current challenges you face in managing customer relationships? Are you struggling with disorganized data, inefficient workflows, or lack of visibility into customer interactions?
  • Who will be using your CRM on a daily basis? Sales representatives, customer service agents, marketing teams, or a combination?
  • What are the essential features your CRM absolutely needs to have? This could include contact management, deal pipeline tracking, task management, reporting, and communication tools.
  • Are there any additional features you’d like to include in the future, that aren’t essential at launch? This could involve integrations with third-party tools, advanced reporting capabilities, or AI-powered insights.

Make sure you involve stakeholders from different departments, like sales, marketing, design, etc., in the requirement-gathering process. And I suggest you start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and iterate based on user feedback.

Set up the Development Environment

After defining the CRM requirements, you need to set up the development environment. But before that, understand the system requirements.

  • Operating System: While Laravel is platform-independent, Windows 10, macOS, or Linux (e.g., Ubuntu) are popular choices.
  • PHP: Version 8.0 or later is recommended for optimal performance and security.
  • Web Server: Apache or Nginx are common options, often included with PHP installations.
  • MySQL or PostgreSQL: These are popular database management systems compatible with Laravel.
  • Composer: Package manager for installing Laravel and its dependencies.
  • IDE or Code Editor: Choose one you’re comfortable with (e.g., Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, PHPStorm).

Considering these system requirements, proceed with the setup.

Step 1: Follow the official guides and install PHP for your chosen operating system. Then, ensure PHP modules like cURL, GD Library, and XML are enabled. Configure your web server (e.g., Apache virtual hosts, Nginx server blocks) to serve your Laravel application.

Step 2: Download and install Composer from the official website. Add the Composer bin directory to your system’s PATH environment variable.

Step 3: Use Composer to create a new Laravel project:

composer create-project laravel/laravel my-crm-project

Replace my-crm-project with your desired project name. This command creates the project directory structure and installs all Laravel dependencies.

Step 4: Edit the .env file in your project directory to configure database connections. Specify database credentials (host, username, password, database name). And choose between MySQL or PostgreSQL and adjust configurations accordingly.

Step 5: Secure your environment by setting a strong application key: php artisan key:generate. Also, you need to enable environment variables for sensitive info like passwords and API keys.

Depending on your specific needs, you might install additional libraries and packages using Composer. You can also use a version control system like Git to track changes and collaborate effectively.

Design the Database Structure

The heart of any CRM lies in its data structure. Designing an efficient and scalable database is crucial for storing and managing customer information, interactions, and transactions. Here’s how this stage of the process goes:

Step 1: Identify the key entities your CRM will manage. It typically includes:

  • Contacts: Individuals associated with your customers (e.g., name, email, phone number, company affiliation).
  • Companies: Organizations you interact with (e.g., name, industry, location, website).
  • Deals/Opportunities: Potential sales or service engagements (e.g., value, stage, timeline, key contacts).
  • Activities: Interactions with customers, like calls, emails, meetings (e.g., type, date, notes, participants).
  • Tasks: Action items related to sales or service (e.g., due date, assignee, priority).

Depending on your needs, you might include other entities like products, invoices, tickets, surveys, etc.

Step 2: Define the relationships between the entities. For example:

  • A contact belongs to one company (one-to-many relationship).
  • A deal can have multiple associated contacts (many-to-many).
  • An activity relates to a specific contact, deal, or other entity.

Define the cardinality (one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many) for each relationship.

Step 3: For each entity, create a data model specifying its attributes (columns) and data types. Consider:

  • Identify essential information for each entity (e.g., contact name, email, company name).
  • Include additional relevant details based on your needs (e.g., contact job title, social media handles).
  • Normalize your data to avoid redundancy and improve efficiency.

You can also use appropriate data types (e.g., integers for IDs, strings for names, timestamps for dates).

Step 4: Translate your data models into database tables with defined columns and data types. Use foreign keys to establish relationships between the tables.

A contact table might have a foreign key referencing the company table (one-to-many). A deal table could have multiple foreign keys referencing different contact tables (many-to-many).

Step 5: Optimize the system for performance and scalability by indexing the frequently-used columns to improve the query speed. And use appropriate table structures and data types to optimize storage and retrieval.

You can use database design tools or diagrams to visualize relationships and ensure clarity. Make sure you follow standard naming conventions for tables and columns for better readability. You can also consult with Laravel development services for designing the database for your CRM.

Create the User Interface

The user interface (UI) is the face of your CRM, shaping how users interact with your application and ultimately impacting their experience. Designing an intuitive and user-friendly UI is crucial for ensuring user adoption and success with your CRM. Here’s a breakdown of key considerations:

  • Identify different user personas: Consider sales reps, customer service agents, and administrators, each with specific needs and workflows.
  • Conduct user research: Gather feedback through surveys, interviews, or usability testing to understand user pain points and expectations.
  • Navigation: Implement a clear and intuitive navigation structure, so users can find information and complete tasks quickly.
  • Dashboards and Overviews: Provide customizable dashboards summarizing key metrics and activities relevant to each user role.
  • Search and Filtering: Make it easy for users to search for specific contacts, deals, or data points using relevant filters.
  • Forms and Data Entry: Design streamlined forms with clear labels and validation to minimize errors and frustration.
  • Responsiveness: Ensure your UI adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices for mobile usage.
  • Maintain consistency: Employ a consistent visual theme (colors, fonts, icons) aligned with your brand identity.
  • White space and visual hierarchy: Use white space effectively to improve readability and guide users’ focus.
  • Accessibility: Design your UI to be accessible to users with disabilities, following WCAG guidelines.
  • Interactive elements: Use icons, buttons, and animations judiciously to enhance user engagement and interaction.
  • Blade Templates: Leverage Laravel Blade components for dynamic content generation and reusable UI components.
  • Laravel Collective Packages: Utilize packages like Scout, Telescope, Livewire, and Jetstream for UI elements and functionalities.
  • Bootstrap or Tailwind CSS: Consider using popular CSS frameworks for rapid UI development and responsive design.
  • Conduct usability testing with real users: Observe their interactions and gather feedback to identify areas for improvement.
  • A/B testing: Use A/B testing to compare different UI elements or layouts to determine what works best for your users.
  • Gather user feedback through surveys and support channels: Continuously iterate and refine your UI based on user input.

Following these guidelines, you can create a highly user-friendly and engaging interface that fuels your CRM’s success.

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Implement Business Logic and Functionality

Finally, you need to implement the business logic and functionality in your Laravel CRM. Here’s an in-depth explanation on this stage.

Step 1: Clearly define the specific features and functionalities your CRM needs to offer. Map these features to user personas and workflows for each user role. And then, break down features into smaller, more manageable tasks to simplify the development process.

Step 2: Utilize Laravel’s core features like models, controllers, and routing to implement basic functionalities. Explore Laravel Eloquent techniques for efficient database interactions and data manipulation. You should also consider Laravel middleware for authorization (through Laravel Policies and Gates) and authentication (with Laravel Sanctum).

Also, use Laravel events for handling asynchronous tasks and background processes.

Step 3: Group related functionalities into logical modules (e.g., contact management, deal pipeline, reporting). Each module should encapsulate its own business logic and data access. And use Laravel services or helper classes to organize complex logic and improve code reusability.

Step 4: Implement robust data validation mechanisms to ensure data integrity and prevent errors. You should also sanitize user inputs and apply appropriate data types before storing or processing. Also, adhere to Laravel’s built-in security features and practices like password hashing and access control.

Step 5: If needed, integrate with external services for functionalities like email sending, payment processing, or third-party APIs. You can also use Laravel packages or libraries to simplify integration and manage API calls.

Step 6: Write unit tests for individual functionalities and integration tests for modules. And use the popular PHP testing frameworks like PHPUnit, along with the best Laravel testing best practices.

Remember, implementing business logic is an iterative process. So make sure you gather user feedback and improve the CRM continuously.

If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach, consider checking out existing open-source CRM projects built on Laravel. These include Krayin, Cordial, etc., for learning from their code and functionalities. And you can consult with a professional Laravel development agency.

FAQs on Building CRM with Laravel

How much time does it take to build a CRM with Laravel?
The time depends on the complexity of your requirements, your development experience, and the features you want to include. Start with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and iterate based on user feedback.
What are the challenges of building a CRM with Laravel?
The challenges associated with building a CRM with Laravel include:
  • Requires technical expertise in Laravel and related technologies.
  • Time commitment for development and maintenance.
  • Ongoing updates and security patches needed.
To navigate these challenges, you can consult with our dedicated Laravel developers.
Should I hire professionals to build my CRM?
If you lack the technical expertise or time, hiring a dedicated Laravel development service provider can be beneficial. They can ensure a secure and well-structured CRM while saving you development time.


Building a CRM with Laravel might seem like a daunting task. But with careful planning, dedication, and the right resources, you can transform your customer relationships for the better.

So here’s the step-by-step guide to build a CRM with Laravel:

  1. Define the Requirements and Scope of the CRM
  2. Set up the Development Environment
  3. Design the Database Structure
  4. Create the User Interface
  5. Implement Business Logic and Functionality

So, need help with Laravel CRM development? Then consult with our experts today!

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Mayur Upadhyay is a tech professional with expertise in Shopify, WordPress, Drupal, Frameworks, jQuery, and more. With a proven track record in web development and eCommerce development.

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