CRM is a tool that many businesses use to centralize the customer database, automate processes, and have instant access to a comprehensive view of customer interaction(s) and sales opportunities.
But there are several CRM options out there, so how do you choose the right one? Our advice: if you are considering a CRM system, choose a cloud-based CRM.
In this first installment of a 3-part series, we will discuss how cloud-based CRM can help your business.
What is Cloud-Based CRM?
Cloud-based CRM simply means that your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is hosted in the cloud. This way, your CRM software can be accessed via Internet, making it possible for all users to access the same information at any time. And your team will be able to view customer information on-the-go via laptop, tablet, or mobile device, since all information will be stored in the cloud.
Why is Cloud-Based CRM Better?
Times have changed. CRM used to be an expensive system that required its own team of experts. Now, CRM is:
- Technologically advanced
Today’s CRM systems come in a variety of solutions designed to address the needs of all types of businesses – big or small. CRM offers new possibilities, flexible costs, as well as easy maintenance and deployment. And storing your information in the cloud provides even more benefits and features.
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider Cloud-based CRM software to grow your businesses.
1. Easy to Install, Easy to Use
With Cloud-based CRM you can be up and running in no time, with only an internet connection. Simply sign in online and use it. You don’t have to pay any additional hardware, server or software maintenance. Even installations, data migrations, and upgrades can be handled remotely — no need for an onsite IT person to handle CRM!
Once installed, Cloud CRM is also easy to use. You buy a software package at a fixed monthly price, then log in with the provided access codes. All else you’ll need is reasonably-fast internet and a reliable device. From there, any system maintenance will be provided by the vendor.
2. Seamless access
Cloud CRM grants you access to the system from anywhere – in the office, at home, or at your favorite coffee shop; and on any device – desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Again, all you need is the internet. Your team will be able to access the system at any time, even outside working hours; particularly useful for small businesses.
By always staying connected to the central database, Cloud CRM gives you the flexibility and freedom to do what you need to do, when you need to do it.
3. Affordable product
Another benefit is that this business-enhancing product won’t break the bank. Typically, small businesses are not likely to allocate large sums of money for a one-off purchase, but rather prefer smaller, regular installments. Which is another reason why Cloud CRM solution is optimal for small businesses.
Cloud CRM operates on the pay-as-you-go subscription model, which requires minimal upfront investment and, as a result, reduces risk. Also, there are no hidden costs like buying additional hardware or licenses fees. What you pay is a set monthly fee for a Cloud CRM package, which will vary by vendor and package.
4. Secure & Reliable
The most common reason why businesses are wary of adopting a cloud solution is security. Companies that offer CRM systems online know that very well and take security issues very serious. Providers of Cloud CRM are responsible to protect the confidential information that you trust them with, and typically offer advanced automatized back-up policies with clear data recovery plans in case of a breach. Individual users of Cloud services can take additional precautions to improve data safety, such as two-step authentication and strong passwords.
With Cloud CRM, the possibility of losing all your information due to a crash is not likely, as all parts of the Cloud are backed up. Every component (for example, a server) has multiple replicas in the Cloud. So, if something fails, it will be immediately replaced and the system won’t be disrupted. In fact, a web-based CRM system continues to be operational 99.99% of the time!
5. Flexible & Compatible
When adopting CRM systems, small businesses are likely to start with only the features that they absolutely need right then. However, as the company grows, those needs may change. Cloud-based CRM is useful in this scenario because it can be instantly updated and tailored to satisfy changing needs.
Also, Cloud-based CRM is compatible with other products and services, which is the key to ensuring CRM’s longevity and effectiveness. Cloud CRM can be easily integrated with other applications or software, such as e-mail clients and Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). It is this compatibility that makes Cloud-based CRM an even more appropriate choice for small businesses.
Pick Cloud-Based CRM!
So, if you have a small business and need CRM, then Cloud-based CRM is the way to go! It is:
- easy to install and use,
- easy to access,
- affordable with little upfront costs,
- and compatible with third-party products.
The only thing left is to choose the best CRM vendor for you, which we will discuss in our next post!