Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software started out as a tool for sales professionals. It let the sales person keep track of their interaction with prospects and customers. Today, a CRM is much more than that. It brings together information from a number of departments to improve your customers’ experience with your business. Moving CRM to the cloud is the best way to support all the features a CRM can offer.
What is a Cloud CRM?
A Cloud CRM can be defined as CRM software, tools and data that are hosted in the cloud. If there are individual desktops that run a CRM, that information is synchronized with the cloud data.
In a cloud deployment, any employee with the right permissions can access the central CRM data whether they’re in the office or using a mobile device. In addition, deploying the CRM in the cloud makes it easier to integrate CRM data with other business data that relates to customer relationships.
In fact, recent survey showed that customers want a lot from their CRM in 2019. Here are just some of the features companies are looking for.
- Sales Analytics. Marketing and sales departments can structure better sales campaigns by looking at the results of past campaigns.
- Sales Automation. A powerful CRM can automate repetitive tasks in the sales process, leaving the sales staff to devote time to tasks with a higher return.
- Customer Support Automation. Arming customer service representatives with access to CRM data allows them to personalize the customer interaction to an extent not possible in the past.
- System Integrations. Businesses want to integrate their ERP and BI systems into their CRM to streamline operations and improve customer service.
It’s obvious that these types of features will require the flexibility available when your CRM is in the cloud.
What are the Benefits of Cloud-Based CRMs?
When you’re considering moving your CRM to the cloud, you’ll need to consider your needs and the advantages that a CRM in the cloud can offer, including:
- Lower Costs. Deploying a full-featured CRM on premise comes with a large initial capital outlay for new equipment. It’s also necessary to either train or hire technicians with the expertise to manage the system. SMEs without an extensive IT team will find it much more cost effective to let the cloud vendor manage the hardware and software.
- Easier Scaling of Operations. Taking on a significant installation on-premise can be difficult to scale when needs change. Whether you need more power or less, the cloud gives you the ability to scale your operations almost instantly.
- Integration Flexibility. From the cloud, you can integrate data from other business systems, social media, ERP systems, and more. You can attack data silos to make your customer interactions much more personal.
- Improved Reliability. The cloud offers automatic backup and redundant systems that wouldn’t be cost effective for one business to operate. System failures are less likely to occur with a cloud vendor. And, your business wouldn’t experience the same type of disruption if a technical issue did arise.
If you are thinking about a CRM deployed in the cloud, you’re not alone. At the end of 2018, surveys indicate that 87 percent of CRMs are hosted in the cloud.
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