If you have had your ear to the ground in recent years, you’ll have heard a lot about cloud CRM. It has gained significant traction from businesses small and big. But there are plenty of people who don’t fully understand what it is. Or how cloud CRM can help you and your small business to thrive. Essentially, CRM (shorthand for Customer Relationship Management) allows a company to develop better and stronger relationships with existing and potential customers.
What you will learn in this article
- If you can benefit from CRM
- What cloud CRM entails
- 8 great reasons to invest in cloud based CRM as a small business
- What’s your next step
- How to get started with CRM
Can CRM benefit you and your small business?
CRM is beneficial no matter whether you own a big company or a small business. Scale does not come into the equation. So it’s a firm yes to the benefits question. However, before spelling out the benefits in more detail, it’s probably a good idea to first clarify what we mean by cloud CRM.
What’s cloud-based CRM?
Cloud CRM refers to customer relationship management system that resides on the internet and which you pay to use. Everything is hosted online, including:
- All the CRM tools you need
- The software itself
- And your data
As it all lives securely on the internet, it is known as cloud computing. In other words, the CRM system is entirely hosted externally, and you and your company access it via your regular internet browser.
Logins to the CRM system have various permission levels, which your CRM system administrator sets. Being cloud-based means you and your employees can access the CRM system on any device from wherever you can get an internet connection. Cloud CRM providers also have mobile apps to let you access your system on a smartphone or tablet.
Small business reasons to invest in CRM
There are a lot of reasons small businesses should get CRM. But let’s first dispel a few misconceptions.
CRM is expensive – False. Cloud CRM solutions are very affordable, even for the smallest of businesses.
The software is bulky and clunky to use – Again, this is false. There’s no software to download with cloud-based CRM systems. However, the software is online and user-friendly.
You need an IT department – Wrong! You’re thinking of on-site solutions that mean running servers on your premises. The technicalities of CRM are all dealt with by the cloud CRM provider.
They are a load of hassle – Nope. Cloud CRM systems are easy to use and kept up to date with the latest advances in technology. They are also easy to scale up to meet your changing business needs.
So what are these compelling reasons?
7 great reasons small businesses should get a cloud CRM
- Installation is easy – Back in the day, implementing CRM was a real headache. Today with cloud CRM, the process is no more painful than creating a new email account. Just sign up on the provider’s site, and it’s ready to roll.
- Accessibility – Because cloud CRM is hosted online, you can access it anytime you like so long as you can obtain an internet connection. So after hours or on the move, you can log in to do whatever you need to do.
- User-friendly – Much energy has been spent on making cloud-based CRM as easy to use as possible. When you have signed up, log in with the details provided. So long as you have a reasonably steady internet connection, you should have no problem.
- Affordable – Unlike on-site CRM, cloud-based solutions are not a huge investment. You are charged per user based on the subscription tier you choose. It’s, therefore, a predictable monthly expense. In addition, there are no extra licensing or hardware costs.
- High security – Cloud CRM suppliers take security very seriously as they know this is a top priority for their customers. Backups and data recovery also come as standard, though you can often upgrade these services for an extra fee.
- Reliability – Cloud CRM solutions have class-leading uptime. And even in the event of an extremely rare failure, all data is backed up on multiple servers. This ensures there’s no interruption to service detectable by users. Uptime is usually a touch over 99%.
- Compatibility – Integration is the name of the game in today’s modern era. We live in a hyper-connected world, so developers need to ensure their products are as compatible as possible. Cloud CRM excels in this regard and integrates well with a vast range of apps and platforms.
What’s the next step?
There’s no substitute for hands-on experience. Organize a free trial to get your eye in. Free trials usually last about 14-days and don’t typically involve handing over credit card details at that stage. The free trial should be sufficient time to evaluate the system and figure out how you can use it for your particular circumstances.
How to get started with CRM
Free trials are the way to go to assess which CRM system you like the most. Just remember to narrow down the field by concentrating solely on cloud-based CRM providers. As you will have seen, cloud CRM solutions are indisputably the best choice for small businesses.
The reasons to invest in CRM can no longer be ignored by small businesses. In today’s modern business landscape, every competitive advantage is critical to success. Contact us today. We are cloud CRM specialists and the people to talk to about your small business needs.