Thanks in no small part to massive investment in internet infrastructure, cloud computing has become the norm for business. Today, working on the cloud is an industry standard. Gone are the times when deployed business software meant complex in-house networks to perform even pretty basic business functions. Thanks to the cloud, there has been a massive climate change in business CRM.
What you will learn in this article
- What software you can access via the cloud
- The definition of cloud-based CRM
- Is cloud CRM safe?
- 7 reasons you should opt for a cloud-based CRM solution
- How cloud CRM stacks up for small businesses
What is accessible via cloud computing?
The move to cloud computing made possible by faster internet connection speeds has opened up a new software world. Businesses – including small companies – can use the latest software marketing automation, data mining, and full-scale CRM packages. In many cases, this is software that would elude the reach of small businesses without the advent of cloud computing.
What is cloud-based CRM?
The primary difference between cloud-based CRM and traditional CRM is that the customer is not running the servers and software. It means all the technical backend operations are carried out remotely by the provider. All the customer does is log in.
Is cloud CRM safe?
While the argument for cloud CRM appears compelling, not everyone is wholly swayed and voices security concerns. The most common worry being voiced are related to:
- Data security
- Application speed
- Long term costs
If you are harboring the same thoughts, here are some key benefits to be obtained from a cloud CRM system. But the short answer is that cloud CRMs are exceptionally safe. And much less worry than any in-house solution you could come up with.
7 reasons small businesses should opt for cloud CRM systems
Many small companies are fearful of introducing new software in case it proves too complex to install. Why, the thinking goes, spend money on an app if it makes life harder for you and your employees?
This is a valid point, for sure. But with CRM systems based on the cloud, there’s little to no setup effort required. You either install a lightweight piece of software, or the CRM is accessed via your standard web browser.
Suitable for remote working
Few companies are based in a single set of premises these days. Add in the recent explosion in remote working, and you’re going to need a CRM that’s flexible enough to cope.
Modern CRM platforms are built to be accessible from various platforms, operating systems, and browsers. So long as you have your login details and a web-connected device, you are good to go. And as all your data is stored in the cloud, all team members can access the system wherever they happen to be.
On-site CRM is notoriously expensive. It involves typically substantial upfront investment. This makes them a no-go for small businesses with only limited resources. They also require the customer to have an IT team to maintain the servers and troubleshoot any problems. CRM systems based on the cloud are infinitely easier to set up and operate. Since all the technical expertise and hardware are located online, users only pay a subscription for access.
There are no technical worries to fret about as the CRM provider does all the heavy lifting when it comes to running the servers, upgrading software, and maintenance. As customers pay a subscription, it is also cheaper to change providers as you can cancel at any time.
Enhanced team collaboration
Cloud-based CRM ensures all your staff can access relevant customer data. This makes it simpler to formulate winning business strategies and keeps everyone in the loop of everyday business operations. You will also find those systems have messaging features and shared dashboards, etc. This helps boost teamwork between marketing, sales, and customer service, even when working on remote. And it allows you to leverage your data for maximum impact and provide a seamless experience for the customer.
The significant limitation of on-site CRM is often how much data it can accommodate. This limitation means it can’t handle business fortunes particularly well. Cloud CRM, by contrast, can adjust quickly to sudden spikes in growth. Or downturns, for that matter. You only need to change the subscription plan to a level that’s appropriate to your needs.
For historical reasons, many small businesses use a dog’s breakfast of apps to run their company. This pick-and-mix approach has obvious downsides, including
- Formatting incompatibilities
- Varying system requirements
- Input and output discrepancies
However, cloud-based CRM systems are designed to take this reality into account. By design, they are integration-friendly and can connect up to pretty much any business tool you are currently using. This includes email, chatbots, and third-party cloud-based tools.
Recent data breaches and privacy concerns have placed a severe burden on small companies. Fortunately, this type of CRM continually keeps on top of cyber-security with a range of built-in features to keep your data safe and secure.
In addition, your data is stored offsite on the cloud with military-grade security measures in place. And you needn’t worry about backups either. Your cloud CRM provider takes care of that too. And almost all cloud CRMs are GDPR-compliant. So that’s yet another worry checked off the list.
How cloud CRM stacks up for small business
When you consider the downsides and expense of an on-site server operation, cloud CRM is the obvious choice for small businesses. With limited budgets, the system allows small businesses to deploy what resources they have into core business activity. Not running servers and sweating over their security measures.
Apart from internet connectivity, there are few, if any reasons, that small businesses would give cloud-based CRM a wide berth.
Cloud CRMs are eminently within reach of small businesses. Contact our cloud-CRM experts today. We will be delighted to offer you a free trial.