David runs a web design and marketing company with staff spread across three countries and clients in five continents. He’s now thinking of getting a cloud-hosted CRM software to centralize data, monitor updates on important projects and expand their customer base. His question:
“With our small business getting bigger and our client base growing, I realize the need to have an efficient,web based system in place. We cannot just depend on traditional methods like emails, spreadsheets, videoconferencing and good old accounting systems. Adopting a good CRM software that will do the job is the way to go. However, I am curious about the comparison between an on-site CRM maintained by our IT team or a cloud hosted CRM software that will be provided by a CRM vendor. I am bound to consider the cloud option but I would like to be convinced regarding its benefits compared to the other systems. What are the advantages of switching to cloud for a company of our size? Best regards – David, AL
Hi David, thanks for writing. As with any other kind of shopping, it’s always advisable to research on the best option there is. When considering a cloud-hosted CRM software from a provider, ask them to make a demo on what is it they’re offering and how they differ from the others. Their system should be simple but can fulfill your requirements reasonably well. Here are some of the apparent benefits of switching to a cloud system:
The good news is that cloud solutions are often cheap or priced affordably. Even better, there are freeones available in the market. If you’re just new to the game, it would be well advised to try one that will not cost a dime. There are a few of them available, like Zoho CRM and Free CRM. Some services, like Chatter or even HubSpot, are on offer for only $10 or $25 a month. There’s also a listing of a wide range of highly-recommended CRM apps available that you can choose from.
Carefully study the software features and be mindful of its role in bringing about employee productivity, for example, or driving sales. How is the navigation process and user interface: will your staff find the system convenient to use, can you communicate with your clients through multiple channels?
What is good about a cloud system is that your team does not have to do the work of installing and upgrading all-important software. Customer support from your provider is on hand 24/7.
It is amazing how cloud software can effectively help you keep track of projects, manage contacts and monitor performance. Look for a software provider that can effectively generate reports relevant to your company’s business generation needs.
Users permitted to access the cloud-hosted CRM software can read and work on information needed wherever they are, as long as they are connected to the internet. This is the whole idea of the Cloud 2.0 CRM. Work performance is not constrained to the office; staff can work in front of the computer, use their mobile phone or laptop. As such, there is greater flexibility to do the tasks at hand, no matter what place or time of day. This is obviously best for companies maintaining a remote workforce.
Privacy and security are of utmost importance, especially for a web-based company and it’s one of the advantages of being on the cloud. Since data is tightly-monitored and kept in ultra-secure servers, there’s hardly any chance of sensitive data getting in the wrong hands.
Here’s an insightful article on The big picture: How to build a CRM strategy for 2014 where a cloud-hosted solution is presented as a wise option for greater efficiency and productivity for today’s emerging businesses.
Finally, we make a side-by-side comparison of the advantages and weaknesses of adapting to various CRM software to enlighten business owners like you in searching for the right answers.
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