To stay ahead of the curve, it is imperative to have a good CRM application for developing strong customer relationships. As customers are the center point of any given business, a CRM strategy is a fundamental aspect of a business. A CRM software:
- Provides customer intelligence
- Helps to implement digital sales and marketing activities
- Saves cost
- Is industry-specific
However, small businesses are concerned with their expenses and investments as they usually do not own their servers. They would rightly seek for a solution that is:
- Gives immediate assistance
- Cater to their business requirements.
If you too own a small business and believe that modern technology such as CRM software is not your cup of tea, then it’s time to clear the air. Let me start with an interesting fact:
34% of Australian buyers have started to ask for an integrated suite that combines SFA with marketing automation. So, small businesses have started to implement an end-to-end CRM solution.
What is cloud-based CRM?
Cloud-based CRM refers to hosting a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software in the cloud. It is operated through the Internet. So, it becomes easy to retrieve the information at any time by the users. Being stored in the cloud, the users can also access the information from their mobile phones and tablets. IT Cloud services have witnessed an uplift in general. A report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) had stated that the expense on buying cloud services would grow over $127 billion in 2018, a growth of 23% compared to 2014. For small businesses, the exchange of information between the available technologies is vital. Here, independent products cannot survive as flexibility in amalgamation is in demand. Hence, it is exactly why small businesses should consider the same in their CRM solution.
I have listed top 8 reasons why cloud-based CRM software is a MUST for small businesses:
(1) Removes geographical roadblocks:
The biggest and the most important advantage of a cloud-based CRM is its anytime-anywhere accessibility. You just need to log in to a centralized location or a database and get the data. Imagine a situation where a sales personnel is out on the field and he requires vital customer information. He just needs to log in to the CRM software through his mobile phone or laptop, retrieve the data and make its optimum use. 24*7 availability is a requisite for generating leads.
(2) Delivers intellectual reports and insights:
A CRM system provides intuitive reports and analytics based on the data fed such as customer interactions, purchase history, sales leads, and location. It simplifies the tasks of a sales representative and his efforts can be diverted into productive tasks such as accumulating more customer leads.
(3) Provides value for money:
Startups or small-sized businesses can take a sigh of relief as when it comes to availing best output from the investments, a cloud-based CRM won’t let you down. Instead of splurging at one go, it is advisable to spend on regular intervals. The subscription model of a cloud-based CRM is devised on the same lines. You can start off with a monthly subscription. The prices are based on the tailor-made requirements of a business.
(4) Reduces technical reliability:
Being a cloud-based CRM, you save yourself from managing a complex server, hardware and software installation and management and separate allocation of IT space in your office. It comes with a stress-free installation process, hence eliminating the recruitment of skilled IT personnel for managing the technical aspects of the software.
(5) Offers autonomous support:
As discussed above, businesses would seek minimalist requirement or invasion of technical support staff to save hiring costs. A cloud-based CRM provides holistic support during technical glitches. Businesses can save time and effort on working a solution for their IT-related problems by simply contacting the CRM partner or the CRM platform provider.
(6) Ensures 360-degree data security:
Security is the primary cause of businesses being unsure of moving to a cloud-based CRM. However, it’s time to end the concerns as cloud-based CRM providers offer automated backup policies which ensure 100% data recovery even during a security breach. There are very rare chances of the loss of data due to a system crash because the data is backed up. These features are very hard to find in an on-premise arrangement.
(7) Supports synergistic usage:
Cloud-based CRM enables the users to access the platform individually. It does not require multiple user interface. The employees can have their own access codes. It boosts employee productivity as no one will have to wait to access the software.
(8) Extends flexible options:
Cloud-based CRM imparts adaptability by enabling the businesses to scale up or down, according to their business requirements. The software can be tailored to the required and relevant features. The doors are always open for instant updates if you want to upgrade your usage.
If you run a small business, then a CRM system would definitely:
- Consolidate the customer database
- Provide an all-inclusive perspective of customer interactions
- Offer immediate access to current and latest insights of sales activities
- Automate tasks such as leads follow-up, sales deals, customer service, etc.
One of the most important things for installing cloud-based CRM is to pick the right vendor. The vendor should provide a flexible cloud solution which can be altered according to the business needs because whatever may it be in the end, business productivity is very essential.
In a nutshell:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are the need of the hour to managing sales activities and customer relations. I believe, a business with more than 5-10 clients should start using cloud-based CRM tools because this type of tool is efficient enough to manage all the activities as you would definitely see results which would indirectly encourage you more for achieving success.