What is Cloud CRM Software?
For businesses considering software options, the cloud can be puzzling. What businesses should understand, first and foremost, is that when something is billed as cloud-based, it simply means that it is accessed and used via the web.
This means it can be accessed by multiple users from any device that has an Internet connection.
If you're wondering if a cloud-based CRM might be the right option for your business, it's important to realize the benefits of this type of software.
Gartner predicts that by 2019, more than 30% of the world’s 100 largest vendors’ newest software investments will be cloud-only. The latest data also shows that over 70% of small business owners believe that investing in technology such as CRM will result in a larger return and empower business growth.
It’s no wonder, then, that many firms are now exploring the benefits of deploying cloud CRM software within their organizations. Businesses in various sectors - from real estate to healthcare, and even construction - are reaping the benefits that cloud-based CRM offers for productivity and client relations.
Cloud CRM is a leading solution for the modern business environment. It’s a technology in which advancements are taking place incrementally on a daily basis. Cloud system developers are building solutions that correspond with modern data security challenges.
They’re designing technology that delivers expansive levels of flexibility to growing businesses, and working to address core operational challenges that simply cannot be resolved by harnessing on-site deployments.
In a marketplace where mobile sales teams are working around-the-clock from their smartphones, tablets and laptops, I.T. teams require immediate access to company data for seamless upgrades, and the infrastructural costs of data servers are rising on a weekly basis, cloud CRM systems assure the following significant competitive advantages.
Benefits of a Cloud Solution
On-site deployments can be cumbersome for sales teams to use. Teams need to know instantly when a qualified lead takes action. Cloud-based CRM systems provide data in real-time, allowing proactive sales teams to respond quickly and adeptly to actionable data.
Sales teams will also experience an increase in the frequency of data uploaded to the cloud, supporting sales leaders in meeting their highest of targets.
BYOD (or Bring Your Own Device) implementation and mobile usage frees sales teams from their desks and allows them to work more accordingly to their changing day-to-day requirements. Cloud CRM supports mobile synchronization across an entire organization and sales teams will be able to receive data immediately and securely on their smartphones regardless of location.
In addition, marketing teams can collaborate from their devices to assure the ideal balance between data control and working autonomy.
Reduced Hardware Costs
A leading argument for choosing to implement a cloud-based CRM system over an on-site system is simple hardware costs. Among the many costs a business with an on-site data center must consider are routers, cabling, storage devices, servers, air conditioning, and hardware footprint.
These costs make it impractical for growing companies to build a large-scale on-site CRM system. Cloud-based CRM solutions assure cost-efficiency, enabling companies to deploy resources more effectively across the organization.
Reduced Software Costs
Once in-house CRM software is purchased, it must be integrated across the organization. This requires a significant expenditure on I.T. man-hours. One of the foremost cost benefits of cloud CRM software is that the technology is based on a subscription model, whereby I.T. support is outsourced and companies only pay a subscription fee to immediately begin using the software.
Another consideration is software training – I.T. teams using in-house systems must often spend many hours training teams to utilize the chosen solution. Using a cloud CRM system, all training is provided by the vendor – ensuring seamless integration and allowing I.T. teams to focus their energies on more valuable business areas.
Cloud CRM systems empower organizations to evolve rapidly. It enables management to respond smoothly to changes within their industry as well as to challenges faced by their in-house teams.
The scalability supported by the latest cloud CRM solutions also means that companies can meet ever-higher growth targets using the same solution, without having to incur downtime when considering other options.
Seamless Disaster Recovery
Data security is one of the leading considerations for all modern organizations. In the event of a power outage or an attack on their systems, data loss and server downtime can cause untold damage. Cloud CRM software is built in response to this common threat.
One of the clear security advantages of cloud CRM systems is they’re built to maintain the safety and integrity of data in the event of an attack or technical issue. This ensures a fluid company response to immediate challenges and allows for refined threat mitigation.
Top Cloud CRM Software Providers
There are many cloud CRM options on the market today, giving businesses the opportunity to find one that meets their own needs and budget.
The innovator in cloud-based CRM, Salesforce introduced businesses to the many benefits of cloud-hosted software.
With numerous built-in solutions as well as countless add-ons and integrations, Salesforce is the largest and most powerful cloud-based CRM option on the market.
Salesforce is also among the most affordable CRM solutions, especially for smaller businesses. Plans start at $25 per user per month.
Sage's CRM solution powers businesses across the globe, which use it either as a standalone product or as an integration with Sage ERP.
The monthly plan costs $39 per user per month and includes customer support management, workflow management, campaign management, and a CRM builder.
Infusionsoft provides contact management, marketing automation, and sales tools to help businesses convert leads into customers.
Infusionsoft's plans start at $199 per month for up to three users, which includes up to 2,500 contacts and 12,500 emails per month.
Really Simple Systems
This CRM is designed for businesses that don't have the time or technical expertise to deal with a complicated system. Really Simple Systems promises that users can be trained in mere minutes. A free version for up to two users and 100 accounts is available.
Those two users remain free even if businesses choose a paid version, with plans starting at $15 per user per month for each additional user.
These benefits of cloud CRM software are highlighted in numerous case studies from across the global marketplace. For example, OneUnited Bank now utilizes the Salesforce1 mobile application. The technology allows branch employees quick access to detailed client histories and account summaries, empowering the team to offer a faster and more personalized service.
Cloud CRM systems are set to become an essential component at the hub of modern sales and marketing departments. And their unlimited potential is only now slowly being revealed, as developers are building cloud CRM technology that capitalizes on machine learning to pinpoint desired customer behaviors and predict actions that can enhance sales performance.
It’s an area of rich promise that heralds the beginning of a new and exciting era for CRM.