Broadband internet access has transformed the nature of digital commerce. Unlimited high-speed internet access used to be a commodity only the government, the military, and large corporate enterprises could afford. In contrast, the default assumption today is that everyone, including private individuals and small businesses, has high-speed internet. And once broadband access became the norm, cloud computing became a viable solution for business application deployment.
Soon after, cloud-based software solutions started replacing on-site applications for practically all business-related tasks. Practically every kind of business software, from office tools to marketing automation platforms, data analysis systems, and customer relationship management applications now has a cloud version. The adoption rate for cloud-based software has been high overall, but many businesses still have reservations about abandoning on-site software deployment. They often cite concerns about costs, speed, usability, and most of all data safety.
Fortunately, most of the concerns surrounding cloud-based software and cloud-based CRM, in particular, are unfounded. The technology has reached a point where the downsides have largely been eliminated or minimized, while the benefits keep accruing.
If you’re still unconvinced and want to know more about the topic, you’ve come to the right place. In order to help you understand how cloud-based CRM can help your business, we’ve created and outlined its core benefits, which you can find in the remainder of this article.
1. Hassle-free Setup
One of the main reasons why businesses are apprehensive about experimenting with new software is fear concerning setup difficulties. The reasoning here is sound – why would you want to invest in an application that is more difficult to use than the one you’re currently using? Luckily, in the case of CRM software, this concern is largely unfounded. Modern-day cloud-based CRM solutions are remarkably easy to set up and run. All you have to do in most cases is install a lean application frontend, and you’re ready to go. Most modern CRM systems can also be run directly from the browser, forgoing the need to install anything whatsoever on the client side.
2. Access From Anywhere
Thanks to the development of internet infrastructure, companies are now rarely housed in a single office. Rather than being the exception, remote work is quickly becoming the new norm. Another consequence of the decentralized nature of modern work is that many on-site CRM solutions became obsolete. Being able to access your CRM data from a variety of access points is now one of the costs of doing business. And cloud-based CRM is the easiest way to fulfil this requirement. Cloud-based CRM solutions can be used from any internet-capable device – all you need to do is register an account, login, and you’re ready to get started.
3. Affordable Cost
Business applications used to have one thing in common – a high asking price. The cost of maintaining on-site applications was also substantial, often necessitating a fully-staffed IT support department. This has made them inaccessible to everyone apart from large corporate enterprises. But thanks to the exponential growth of the software industry, there are now business solutions at every price point. On-premise CRM used to belong to the former category, while its cloud-based counterpart clearly belongs to the latter. Instead of asking for a large sum upfront, cloud-based CRM software uses subscriptions as the default payment model. Most cloud-CRM providers offer different subscription tiers, including a free option, a fully-featured basic option, and a deluxe option with extra features.
4. Built with Collaboration in Mind
CRM is a collective effort. In order to provide a quality customer experience, your employees need to be on the same page, especially people from marketing, sales, and customer service. Cloud-based CRM makes it easy to share customer data within your organization. This allows you to implement complex, multi-staged business strategies with ease. Most cloud-based CRM solutions have built-in communication features, including chat, email, and instant messaging, which reduces the need for using third-party communication apps. Best of all, cloud-based CRM solutions can run on any internet-ready device, making them especially suitable for geographically dispersed enterprises.
5. Integration With Other Apps
CRM is only a single element of the average business tech stack. Most businesses use additional apps for specific activities such as email marketing, process automation, analytics, and software testing. However, these apps don’t always work well together. There are issues relating to differences in file formats, drivers, system requirements, as well as issues with feature overlap. Cloud-based CRM can’t solve this problem as such, but since they are built with integration in mind, they won’t contribute to the difficulty either. They can even replace some of your other apps since they come with a variety of useful features.
6. Ready for Scaling
On-site CRM solutions are built to handle a limited amount of data. The limit itself can be quite high, but you are bound to reach it eventually, which will cap your company’s growth. Another issue is that of hardware. The more customers you have, the more hardware you will need to keep your operation running, which is a costly way to do things. In contrast, cloud-based CRM scales with your business. If your current subscription plan can’t handle the load, you can switch to an advanced tier with only a small price hike. Another benefit of cloud-based CRM is that you can also downgrade your subscription, in case of an economic downturn.
7. Data Security
Finally, there is the issue of security. CRM apps are built for handling sensitive customer data, and keeping this data safe is of prime importance, especially in the wake of the GDPR data privacy legislation. Keeping customer data on your own servers, and running on-site CRM might seem like a safe choice at the outset, but upon further inspection, you will find that this is not the case. Unless you have a cybersecurity division within your company, your servers will be vulnerable to hackers. In contrast, cloud CRM solutions store data on secure servers across the globe. Cloud CRM providers will also create backups of your data, so even in the event of a compromise, you can easily rebuild your customer database from scratch.
Embrace the Cloud
Cloud CRM is one of the most successful implementation of SaaS. It has none of the disadvantages of on-premise CRM, and many unique benefits as well, including security, usability, performance, and a low cost. On-premise CRM is a relic of the past, and cloud-based CRM is doubtlessly a worthy successor.