Cloud-based CRM Software: A Definitive Guide
The key to business success is building a long-lasting customer relationship.
Earlier, the process of tracking and managing customer relations within the business was done manually. It consumed a lot of time and even resulted in many missed opportunities.
But with advances in technology, large companies started adopting the CRM tool.
CRM tool has been around for years now, but it has started gaining popularity in the recent past.
This is because CRM was an expensive on-premise solution then. Large enterprises used to develop their own CRM solution that came with significant costs.
However, the development of cloud-based CRM solutions has revolutionized the way people do business today.
It has become easily accessible and can be deployed across all sizes of enterprises.
Let’s discuss in detail what cloud-based CRM is and why it is important for your business.
What Is Cloud-based CRM?
CRM is an acronym for customer relationship management. It provides a platform whereby all the activities related to marketing and sales are integrated and streamlined to increase efficiency.
Cloud-based CRM is a CRM solution that is hosted on the cloud, meaning you can access it from anywhere using the internet.
All the information about your customers is collected, stored, and organized in the cloud.
Features of Cloud-based CRM
Some of the essential features of cloud-based CRM are the following:
1. Ease of Use
What defines a good CRM is how easy it is to use.
When a company tries to implement a new system, employees are reluctant at first. But once they get comfortable with the technology and start understanding its benefits, it can do wonder.
That’s why you should always choose a solution that offers an interactive and rich dashboard.
An effective cloud-based CRM software often provides drag-and-drop features that make it easy to carry out tasks in a few seconds.
Another significant feature to watch out is its ability to customize.
Depending on your business needs, you might not require to use all the modules present in the package.
It will not only add up to your costs but also slow down the system for your staff members.
Choose a system that allows you to easily add or delete modules as per your requirements. It will lead to a positive experience for your sales and marketing department.
Remember, the main aim of using cloud-based CRM is to make their life easy and lead to more productivity.
3. Security Measures
For any cloud-based CRM vendor, data protection should be their top priority.
Companies store confidential information about their business and customers that they can’t afford to get leaked.
Since cloud servers are more vulnerable to cyber attacks, it needs protection with tight security measures. Check for solutions that offer SSL encryptions and follow HIPAA regulations for data protection.
By keeping your customer’s information safe, you gain their trust and improve their experience with your business.
Third-party integrations are critical for any cloud-based CRM solution.
It enables the system to expand its functionalities by integrating it with existing applications. Thus, it makes it more adaptive and flexible in nature.
For instance, it enables quick import/export of data from one system to another, thereby streamlining activities.
Moreover, cloud solutions make it easy through the use of APIs or SDKs.
A CRM platform can integrate with email marketing tools, social media channels, phone systems, and more.
5. Reliable Customer Support
Many dismiss it as a not-so-important feature. But even after you have made the purchase, you will need to stay in constant touch with the vendor.
It could be for regular software updates or at the time of the system crash.
Vendors who provide 24*7 customer service is a boon for the business.
Benefits of Cloud-based CRM
Now that you know how cloud-based CRM functions, let’s look at some of the benefits it has to offer.
1. Gives You Easy Accessibility
People are always on-the-go.
If the system restricts you from accessing it from one place, it will hinder your business growth.
The biggest advantage of using cloud-based CRM is that it enables users to access it from any device, from anywhere. You will just need an internet connection.
It syncs all the information and changes made in real-time across all devices.
Thus, you can hire the best team across the globe and have them work remotely.
2. Streamlines Workflow With Contact Management
A CRM acts as a centralized platform whereby all the information related to business and customers can be found.
It can even integrate with other existing applications. Thus, it becomes easy to gather information from multiple departments without wasting any time.
This results in streamlined operational activities without any fuss.
3. Saves Extra Cost on Infrastructure
One significant advantage of implementing cloud-based CRM is that it doesn’t require spending on developing infrastructure.
Unlike legacy software, cloud-based solutions are hosted on the cloud. It is already an established framework supported by the vendor itself.
Besides, it gives you enough space to store all your sensitive data without the fear of it getting leaked.
Moreover, when you install a cloud-based CRM solution, you get high flexibility in terms of customization.
4. Helps Make Informed and Quick Decisions
Using a cloud-based solution gives you the liberty to generate reports in real-time. Plus, with its ability to access the system from across the globe, users can address critical situations from anywhere.
It empowers workers to immediately address any issues or crises without having to rely on gut feeling.
These data-driven insights provide a competitive advantage to the businesses.
Cloud-based CRM vs. On-premise CRM
If you don’t know which one is best suited for your business, this comparison between the cloud-based and on-premise CRM will clear your confusion.
Let us look at how these two differ in terms of different factors.
|Cloud-based CRM||On-premise CRM|
|Pricing||Based on the monthly subscription plan + lower upfront costs||Incurs infrastructure cost + IT team overhead + high upfront costs|
|Integration||Quite easy to integrate it with third-party cloud applications||Can get quite complicated and require IT team assistance|
|Mobility||Compatible with various devices and syncs information in real-time||Could be restricted to only the physical device at the office space|
|Support||Depends on the vendor||Depends on the vendor|
|Flexibility||More flexible as compared to the traditional systems||Less flexible as compared to cloud solutions|
|Ease of Installation||Requires no more than a week, depending on the complexity of the solution||Can take up to months depending on the size of the enterprises|
|Licensing||Not required||Required for servers, client access, and more|
5 Top Cloud-based CRM Software to Look out for
Here’s a list of the top 5 CRM that you can consider using for your business:
Freshsales is a sales CRM by Freshworks aimed at managing your sales pipeline efficiently. This AI-driven technology will help your team with lead scoring, activity capture, email marketing, and more.
2. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is a top-rated cloud-based solution that automates every aspect of your business and helps save time on intensive, repetitive tasks. It streamlines the entire lead nurturing process and makes it easy to follow up better with workflows.
3. Salesforce CRM
Salesforce CRM offers an all-in-one solution that can be used by all types and sizes of businesses. It enables enterprises to track and manage all customer information from one place, thereby increasing sales productivity. Besides, they are well known for their top-class customer service, available 24*7.
4. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM comes well-equipped with a comprehensive suite of robust functionalities. This includes contact management, workflow management, app marketplace integration, meeting scheduling, and more.
Pipedrive is a powerful yet simple CRM tool that helps businesses prioritize their deals, track performance, and maximize profits. The software provides deep insights into different activities and helps predict market future demands.
The market size of cloud-based CRM is expected to reach $31.5 billion by 2024, compared to $25.5 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 4.3%.
The main reason for its growing popularity is its low cost, reliability, and easy accessibility. This has resulted in improved business performance.
So without any further ado, consider implementing the system and reap off its benefits.