Businesses are putting pressure on the finance heads to invest in a more modern CRM - and the focus is all about the cloud. But what are the advantages and how do they apply to your business?
Cloud computing means applications, systems and data can be hosted offsite. If you have a legacy CRM that is slowing you down and in dire need of an upgrade, then it's time to seriously consider new solutions. A cloud-based CRM helps you:
- Boost productivity cost-effectively
- Reduce costs vs legacy system upgrades
- Gain more control over data security
- Enable your workforce to go fully mobile
Let’s look at each of these in turn to see how they apply to your business.
1. How cloud-based CRMs improve productivity
If you could increase productivity without increasing headcount, what would it mean for your business? It’s the holy grail for CFOs - improved performance, collaboration and output with minimal investment.
Cloud-based systems are one of the most cost-effective ways to improve individual and team performance without wrecking your bottom line. Your staff can share data, get a single view of each customer and respond to updates in real-time. In nationwide businesses, this makes communication between locations faster, cheaper and more effective.
If you have field workers, they can connect via mobile devices while your back-office personnel reduce time creating reports, digging through emails and chasing up paper-trails. That means your staff will enjoy fewer manual tasks as your CRM does the heavy-lifting. With the right system, your people will spend less time on manual processes like data entry and more time on fulfilling your bigger business goals.
2. Costs: Cloud-based CRMs vs legacy CRMS
An effective CRM collects, analyses and automates vast volumes of data. The more information you collect on each customer, each interaction and transaction, the better your business insights and decision-making. But installing and maintaining an on-premise solution is costly. Hardware is a large, and upfront costs and hiring the right staff or contractors to implement and manage it is expensive.
Shifting to the cloud carries lower upfront costs and is often purchased via a subscription model. This makes the investment easier to manage through a fixed monthly cost versus a large outlay at the beginning followed by expensive upgrades. If you plan to move or expect growth, your cloud-hosted data and applications can shift and expand with you far easier than migrating hardware or adding more memory on your own premises.
3. CRM data security
Business leaders who are new to the cloud are often concerned with security. With stricter regulations coming into effect around the world, having a tighter rein on CRM security is a must. The risk of data breaches includes high penalties, reputation damage and loss of business-critical data. How do cloud-based CRMs measure up versus legacy systems? In fact, data breaches in the cloud are more difficult than legacy data centre breaches. You need to consider your modern workplace and how vulnerable it is in today’s complex, mobile world.
Do you have staff that take their smartphones and laptops offsite? What happens if they lose an asset with confidential data on it? What if it gets stolen? Once that hardware is out of your sight, it’s out of your control. With cloud-computing, data can be deleted or moved remotely. With customer data, this is especially reassuring.
4. Cloud CRMs boosts flexibility and scalability
Increased demand for mobility in the workplace isn’t just coming from employees. Customers also expect a better service from field workers, trusted advisors and customer support teams. There’s also a cost tied to every desk across your business. When you have field salespeople, technicians and high-value talent, you need them to have access to your CRM wherever they are, whenever they need it.
With a cloud-based CRM, your staff can complete their tasks in the office, on the road or at home. Saving themselves, and the business valuable time while delighting your customers with improved services.
If you’re considering a CRM cloud migration or upgrade, we can guide you through the right Dynamics 365 features for your business.