Online CRMs are simply cloud-based CRMs. Most modern CRMs fall into this category. This means that the actual guts of the information is stored on an outside server, instead of your personal computer or local, office-based server.
Here are the primary benefits of that moving to cloud for your CRM:
- Mobile access
- Stay personal as you scale
- Automatic backups
- Streamlined software with cloud benefits
Online CRM providers take security very seriously. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be in business for very long. This is because CRM companies store sensitive personal information.
In fact, it’s much safer to store the lifeblood of your business – your contacts – with a company that uses deep and sophisticated data safety measures.
Safeguards often include physical, technical and sometimes even biometric systems to protect data centers. In addition, these companies have comprehensive disaster recovery plans that include redundant hardware with failover capability. Security at this level is well beyond what most small and mid-sized businesses can develop themselves.
While it is entirely possible to keep track of customer information “in-house,” no practical method is as secure as an online CRM. If you keep customer information on your laptop, the laptop could be lost or stolen. PC hard drives fail at the most inopportune times, and that often leaves you without access to customer records.
Consider how difficult and time consuming it would be to try to recreate all your customer records in the event of a loss. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a failed backup or some type of hack, it could put you out of business.
With an online CRM company, your company’s records and data are safe.
2. Mobile access
The best CRMs deliver their tools to the palm of your hand. Are you at a conference and you meet a potential customer? Great! Simply enter their information in through your mobile application and fire off an automated campaign.
Simply put, mobile access is no longer an option. It’s a necessity.
Your sales team members or any employee on the road can check a customer’s records before heading into a meeting, so they know they have the most up-to-date details.
Mobile access and integration simply delivers the most up-to-date contact information into the palm of your hand.
3. Stay personal as you scale
As your business grows you reach a tipping point where you can no longer keep up with the important details of your prospects and customers. This is a good problem to have! But, it also presents a unique challenge.
The challenge is how to scale while maintaining a personal touch.
How can you triple your customer base and still serve them with the same level of care and respect?
This is one of the core functionalities and “value-adds” of an online CRM. A good CRM system gives you the ability to powerfully segment your existing customers and sales pipeline based on an almost limitless number of profile fields. You can then use these profile fields to build out mass customizable emails through the use of merge-fields.
Taken a step further, most modern CRM companies also provide different levels of automation.
With all of this functionality put together, you are able to scale and remain personalized. An online CRM means you can stay lean while you scale.
4. Automatic backup
If you have taken on the additional responsibility for guaranteeing your customers’ information is backed up, then you must also take responsibility for ensuring your backup procedures work and that you can restore from your backups. That requires testing. Can you afford the unnecessary downtime and distraction created by this tiresome task?
Online CRM frees a company from daily backup concerns. The CRM provider is responsible for testing the backup and restore procedures periodically so you don’t have to worry. If anything happens to your network or facility, you can access your data from any of your devices and business can continue without interruption. Like most insurance, it doesn’t prove its worth until something happens.
What happens if an employee leaves? If you are not using a CRM, exiting employees may have customer information stored on their personal tablet, laptop or mobile device. If they leave, valuable customer data leaves right along with them. An online CRM keeps your valuable and sensitive data where it belongs – with you.
5. Streamlined software with cloud benefits
Most people don’t need training to know how to buy a book on Amazon or a pair of shoes on Zappos. That ease-of-use and simple user interface is exactly what you should expect to find when you look to buy an online CRM system.
Enterprise-level CRM software typically has processes designed for larger staffs, with each employee responsible for only a small sphere. In contrast, most small and mid-sized CRM suppliers design their software to make it easy for employees who wear many hats to accomplish tasks.
Rather than scroll through on-screen reports or complex query results, users typically start in a personalized dashboard that calls attention to important tasks. Everybody sees the only information they need, ensuring business stays on track.
The cloud provides many advantages
Choosing a cloud CRM solution reduces risk to your business. From hassle free data-recovery to secure customer data to streamlined software – the benefits of online CRM for your small business are numerous.
Cloud software is simple to use, easily accessible from any device and grows with you as your business grows. It frees you up from the burden of worrying about routine details such as backups and disk allocations, so you personally have the bandwidth to focus on what matters the most – growing your business.
Choosing an online CRM system designed for small and mid-sized business means less worry about security, flexibility, or accessibility, and helps increase revenue and business growth. Once a CRM system is in place, any second-guessing about performance disappears.
You’ll probably wonder how you ever functioned without one.