There is an understandable frustration associated to not being able to transport the detailed information housed on your CRM off site to clients or simply those who are away from your office and working elsewhere. In the past, people have tried to overcome this by carrying reams of paper and files – although the solution can work, it is a heavy one that is altogether quite cumbersome and unprofessional.
Trying to impress clients with your eidetic memory is another solution but one that can lead to you looking foolish if it fails. Not to mention the substantial time required to learn everything you may need regarding the client, the contract and the curve balls. Time that could be used elsewhere more productively. Finally, the world of the modern CRM has brought about a resolution; the cloud.
The Cloud & CRM
Cloud computing has shifted the previous paradigm of computer. Whereas once computers became progressively more powerful and larger in capacity, now the cloud offers an alternative, Software as a Service (SaaS). No longer storing software on your internal computers or servers, SaaS opens the door for weaker computers getting access to resource-hungry programs, such as CRMs.
Strictly speaking, weaker computers aren’t a benefit (although they will allow you to reduce the amount of times that you need to upgrade internal computers) – the benefit is that, with weaker computers comes more mobile computers; as all that is really required to run a cloud based CRM such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an internet connection, the door is open for mobile workforces.
Many forward thinking CRM businesses are coupling their mobile applications with the purchase of a CRM instance. This corresponds perfectly with the rise of hot desking and more flexible working environments such as working from home to reduce a company’s carbon footprints. It comes into its own when it is combined with mobile sales teams. Giving your mobile sales reps the same quality information as those that are indoors manning mainline phones is priceless. Especially as it comes at no extra cost if they are regularly based externally, they probably already have a company phone or laptop through which they can access everything. Several studies have linked access to mobile CRM data, alongside increased social functions, to increase productivity by as much as 26%. Finding an extra quarter of productivity at no extra cost is sure to be an incentive to most organisations to pick up a cloud CRM.
The easier way to use CRM
Other advantages of moving to the cloud arm of a CRM include the ease with which you can scale up. Unlike upgrading your CRM capabilities with a traditional CRM – purchasing more up to date computer and more powerful servers – a cloud CRM takes all the hassle out of it. The cloud CRM business model revolves around rental, you pay your subscription and the supplier does all the leg work. Any modification and aggrandisement to your services are completely on the operator’s shoulders.
Current trends seem to suggest that in the future that cloud computing could really become the norm, a move towards a cloud CRM now could give you a headstart. Master the technology before it becomes standard and ensure you’re at the cutting edge of your industry.