What is Cloud-based CRM? A Guide to Cloud CRM

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What is cloud crm?

Last updated on April 1st, 2024 at 11:55 am

Only 12% of companies were using Cloud CRM in 2008. In 2020, the percentage skyrocketed to 87% due to the enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness of Cloud CRM software.

Let’s delve into the details.

What is Cloud CRM software – why is it important? 

Cloud CRM software is a technology that streamlines and optimizes your customer relationship management process. This application is hosted on the servers of a service provider; as against on-premises. It is like a locked safe, storing your customer’s information off-site. You will be able to access your CRM system  anytime, anywhere, and from any device with an internet connection.

Cloud-based CRM software is often referred to as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CRM.  Since the software is hosted on the service provider’s servers, you need not worry about the installation, configuration and maintenance of hardware.  You will be able to simply subscribe to a service and use it right away. You will also be able to access the Cloud CRM application from both mobile and desktop with an internet connection.

In this comprehensive blog on Cloud CRM, you will gain insights on the exclusive differences between a Cloud CRM and on-premise CRM, know the benefits of a Cloud CRM software, and most importantly how to choose the right Cloud CRM software for your business.

Differences between On-Premise CRM and Cloud CRM

FeatureOn-Premise CRMCloud CRM
ImplementationRequires hardware installation, software configuration, and IT expertise for implementationCan be implemented with minimum technical requirements. The hardware resources are provided and maintained by cloud servers.
ScalabilityYou might be required to purchase additional hardware and software upgrades to accommodate growth and scalabilityYou may be able to easily add or remove users as your needs change. It is more flexible and scalable compared to on-premise.
MaintenanceYou will have to take care of the regular maintenance and updates.All software updates and maintenance are handled by the service provider eliminating the need to allocate resources.
Software upgradesYou will have to manually upgrade which may be time- consuming and can disrupt your business operationsRegular updates and enhancements are automatically applied to the system. This is more time- saving and does not cause any disruptions to your business operations.
Hosting InfrastructureThe application servers, database servers, and backup servers are installed within the client’s premises. It is deployed in-house and maintained by the IT departmentCloud CRM is implemented on the cloud and not within the premises. It is hosted on the infrastructure provided by cloud service providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
FinancingOn-premise CRM platforms require significant upfront capital investment in hardware, software license,  and implementation costs.In cloud-based CRM platforms, you need not block your capital upfront. You have a subscription-based pricing model allowing you to pay-as-you-go. You can treat this as an operational expense.
Data securityYou will need to establish end-to-end IT security measures. These include software, database, data center, and network infrastructure etc., You will also need to plan a business continuity plan (BCP) and Disaster recovery (DR) to safeguard your business.Cloud CRM service providers heavily invest in data security measures to protect customer information. They implement business continuity plans (BCP) and Disaster recovery (DR) to ensure data integrity and security.

You may read this detailed blog to understand better about the differences between on-premise and cloud crm.

Benefits of  Cloud CRM software

Cost-effective

Cloud CRM solutions offer significant cost savings for your business. They eliminate the need to install expensive hardware and software without any upfront costs. The subscriptions are predictable, hence you can budget these costs effectively without any unexpected expenses. The implementation cost is also very low for cloud CRMs.

Accessibility

Just like how you can access your mailbox anytime and anywhere, you will be able to access Cloud CRM similarly. You can manage your customer data on the go. This will be beneficial for your remote team members and traveling professionals. Your team members can access, view, and update customer information from any device with an internet connection. This accessibility of real-time data enables your team to quickly respond to customer queries, and stay connected with other team members.

Scalability & Flexibility

You will have the flexibility to accommodate and scale-up your needs as your business grows. A cloud CRM can address your dynamic needs without any major disruptions. You don’t have to worry about significant investments when you upgrade. The cloud CRM offers you the agility and responsiveness required to keep up with the growing business needs.

Enhanced collaboration among team members

A cloud CRM helps your team members to update the CRM in real-time. This ensures that all the team members are on the same page. Real-time updates and shared access to information improve sales performance and responsiveness.  It also fosters improved communication among the team, better coordination, and alignment across various departments leading to enhanced customer satisfaction.

Data security

With cloud CRM, you can imagine that your customer data is like a treasure hidden underwater and watched over by guardians to keep it safe. Similarly, cloud service providers invest heavily in robust security measures to keep your data safe. Regular security audits and data encryption safeguard valuable information and protect it from unauthorized access. This makes sure your customer data is always protected from breaches and data loss.

Backup

The service providers take many measures to apply robust data backup mechanisms ensuring business continuity.  This helps to keep your data safe and accessible even during an unexpected event like a system failure or cyber attack. Your business operations can go on without any interruptions.

Software updates

With cloud CRM, the service providers take responsibility for all software updates. These software updates and upgrades happen at the backend without the need for any system shutdown. You will always have access to the latest features without having to worry about scheduling updates. This ensures that the systems are up-to-date delivering seamless experience to the users.  Additionally, automatic updates help to enhance system security by promptly addressing vulnerabilities. This proactive approach minimizes disruptions and enhances the reliability, efficiency, and security of cloud CRM systems.

How to choose the right Cloud CRM

Important features to be considered

Account and Contact Management

360-degree account management and contact management are two most critical aspects of any CRM. A specialized Key Account Management CRM like HappSales helps you easily manage important information about your clients; including company size, industry segment, sales history, business plans, buying process, competition details, stakeholders, decision-makers, and contact hierarchy all in one place. This enables you to integrate market intelligence seamlessly.

Lead Management

Leads refer to potential clients who show interest in purchasing your product or service. It is important to nurture these deals well so that your team members pursue the right deals. HappSales CRM offers a powerful sales methodology known as the BANT framework. Using this lead management with BANT framework, your team members can foster the deals well and not go on a wild goose chase.

Opportunity Management

Opportunity management refers to the entire sales process starting from Lead generation to deal closure. Implementing a robust opportunity management framework is essential for success.  Efficient opportunity management enhances sales performance.

Sales Pipeline Management

Sales pipeline management is also referred to as sales funnel management. It enables you to measure and manage your sales pipeline.

HappSales goes beyond just measuring your standard sales pipeline. It also provides you with a framework to measure an important metric called the weighted pipeline. This is calculated by considering the closure probability of your deals. This analysis helps you forecast more accurately and take proactive measures to achieve targets.

Task and Activity Management

Executing your tasks and activities is required for superior business performance. Activity Management refers to the different tasks performed by your client-facing teams.  Robust activity management within HappSales CRM ensures that tasks are managed and performed promptly. Keeping track of all these tasks and activities enhances the efficiency of your business operations.

Ease of Use

The success of a CRM implementation depends on how well your users find it easy to use and adapt. It is important to find a CRM tool that requires the least amount of training and is very easy to use. Updating CRMs manually can get as difficult as putting toothpaste back into the tube!  HappSales voice-based app with Copilot makes data entry effortless and seamless for your teams. Updating your CRM is as effortless as verbally dictating notes to a personal assistant with your eyes closed. That is why user-review sites like G2 recognize us as one of the top 3 CRMs worldwide.  Users consistently rank our platform highest for ease-of-use, distinguishing us from competitors.

Implementation and Support

It is important to choose a cloud CRM vendor that offers excellent service and support. Regardless of the features provided, selecting a CRM vendor with exceptional customer support is crucial for any CRM project to succeed. HappSales offers its users a dedicated onboarding specialist who ensures a smooth customer experience, from initial onboarding to ongoing support. You should also make sure that the vendor is equipped to provide adequate training to your end-users.

Intuitive user interface

A user-friendly interface streamlines the adoption process enhancing productivity and efficiency. A user-friendly interface offered by HappSales fosters a positive experience for the users. Users can navigate seamlessly and use the CRM without much training and support.

Scalability

Make sure your CRM has the flexibility to scale up and accommodate your business’ changing requirements. It is important to choose a Cloud CRM platform that can seamlessly accommodate these changes without compromising on performance or efficiency.

Data security

With a major increase in cyber attacks, data security is of paramount importance. While dealing with client data, your data in the cloud must not be compromised. Therefore choosing a CRM vendor who assures the security of your data is very important.

Integrations

You might need to integrate your CRM with other applications. It is a good idea to check with the vendor about their integration capabilities.

Implementation vendor

It would be better to choose an implementation vendor along with the CRM software vendor. You should also evaluate the implementation partner’s knowledge and expertise beforehand. It is also important that you discuss timelines, milestones, and cost of implementation before to avoid any surprises in the future. Choosing a CRM vendor like HappSales who offers you not only the CRM software but also handholds your team from start to finish can significantly streamline your CRM experience with the lowest total-cost-of-ownership (TCO).

Conclusion

Having  understood the key differences between an on-premise and cloud CRM, I hope you will be able to make an informed decision to choose the right CRM for your business.

Our blog extensively explored the benefits of cloud CRM including easy accessibility, flexibility, enhanced collaboration, improved data security, and scalability. These benefits help streamline your business operations and boost productivity.

However amidst the array of options choosing the right cloud CRM requires careful consideration of factors such as features, security measures, ease of use, etc., as mentioned in the blog.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your customer relationships with a cloud CRM to propel your business forward?

Author Bio
Author Name: Deepa Arul

Deepa leads Marketing Operations at HappSales. She comes with over a decade of vast experience in sales and marketing operations. She is obsessed with customer success, and loves writing blogs on sales & marketing topics. During her free time, you can find her mastering the French language. She actively contributes to the society by recording audiobooks to the visually challenged and teaching English to the underprivileged children, in addition to her favorite pastimes of reading and traveling.

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