Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one thing. It’s the software and system we need to pull everything together where our customers are concerned. Hitachi Solutions explain why merely having CRM isn’t enough, you need it to be cloud-based – especially if you have on the road sales executives.
What is Cloud-Based CRM?
CRM is the software tool which enables you to link every element of your business in terms of managing customers. It enables you to keep all customer data and profiles up to date whilst also ensuring your interactions with each customer are as profitable, and as effective, as they can be. Used effectively, a CRM system is the heart and soul of the business. It’s where everything happens.
A cloud-based CRM is simply a CRM system which is hosted in the cloud. It’s not complicated. It just means that your CRM software is accessed through the internet rather than sitting on a dusty server down the corridor.
Why Use a Cloud Based CRM System?
The number one reason for choosing to use a cloud-based CRM system, such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365, is so that it can be accessed anywhere, at any time. This means it’s just as easy for your salesforce on the road to access and utilise, as it is for the customer services department overseas, or the CEO sat in the office. As long as you have an internet enabled device, you can access it.
This requires quite a shift in attitudes. Typically, you previously would have had an IT guru running your system, and salespeople would have been required to come back in to the office to update the systems meaning the CRM was never actually up to date. With a cloud-based CRM system this is totally different. You’re not reliant on your tech-geeks and you’re not out of date the minute your salesforce are back on the road.
However, in addition to the main benefit of being accessed anywhere at any time, there are some other important reasons why a cloud-based CRM system makes sense.
- Install and Maintain Easily
CRM systems can seem complicated. They are multifunctional so that’s understandable. Getting them to work specifically for your business also requires a certain amount of customisation. However, this can easily be outsourced to specialised CRM consultants such as Hitachi Solutions. This way you don’t have the in-house IT headache that you’re used to living with. Instead, that’s someone else’s problem. Along with the maintenance and updates. That all happens hands-free without you needing to be concerned with it. If you’re connected to the internet, updates and maintenance just happens.
- Uninterrupted Access
Your salesforce, in fact everyone in your business who’s dealing with customer data, likely doesn’t sit behind their desk 9am-5pm to get the job done. Instead, you need more constant access and real-time updates. A cloud-based CRM system enables access from anywhere, but notably at any point in time. Therefore if you’re on a train on your phone you can use the system just as easily as if you’re on your laptop at home. It makes for connection and flexibility.
- Intuitive and Simple
By choosing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 you’re using apps which are familiar to everyone, for example Word and Excel, but delivering them with a whole package. This means everyone can easily work the system, whilst not ‘dumbing it down’. You log in, use, and log out again.
- Financial Sense
The problem with the slightly more old-school CRM system approach is that it’s out of date the moment you’ve installed it. It’s only right for the moment you’re in when you bought it. From there it gradually becomes outdated and obsolete. With a cloud-based system you can expect to receive updates as and when they are available, and also have a system which can more easily be scaled as the business grows and expands. This makes a cloud-based system perfect for smaller businesses.
- Cyber Security
Another headache, usually left to the IT department, but often landing on the CEO’s desk, is cyber security. If you’re handling customer data – and lots of it – you need to be sure that you’re doing so safely and securely. Cloud-based systems are incredibly secure, because they have to be, despite the fears some people feel. In fact, it’s arguable that with systems such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, with such a big name behind it, security is going to be paramount. Security tends to be given highest priority, and there are clear back-up protocols and data recovery procedures.
Lastly, within a very short time of using a CRM system it will become the system on which the organisation as a whole rests. This is great, and makes excellent business and financial sense. However, it’s a worrying prospect in terms of reliability: you simply cannot afford for your CRM system to fail. A cloud-based CRM system will be highly reliable, not least because everything is always backed-up away from the business itself. If something goes wrong, it will be rectified and business continues as usual, without downtime.
In our connected world you need to be sure that you can integrate different strategies and systems. By using a cloud-based system such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, it’s so much more than purely a CRM. Instead it enables integration across everything the business does. It’s compatible where you need it to be.
Getting a Cloud-Based CRM System
The good news is that it isn’t complicated and you shouldn’t be bearing the hassle. You can have a tailored cloud-based CRM system using the Microsoft Dynamics 365 created for you by Hitachi Solutions. This will centralise all of the different functions that your salesforce need, and ensure seamless customer service and implementation of strategy.