It is unnecessary to say that in order to thrive in 2018, all small businesses must remain prepared to utilize the latest technology in hand. Whether it is sales forecasting with the help of a cloud based CRM systems , big data analysis, or even digital marketing and social media, it is technology that holds the key to communicating with the consumers on their individual terms. At that too possibly, in the least intrusive way, so that it provides the consumers a convenient and clear path that eventually leads to a sale.CRM software returns an average of $5.60 for every dollar spent. Click To Tweet
As modern technology is advancing at a breakneck speed, businesses can often find themselves unable to stay on trend or keep themselves updated on the latest technological developments.
It is true, that it takes a significant amount of money and time to implement a new solution across a company and this is the exact reason we cannot blame small businesses for being so skeptical of adopting smart business solutions when they remain unsure if this technology will stand the test of time. A critical problem that plagues prospective users of CRM solution systems in particular, since Customer Relationship Management has evolved a lot since its inception when the term was coined in 1995.
A CRM implementation is perhaps one of the most complex yet at the same instance most transforming product adoption that a small business organization can undergo. Requiring all departments in the company to cleanse the data before migrating it, train the employees in getting used to the new software, and then most necessarily catch up with the backlogs of the works that have been delayed by the change in the organizational process.
Therefore, it might take some time before small businesses can really start to benefit from the new CRM solution, although it is well worth the sacrifice, especially if they understand that the product adoption is future-proofed.
Once a small and medium business has identified that it needs a CRM system, the primary obstacle it may encounter is whether its CRM solution should be an on-premise or a cloud based CRM system. Now, we know all businesses are different and so it would be an irresponsible act to advise either way. Since businesses should always adopt a product that best suits their individual needs.
Nevertheless, there are clear advantages and disadvantages of both these CRM systems as illustrated below:
Those businesses having a long history in trade and commerce will surely be familiar with on-premise CRM solutions, which can be installed on local networks and is most commonly developed or administered by a permanent member of IT staffs, employed by the organization. On-premise CRM software platforms are generally unreachable for anyone out of the network, which makes it an ideal CRM solution for small business employees that do not need remote access to the software.
On-premise CRM also aids with security, as only permanent staffs working in the organization gets access to the CRM system.
Many businesses also prefer Capital Expenditure (CapEx) versus the modern day subscription-based model (OpEx) of the software for accounting purposes.
Therefore the decision to implement an On-Premise CRM or a Cloud Based CRM solution, not only lies in the hands of the marketing and sales, or IT and Ops, but also with Finance.
Moreover, on-premise CRM solutions can often be left behind with technological upgrades, since many small businesses may not choose to periodically upgrade their CRM platform due to lack of compatibility with their customized solution, as well as the fear of losing data or the disruption it will cause to the routine use of the software.
Additionally, with the CRM data stored in the local server, which is not accessible from outside the network, this can also create a bigger data risk than cloud based CRM solutions that can be accessed from online portals.
This is because, there are several instances when users are forced to share their customer data in CRM via external communicational platforms or emails for the purpose of networking or sales calls, thoughtless of the alarming fact that this data being sent could be compromised.
This where the real benefits of a cloud based CRM system come into play. Since a cloud based CRM solution is inherently future proof.
With live updates released on a regular basis, online cloud based CRM platforms are constantly optimized, as well as well guarded against all latest cyber threats.
Whether it is an improvement to be done on the user interface, an adherence to be made to the latest General Data Protection Regulation (EU) law, or even for a major product update, cloud based CRM platforms like ConvergeHub and others use regular and subtle updates. Therefore, unburdening the CRM users by guaranteeing them minimal disruption to their work.
Integrations are also made much simpler when the data is stored in the cloud, with several web-based systems making product integration as easy as ‘drag and drop’ functionalities, which is becoming increasingly useful given the value of marketing products and solutions via social media platforms.
Easy to use CRM platforms, especially those that boast of their marketing automation features, should always embrace the cutting-edge modern communication technology for the CRM users to get the most out of sales and marketing. Therefore, small businesses that still use on-premise CRM software that predate the advent of modern social media platforms, often find themselves stuck with outdated marketing strategies, as popular integrations are almost impossible to implement without a major product update.
Is future proofing CRM technology ever truly possible?
While adopting cloud based CRM platforms like ConvergeHub can help to future-proof your small business endeavors, honestly speaking, there is really no way to predict the direction in which technology will go.
However, as of date, cloud based CRM system merely offers us the option of constantly staying up-to-date, providing us with every possible advantage as CRM technology advances with time.
Nevertheless, to sum up, small businesses that are capable enough to justify the time investment and financial outlay and benefit from the limitless product integration of a SaaS-based software should seriously consider using a cloud based CRM solution, which is also easy to use.
Since implementing a cloud based CRM for small businesses in the modern times will at least ensure future proofing your CRM solution until the next breakthrough in technology- as for what that will be, your guess is as good as mine.