How Cloud-Based CRM is Changing the Business Landscape


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The business world is constantly changing and advancing. While there might not be anything wrong with the older ways of doing things, new technologies and ideas are usually more attractive.

In the realm of customer service and satisfaction of clients’ needs, cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) solutions are leading the charge. Are you fully tapping into the power of the cloud?

The evolution of CRM

Over the years, CRM systems have evolved from physical help desks and massive telephone systems to software and cloud-based options. According to Mailflo, a tool that turns Gmail into a customer support tool, it’s not as much about the power of new computing capabilities and technologies as it is the change in how customers think in 2014.

Businesses are “having to do their best to not just draw in new customers from every possible direction, but also having to compete with new challengers in order to retain their customer base.”

To meet those needs, CRM providers are beginning to explore the possibilities of customized options and capabilities. If you’ve never used CRM or haven’t considered the switch to a cloud-based solution, now may be the time.

The many benefits of cloud-based CRM

While each individual business will discover unique benefits and uses, the following advantages have been widely cited, regardless of the industry:

Information centralization. The beauty of the cloud is that it centralizes all the data it stores. Instead of having to hunt down reports, files, and figures in different locations, you get all the information you need in one place. Even better is the fact that you can access it from anywhere.

Easily shared information. Because all your data is centrally located, it’s also easy to share. Cloud-based CRM enables you to grant users permission to access certain files, build reports, or review issues. Best of all, there’s no need to toggle between multiple programs and software. Everything is right where you need it: safely tucked away in the cloud.

Increased sales. This benefit can only be unlocked if you use your CRM to its full potential. When correctly implemented and managed, cloud-based CRM empowers companies to anticipate the needs of existing customers and increase sales through such tactics as better timing, cross-selling, and determining which customers have the greatest lifetime value.

Better marketing. When you’re more able to understand the needs and pain points of your customers, your marketing will become easier and more productive. Ultimately you’ll be able to focus on “a more personal approach and the development of new or improved products and services in order to win more business in the future.”

Cost savings. While the focus is on your relationship with the customer, it ultimately comes down to cost. The good news is that cloud-based CRM is highly cost-effective. In most situations, immediate financial savings are apparent. That’s because there’s no need for networking, hardware, or a complicated infrastructure. Employees can be quickly trained, and the need for IT labor and management is greatly diminished.

BYOD compatible. As the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend grows at many offices and businesses, cloud-based CRM obviously becomes the preferred choice. Because it can be accessed from any device and is not dependent on a company’s physical servers, BYOD-friendly businesses won’t miss a beat.

What does the future hold for CRM and the customer-business relationship? While there’s no way of telling, Mailflo suggests we will continue to see an emphasis on personalization, mobility, and integration.

Now may be the time to make the jump to the cloud. Your customers — and your balance sheet — will thank you.

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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