Why can Cloud-based CRMs like Salesforce have an edge their non-Cloud counterparts?
Before we get started, if you’d like a refresher on what a CRM is, and how it can generate more sales for your business, head over to this blog post which will give you a quick lowdown before we dive into the benefits of a Cloud-based CRM.
A CRM is, essentially, a Customer Relationship Management system – a central space where businesses can store and manage data to support sales and generate new leads.
What does Cloud-based mean?
When did Cloud-based computing start?
Cloud-based systems can be traced back to the 1960’s when DARPA presented MIT with funding to develop technology allowing for a computer to be used by two or more people, simultaneously.
Marc Benioff and Salesforce: why Cloud-based?
Fast-forward 30 or so years later: it’s 1999 and we are at the beginning of the Salesforce journey, and diving into the story of the world’s Number 1 CRM and it’s founder, Marc Benioff.
In Benioff’s book, Behind the Cloud, he describes four key reasons as to why he developed a Cloud, subscription-based CRM
- The ease of access and comfort of being web-based
By using browsers instead of software, which was usually complex to install, Benioff played to the needs and comfort of CRM users.
- Pricing based on customer needs and business growth
Instead of a set software pricing model, Salesforce set out to be a product that grew with the customer, meaning that financial barriers caused by software licences and other things, were avoided.
- Sharing the cost of compute resources
In 1999, buying and running the hardware required for local applications was expensive, and not something all businesses could afford. Cloud-based computing shared the cost.
- Removing the challenges of installation and maintenance
Installation, upgrade, and maintenance processes for software based programs could typically take months to complete. Cloud-based programs such as Salesforce would cut out a lot of this unnecessary time and person-power.
"If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business."
– Marc Benioff
Many of Marc’s reasons to go Cloud-based still stand strong: people’s preference for web browsers, the Salesforce ‘building block’ and subscription model being mouldable to businesses of all shapes and sizes, the removal of lengthy and expensive installation processes.
But why, as a business, should you choose a Cloud-based CRM like Salesforce?
You don’t have a large budget to swallow the up front cost of an on-premise system
You have people on the go who need the ability to log in from anywhere through mobiles, tablets, or other portable devices
You want to have the ability to easily change the features used as your business evolves
You don’t have a large IT department to manage internal servers required to host an on premise solution
You want to have the latest features of a system at your disposal without needing to pay to upgrade your system
Cloud-based and On-premise CRMs have their perks and their place in different businesses. It all depends how you operate – do you have people out in the field or is your business more centralised? Questions like these really are the important part when you’re deciding if going Cloud-based is better for your business.
In a nutshell:
Cloud-based CRMs work for agile businesses who need flexibility as well as capability and connection expanding past the office walls.
Well, it is a little more complex than that. If you want to ask us more questions about whether a Cloud-based CRM is best for your business send us a message and we’ll pick the phone for a chat.