Web Based CRM - Benefits
CRM is a set of business rules, techniques, technologies and practices that gather comprehensive information about customers and then augments the relationship with the customer using that information.
There are two different types of CRM available in the market today. These are on site CRM and hosted or web based CRM.
On site CRM, is hosted on the company's own dedicated server. This means that the company needs to invest in a server, a dedicated IT team and lots of infrastructure. So, it is typically used by large scale enterprises.
Hosted or web based CRM on the other hand is deployed over the internet and are ideal for large as well as small to medium sized companies. It allows a company to reap all the benefits of a CRM system sans the hassles associated with an on site client server CRM tool.
The user interfaces of both these CRM systems are as different as chalk and cheese. While on site CRM systems are developed in VB or Java or C++, web based CRM use a standard web browser. So any employee of the company can access the CRM as long as he/she has access to the internet.
Here are some of the benefits of a web based CRM system.
Reduced cost of ownership: If you compare the cost of web based CRM software with that of an onsite one, you will notice that the difference amongst the two is minuscule. However, if you compare the total cost of ownership which includes several charges like the installation, infrastructure, deployment etc, you will find that there is a huge difference.
Deployment: This is undoubtedly one of the prime reasons for the success of web based CRM. You do not need a CRM client to access it. Yes, a web browser is all that is needed to access the backend.
Information sharing: It is easy to enter, transmit and share information across organizational lines.
CRM Software - Which CRM Will You Choose?
The Benefits of Using CRM Software:
CRM or customer relationship management software, can be a vital tool for small companies to worldwide corporations alike. The main purpose of most CRM software is to help companies track and manage vital information about their customers, allowing the company to stay in contact and better serve and understand their customers, this helps to build great relationships with each and every person that does business with you.
On top of the most important feature outlined in the paragraph above, CRM software also offers a host of other features which vary from platform to platform. Some of those features often include: sales, marketing, email management, customer service, training, professional development, performance management, human resource development, and compensation. By now you should have a better understanding of why your company can benefit from using a reliable CRM solution. You should also know that CRM software can be used through many web based solutions as well as on the clients computer, depending on which works better for you.
How to Choose the Right CRM Software:
First and foremost you need to know what you expect to get out of the software and what areas you need help in building customer relationships. Since, as I mentioned, the uses of these software vary widely, choosing the right CRM will come down to your specific needs. If you realize that you're having trouble tracking sales, find a CRM that offers extensive help in that area. Likewise, a CRM that offers strong support for email management allowing for stronger communication between you and your clients may be more suited towards you and your company.
My personal favorite type of CRM software are the web based versions. What you might lose in functionality, they make up for with technical support and ease of use, as the web based versions are designed to work simple and effectively. However, if you run a large scale company with a team of people that will need to access these tools and data, an installed version will probably benefit you the most because you can install the software on all of the computers in the office. I would also recommend staying away from some of the open-source or free versions out there, in my experience they are difficult to use and tend to lack many important features.
Going Global With the Right Mix of Small Business CRM Solutions
With the weakened dollar, small businesses are eying the possibilities of export. This lucky break demands the use of small business CRM solutions to start the marketing foray right.
Time to Go Collaborative
Small businesses are threatened by the weakening dollar. They are not looking further inward, but outward and beyond where American goods are prized for their quality. The first step they are taking is to establish efficient communication channels as part of their small business CRM solutions - to go collaborative with foreign retailers or businesses.
Getting web-based CRM management saves you the added expense running the system and the trouble of installing it. Since you do not need hardware or software, the installation is quicker than traditional CRM.
As soon as you login, operation of the system is activated. Web-based or service provided small business CRM also gets the system up with internal and collaborative networking features to increase the business' capacity to compete in the exporting business. For added features, all you have to do is sign up for that feature.
Luckily for small businesses, getting web-based or hosted CRM is more affordable than company-managed CRM. They can later go for upgrades when business picks up. Going collaborative will ease the birth pangs of going to export. A small business can establish the needed rapport with allied business and start wooing customers through an easily managed collaborative system.
Internal and External Collaboration
You should prepare your workers for the change, especially those handing data collection and management, finance, sales, and stocks. The shift will mean the familiarity of features like the use of the currency converter and familiarity with time zones.
Inside collaboration is as important as external collaboration. All operations depend on the information to synchronize all activities to avoid costly mistakes. For other collaborative functions, small business CRM solutions must be able to deliver or improve the following:
* Automated entries
* Fax and email merge
* Internet links
* Sales application and tools
Beyond Maximizing Customer Satisfaction
Export business depends heavily on customer satisfaction and retention to keep businesses profitable. Small business CRM solutions deploy features that help your business provide customers individualized relationships. The immediate response and provision of reliable service keeps customers satisfied.
Customer satisfaction is the end goal of CRM, but the other business operations need to seek the leverage to keep the business lucrative. The purchase people need information where to get better supplies at a reduced cost and where to find companies that can deliver these in time. The accounts people have to follow up leads and update accounts, while management has to analyze the trends in global markets.
CRM should be able to give an exhaustive and extensive coverage for the information to keep all systems running. The better the collaborative efforts and the service provided, the more you retain customer loyalty.
Small business CRM solutions look beyond customer satisfaction. It anticipates your business' long term goals. The solutions provide the features needed by your business to cope with export demands right on. There's no way to go now for your business but exports while the dollar is taking a bashing. So get the best CRM collaborative features now.