Marketing & SEO

Cloud-Based CRM System – Is It Worth Your Money?

Muhammad Ali Khan 17 September, 2018

Cloud-Based CRM is a customer relationship management technology that integrates CRM software, CRM devices, and customer information. It then makes it available to the users on the web i.e. in the cloud.

cloud-based CRM main image

In today’s digital world, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a priceless apparatus in online businesses. The proper CRM solutions will enable your business to develop by offering a deeper understanding of deals, profitability, and client commitment. While opting for ill-advised options can devastate you in the worst possible ways at the worst possible times. Undoubtedly, technology is still missing the genuineness of a personalized touch. However, it still has its own benefits and is continuously developing. Starting with simple offline software, now we are using cloud-based CRM.

A well-set-up CRM mechanism improves the productivity and efficiency of a company manifold. It helps in identifying up-selling and cross-selling opportunities. It also assists in monitoring the leads of a firm and enhancing customer services for retaining clientele. A properly executed CRM system attracts new prospects and helps you scrutinize their data. This helps build better-sustaining practices which in turn becomes evident through the lens of your sales operations.

What are the CRM Solutions?

An extensive amount of organizations is currently active in the UK and all over the world, providing CRM solutions to several businesses. From cloud-based CRM to offline CRM software, each company has certain unique services that they provide. But the problem arises when you have to dive into the ocean of CRM solutions providing companies. It seems as if each one of them is offering similar profits.

CRM Solutions image

This makes the process of selection somewhat confusing and time-consuming. The first step in choosing a customer relationship management services provider is to know your business needs. It is an understood fact that the needs of CRM for small businesses somewhat differ from other businesses. But this doesn’t make it any less useful for small-scale businesses.

Do You Need CRM for Small Businesses?

Customer Relationship Management is as essential for a small business as it is for a large-scale one. The significance of CRM for both types of businesses cannot be weighed to establish which one needs it more. Both extensive and independent ventures have a space for CRM solutions. However, CRM for small business owners has evolved into a solid stage for keeping up great client connections. This has been the main reason for different small-scale organizations to invest generously in CRM solutions. Many companies have started using cloud-based CRM to keep up with the new trends and improve the proficiency of their existing CRM systems.

Many discussions are being carried out to establish a once-and-for-all answer to the question troubling everyone. The question is – is a cloud-based CRM system worth your money? The importance of online CRM systems cannot be stressed enough for companies with a minimum of five clients.

Are online CRM systems worthy?

Online CRM systems have unparalleled advantages. A cloud-based CRM is a great way to cut expenses short and boost revenues. SMBs can do it by imitating the CRM techniques utilized by their competitors running larger businesses. The online CRM systems for small-scale businesses enable them to choose a more straightforward option for the beginning. They can work their way up and gradually integrate into complete CRM solutions.

With its free and straightforward strategies, Google has made customer relationship management a piece of the cake. On the other hand, Microsoft and IBM are mainly providing CRM for small business. Let’s dive in to get a deeper insight into online customer relationship management systems.

What’s this hype about Cloud-Based CRM?

Rebecca Wettemann, the VP of Nucleus Research, believes that “online CRM system integrates various crucial social abilities in generally moderate bundles, which makes it the most needed client obtaining and maintaining the resource.”

cloud crm providers

A cloud-based CRM service helps you track all your business prospects, the adequacy of advertising techniques, and customer sales statistics. It is exceptionally useful in creating quantifiable results that can track and record the whole business execution.

Here are a few plus points of the online CRM systems

Easy Access

The key to building a successful customer relationship management system is to make your online CRM system as easily accessible as possible. It is important for the sales representatives to have access to the system even if they are in-field. It isn’t always possible to carry a laptop or office system wherever they go. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to have CRM solutions that can be accessed on all devices, provided that they have internet access. A cloud-based CRM, bolstered by secure and reliable cloud VPN services, is an ideal CRM solution for companies as it allows all-time access. It is extremely beneficial to have online CRM for small business as it removes the limitation of confinement to one computer and allows instant access. This seamless accessibility, coupled with the added security features of cloud VPN services, ensures that your CRM system remains readily available and protected, facilitating efficient customer relationship management in diverse business scenarios.

Flexible Integration

Keeping critical data about client relationship is important for any business. Organizations usually utilize CRM devices to store data. The already existing features used for customer relationship management, like, messages and emails, are also connected to the CRM. This helps in the continuous streaming of data between you and your client. A cloud-based CRM influences the integration system and makes it smooth and uncomplicated to control.

Teamwork Promotion

A cloud-based CRM has no place for interference and obstruction. It enables the users to cooperate and work as a team in one place. With each individual having his/her login details online, CRM systems allow several users to log in simultaneously. This feature is quite helpful in securing the data and stopping any kind of data-stealing threat.

Improved Production

An efficient method to improve productivity is the cloud-based CRM. Especially research has shown that using CRM for small business has resulted in improved production rates. This happens because online CRM solutions enable employees to track clients all the more effectively from any place. This helps them in engaging with customers personally to gather helpful information. This, in turn, conveys significant leads to expand productivity.

Information Backup

Cloud-based customer relationship management system enables the company to keep a record of their customers securely. Almost all organizations keep a record of classified data about their clients. A cloud-based CRM makes it easy to store huge bulks of data and recover it easily if ever there is a disruption in the system. CRM providers develop a secure and strong backup plan to save organizations from any kind of data trespassing.

Have you decided yet?

Many organizations have seen excellent results since online CRM systems were introduced. It is equally beneficial for small and large ventures. Therefore, none of them should disregard cloud-based CRM’s influence on sales. Obsolete and outdated points of view should be challenged regarding online CRM solutions by investigating feasible and viable options to enhance client connections.

Need Inspiration?

We have you covered. We took it upon ourselves to look around for the best CRM providers. After reviewing hundreds of them in terms of their features, customer-experience, pricing, and profits, we settled on the following five.

Here is a list of the best cloud-based CRM providers, especially for UK-based businesses:

  1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  2. Oracle CRM
  3. HubSpot CRM
  4. Salesforce CRM
  5. Zoho CRM

Keep reading if you need a deeper insight into what these CRM systems provide and at what prices.

Five Best Cloud-Based CRM Providers

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

One of the ideal approaches to guarantee careful supervision of your customer relationship management is entrusting it to an ensured provider, like Microsoft. Microsoft has been around for quite a long time, providing online CRM solutions to many large and small-scale businesses.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM software

Best Plan: Their best plan is Dynamics 365, providing access to all applications in one complete and cost-efficient bundle.

Options Included: This plan covers all options like Finance and Operations, Retail, Sales, Customer Service, Project Service Automation, Field Service, Marketing, Microsoft Social Engagement, and PowerApps.

Pricing: The Dynamic 365 plan is available for $210 per user/month.

What’s exclusive?

One of the most striking features of Dynamics 365 is that it provides smart information regarding client commitment. This information is crucial for any business to succeed. It allows you to develop a deeper understanding of customer requirements. It enables you to reach conclusions, unveil customer behaviors and foresee what they may require.

It also helps you focus on the correct leads. The granular customer segmentation makes it easier to recognize the most interested customer in your service.

The system also has the assistance of Power BI, which helps predict data-driven business results. This can aid you in closely monitoring how sales are transforming and if any customer is having second thoughts about your services.

This cloud-based CRM is characterized by its profound visual representations. Relying on the Power BI service once again, Dynamics 365 provides intelligible customer information.

Being one of the best online CRM systems, it utilizes whatever amount of data you have that has open access. This way it can examine your client details and the record of communication with them under the similar tab.

Oracle CX CRM

Whether you’re interested in CRM for a small business or a large one, Oracle CX Cloud Suite is here to deliver. Organizations can utilize the client experience to separate, organize, and enhance business outcomes. One of the most comprehensive, coordinated, and flexible CRM solutions systems you could wish for.

Oracle CX CRM software

Best Plan: They don’t really offer any best plan, but they’re flexible in the services they provide, i.e., you don’t have to buy all of them in the package. You can choose whatever fulfills your requirements.

Options Included: It offers services like sales, CPQ, service, and marketing clouds. They also provide social and customer data management options.

Pricing: Oracle CX Cloud Suite is available for £72.44or $100.00 per user/per month/per service.

What’s exclusive?

Oracle CX enables you to amplify the success chances in customer relationship management with the help of its calculated data. This is one of the latest online CRM systems that use a multichannel domain for improved administration, and that too at a minimal cost.

This cloud-based CRM also keeps a check on the online forums to recognize and help solve unrealized issues.

It provides a 360-degree understanding of your business and customer needs. You can access sales, marketing, and service information all under the same roof.

These kinds of CRM solutions best incorporate all the customer details to keep track of their interaction throughout. This helps shape future tasks to be more productive.

Oracle CX Cloud Suite has the ability to adapt to your business smoothly and, in turn, provide a better client benefit association.

HubSpot CRM

Another great option in CRM solutions is the HubSpot CRM. It is perceptive, economical, and efficient. As far as customer relationship management is concerned, HubSpot is a reliable source. By infusing inbound into CRM, it guarantees to build and maintain a strong and progressive clientele.

HubSpot CRM system

Best Plan: What else could be better than a Free Plan? That’s right. HubSpot CRM offers its CRM services for free without any time limit. Literally, Free Forever.

Options Included: HubSpot provides an extensive list of options for CRM for small business. The most important features include contact management, contact & company insights, company records, contact activity, a lead analytics dashboard, conversations inbox, team email, live chat and calling etc.

Pricing: It is an ideal option for businesses that are just starting. With their free plan, they can be declared the best CRM providers, as you can explore all its features for free for forever.

What’s exclusive?

HubSpot provides the best CRM solutions and that too free of cost. You can bring the whole of your workplace team to HubSpot as it offers unlimited user accounts. All the CRM user accounts are free and each user has access to all the features. In terms of customer data storage, HubSpot allows you to keep the record of almost a million companies and their contacts.

HubSpot follows an inbound-driven CRM strategy. It infuses inbound devices, such as landing pages, leads, marketing computerization, and SM supervision with CRM elements as sales, contact management, and task observer. This kind of CRM for small business proves to be very efficient.

The users are granted access to the HubSpot Community which is always available for help if they are stuck somewhere. The aim of this intimate network is to supply the users with an active forum where they can make inquiries, seek replies, and interact with experts from around the globe about HubSpot.

Salesforce CRM

In 1999, customer relationship management systems went through a complete shift with the arrival of cloud-based CRM programs. Salesforce CRM was among the pioneers of designing e-computing systems for organizations globally. It made interaction with the clients smooth resulting in improved sales and business growth.

Salesforce crm system

Best Plan: Their best plan is the Lightning Enterprise providing a thoroughly customizable sales CRM system for your organization.

Options Included: Salesforce CRM provides a bundle of options like account and contact management, opportunity management, customer and sales details management, and customizable sales process, etc.

Pricing: It starts with a minimal amount of £20 and goes up to £240 per user/per month. Also, it is billed annually.

What’s exclusive?

One of the pioneers of online CRM systems, Salesforce CRM has maintained its dominant status for more than a decade. It keeps on adding fresh features to its already existing extensive set of options.

What makes Salesforce the boss in the CRM industry is its remarkable capacity to be completely customized. In other words; customer lock-in or dependence of the customer on its vendor for services.

Some other CRM solutions provided by Salesforce CRM include an uninterrupted roadmap for work, extensive social coordination, and a strong third-party app marketplace.

One of the major pros of this CRM system is that it provides a one-month free trial of its limited features. This gives you an insight of what it actually is and what it can do for your customer relationship management.

Zoho CRM

Serving more than 50,000 clients, Zoho CRM is ranked among the most famous cloud-based CRM systems. Famous for being user-friendly and options-abundant, Zoho provides straightforward CRM solution to boost sales-rate, marketing, and client benefit methods. Zoho is an intuitive program that can be customized to fit your business needs.

Zoho CRM software

Best Plan: Zoho provides several plans with the Enterprise edition being the most popular one.

Options Included: The options in Zoho CRM system include multi-user portals, custom modules

Pricing: The prices start with a minimal amount of £14 and rise up to £85 per user. They also provide a free edition that gives access to a maximum of three users and is ideal for a beginner level business. They also provide a 15 days free trial, as well. They also have two sorts of billing option available i.e. monthly and yearly. You can choose the suitable one; however, the Ultimate edition is only available for the yearly plan.

What’s exclusive?

Apart from different payment plans and free trial, there are other exclusive features of Zoho CRM, as well. With its extensive features, Zoho provides the best CRM for small and medium businesses.

Zoho CRM allows you to have complete command over your business with a number of lead and contact management aspects. After being integrated into the system, leads are coordinated with potential buyers as soon as possible.

One of the many CRM solutions that Zoho provides is recognizing inactive leads. It does it with the help of features like The Business Card View and Notes Section. The former allows you to instantly approach client data in one place without looking here and there. While the latter makes it possible to relate to the previous context in which you interacted with the customer by listing down all the previous conversations.

Another remarkable feature of Zoho CRM is that it gives you an opportunity tracking tool which helps you locate new customers according to the business cycle. It aids in calculating the order’s magnitude, too. It also keeps a track of contacts and contenders in the relevant field to help you create more effective strategies.

It also helps you have an effective online presence. On social media websites, it helps in catching leads and then observes their manners to link you with them. Moreover, it allows integration with Google apps like Outlook.

The Final Decision

After reading this detailed review of several cloud-based CRM providers, the burden has moved on to your shoulders. No matter how much information you are given on each individual topic, in the end, it’s you who has to decide. The final decision about your customer relationship management services has to be a well-informed one and not an ill-advised one. Once you have developed a better understanding of your requirements from a CRM system, only then can it be done. After that, the next thing is to contact your desired CRM provider. However, before finalizing a provider you must arrange a meeting or give them a call. It is better to have all your queries answered that we might have left out.

The online CRM systems are a great decision for providing CRM for small business. It aids in giving the essential CRM services without the need of an IT expert. When a company is providing the CRM services it automatically becomes responsible for all sorts of issues that may arise regarding it. They will be in charge of dealing with the product, services, and resolving all glitches and bugs that emerge. They will oversee and redesign the system if required. So, that eliminates the need for an additional IT expert.

With all that information bestowed upon you, now it’s time for you to indulge in the experience of hiring a cloud-based CRM provider. So, it’s better to get going now.

One response to “Cloud-Based CRM System – Is It Worth Your Money?”

  1. First off I want to say great blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thanks!|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tags: client support customer customer support
Author: Muhammad Ali Khan
Muhammad Ali Khan is a skilled digital marketing expert at Intelicle – A Web Design Development and SEO agency based in Nottingham UK.