Investing in the right type of CRM software is not an easy decision. Making the wrong decision at the start could lead to even more challenging decisions later on. Going after the biggest brand is not always the best solution since some of the well-known CRM software systems are not only expensive to buy but also too expensive to maintain. Every time you need to customize your product, you may have to pay for expensive consultants to update and maintain it.
Thanks to the Internet and new web- and cloud-based CRM software solutions, a new gate of possibilities has opened. The new web solutions are not only a better value than the traditional CRM software, but also a number of other advantages that you need to consider before making a decision. There are typically three kinds of CRM software:
Windows CRM Software
The majority of traditional CRM software are Windows applications, which come with a few challenges. The software needs to be installed on each representative’s computer. And each copy needs to be set up to point to the central server and database.
- Fully customizable to a company’s needs
- Expensive entry due to high license fees
- High IT costs for setup and continuous maintenance
- Challenging integration with existing software and hardware setup (e.g., firewalls)
- Generally high complexity in user interface
- Software updates and patches have to be applied on each user’s PC
- Generally ties in your business into their system
Web CRM Software
According to Gartner’s analysis, web CRM software is increasingly replacing the traditional Windows CRM software. Around one-third of CRM software on the market is web-based. The major advantages over Windows CRM software are as follows:
- Easy entry due to no license fees, but rather low monthly subscription fees
- No IT cost since web CRM can be accessed over any web browser and doesn’t need to be installed
- No integration issues with existing software/hardware setup
- Updates and patches are applied automatically without interrupting the user
- Generally simpler user interface and easier to use
- Not tied in; entire data can be downloaded at any time and moved to another provider
- Not as customizable as Windows CRM solutions
- Speed might fluctuate depending on the location of the web CRM provider and its distance from your business
- Due to the provider’s investment in their own data center, subscription prices might be higher than cloud CRM software
Cloud CRM Software
Cloud-based CRM software is relatively new to the market and is based on the web CRM software architecture. They provide the same advantages of web-based over Windows-based CRM software. However, they are more flexible.
- Provides all the advantages of web CRM software over Windows CRM solutions
- Due the nature of data distribution within cloud, the location of the service is as close as it can be to your business. The result is a much faster performance
- Generally supports mobile applications such as iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, and Android
- Due to spreading of data load over the cloud and its flexible scalability, cloud CRM software solutions are the cheapest solutions
- Not as customizable as Windows CRM solutions
How Can Limitations of Web CRM Software Affect Your Business?
There is a considerable limitation to web CRM software that needs to be taken into account, which is limited data access.
Most web CRM software—even from well-known brands such as Highrise—is single–user-oriented. The company manager that initially buys the subscriptions has to send invitations to each representative in order to create a team. However, each individual has total control over how to create a customer’s record (e.g., the record could be created as public or private). The former would allow the customer’s data to be visible by the entire company, but the latter is only visible to the representative himself/herself.
This approach has many complications:
- Without the consent of the salesperson, nobody else at the company, including the CEO, has any right whatsoever to access the private contact.
- Theoretically, the salesperson could just export the private contact, delete the record, leave the company, and take the client with him/her.
- Customer support would suffer since if a customer calls in with an inquiry, nobody else would be able to access the private record.
- Marketing campaigns would be inaccurate since nobody has access to the entire data.
- Assuring compliance would also be difficult to meet if a government regulatory agency demanded to see the records of a specific contact. This puts the entire business at a severe risk.
How Is the Problem with Limited Data Access in Web CRM Solutions Solved?
In order to solve this problem, there is a need to understand the motivation behind limited data access. Initially, this might have been introduced to allow salespeople to hide their sales lead from one another. In the competitive sales environment, this is quite natural as the salespeople mainly live off the commissions they receive for each sale.
The optimal solution to this problem is to satisfy both requirements. The problem would be solved if the private records were still visible to the CEO or the sales manager, who stands above the competitive sales environment. The sales manager would still be able to have full visibility over the contacts while, at the same time, the private sales leads would only be visible to the actual salesperson. We have named this solution as Management Driven Security Architecture™.
This would solve several issues on many different levels. Marketing campaigns can now be run by the management due to visibility of all data. Customer service would be able to provide support to any customer calling in. And most of all, compliance is ensured. Last but not least, representatives may flag a record to be deleted, which would require approval from the management. This guarantees a company-wide ownership and transparency.
Introducing a Social Cloud CRM Software Solution
We at Venus Cloud Ltd. have been spending a considerable amount of time researching how to make the optimal CRM software to keep you and your customers happy. We would like to introduce Chasebot, the new cloud CRM software that will revolutionize the CRM market in the second quarter of 2012 .
CRM is an essential tool for any business looking to improve its relationship with its customer. The result is improved sales, marketing, and customer support, all of which lead to more profit.
We have designed a revolutionary social cloud CRM software capable of automating many essential processes within your company. Chasebot is not about reinventing the wheel, but taking the existing ideas to a new level. In particular, we have focused on the following guidelines:
- The user interface must feel so natural and simple that the representative knows how to use it intuitively immediately without any prior training.
- A Guidance Panel™ should help the representative whenever he/she has problems fulfilling a task.
- A Management Driven Security Architecture™ should solve the limitations of web CRM solutions mentioned earlier.
- Sales force automation should support sales representatives in their tasks.
- A to-do list should contain the daily tasks and remind the representative what to take care of next.
- Deals should be traceable and remind the representative to make follow-up calls.
- Any interaction with the customer should be recorded and summed up within pie charts for further analysis.
- The CRM software should be accessible from any mobile device such as iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android.
- Chasebot integrates with your product page on Facebook and captures the basic information of your fans as potential customers.
Chasebot is coming to make a difference—a difference between what CRM software is today and what it was meant to be. Imagine if you could have a product page on facebook and interact with your fans, prospects and customers. Every fan that would click the ‘Like’ button would join your fan-base-club. Now imagine you had a CRM software that was capable to extract the – legally obtained – basic information of your fans. And now imagine what business advantage it would give you over your competition to get to know your potential customers so well? Chasebot gives you that edge you need in your business to make a difference.
Now a word about design – you just need to google for existing CRM solutions to see how complicated and intimidating some of them have been designed. Throwing in a complex data grid with small icons on the screen won’t do any good to productivity. The art of software design is usability and intuitive interface, both helping the user focus on the actual tasks rather than learning how to do it. Chasebot is just easy to use.