How to make the most of cloud-based CRM

SUMMARY:

Want to make the most of cloud-based CRM? Infor’s customer experience chief Jason Rushforth has three simple but effective tips to help you succeed

Business woman hand presenting word CRM with grass, cloudy sky background © WavebreakMediaMicro - Fotolia.comThere are good reasons market research by IDC and Gartner indicates that 62 percent of CRM software will be in the cloud by 2018. The flexibility and availability of the cloud vastly increases the value of any CRM. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would consider using an on-premise CRM solution five or ten years from now.

Because cloud-based CRM has the power to transform your sales and marketing process, you need to start designing strategies to harness that power, including these:

Be social first

No business can ignore the selling power of social media, nearly all of which is cloud based. It’s much easier to take advantage of social media if your CRM also resides in the cloud, so that it can more readily measure, manage, and monetize customer attitudes and actions.Easy integration is an essential enabler of an effective social presence. When prospects and customers can converse with you over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, email, text, or whatever medium they frequent, and if those interactions are all available for tracking and analysis by your CRM, you can cultivate a richer, more productive relationship with every customer.

Emphasize mobile

Most mobile technologies are cloud based because that’s the only practical way to offer the universal availability that mobile users expect. The majority of online interactions now take place on mobile devices, and a growing proportion of online purchases do too. A well-designed, cloud-based CRM can support your mobile sales and marketing strategy in a way that encourages mobile users to turn to you at places and times they never could before.In addition, a mobile-ready CRM can be a powerful asset to your sales force. When a representative can get quick access to account and customer information, update opportunities, and schedule activities, all on a mobile device, they become vastly more productive and can stay focused on delivering great customer service.

Make simplicity a priority

A strategy involving software that requires round-the-clock attention from your full-time IT staff is an antiquated concept that wastes time and money. You should insist on a cloud-based CRM solution that puts almost no demands on your data center and is easy for anyone to manage from anywhere. Business leaders that allow themselves to get distracted by technological details are robbing themselves of the most valuable and irreplaceable opportunities to enrich their customer relationships.It’s time to get started with your journey to the cloud.  Choose a CRM cloud solution that will help you achieve greater sales and build a more successful business, now and into the future.

Image credit: Business woman hand presenting word CRM with grass, cloudy sky background © WavebreakMediaMicro – Fotolia.com.