There are a significant number of factors to consider before purchasing the best hosted CRM, as a plethora of vendors exist that offer a wide array of capabilities and features. The best process for determining which particular hosted CRM option is right for a specific company is to conduct a substantial analysis of its current and projected CRM needs, review the selection of CRM vendors which suit those needs, and thoroughly evaluate the installation and maintenance concerns of the implementation of such a solution would require.
What is Hosted CRM?
Hosted CRM solutions are Software as a Service (SaaS) products that allow companies to subscribe to a vendor’s CRM system where the data is stored in an external location maintained by the vendor. This allows for easier access to company data via cloud technology wherever you may have an office. A hosted CRM system is also great for maintaining a remote workforce as we emerge into the hybrid workplace model era.
CRM is important for SMBs and enterprises. However, selecting the best hosted CRM vendor can be a pretty daunting task for the decision-makers of a company. Keep on reading for some important considerations to make before making the decision to implement a hosted CRM solution and transform how your company can handle customer data.
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CRM System Compatibility
Companies should determine what specific needs they require of their CRM before committing to a purchase. Typical concerns include the system and interface requirements of a company’s present software and applications, as well as the ability of the current system to accommodate an influx of greater levels of data.
An ideal method for determining the CRM needs of a particular business is to develop an architecture diagram that shows where the CRM infrastructure will fit into those of existing systems. Such analysis will help determine whether the required solution should be enterprise-based or individualized for specific departments, or what particular features and CRM benefits, such as mobile connectivity, are necessary.
Mobile-Friendly Hosted CRM
With more customers preferring the use of hosted CRM and mobile applications for increased accessibility, it is important to consider if your selected vendors offer all or at least most of the hosted CRM features on their mobile applications.
Mobile-hosted CRM applications can be more useful than the desktop version of a hosted CRM due to employees being able to update information on the CRM wherever they are. This has proven to be more effective in helping companies achieve their sales targets faster with access to more quality CRM leads and customer information. Hence, it is important to ensure that you select a user-friendly CRM your employees want to use.
CRM Vendor Selection
Perhaps one of the most significant concerns indigenous to the decision-making purchase of a hosted CRM product is security, as such a purchase delivers a company’s valued customer base and proprietary information into the hands of a third party. The evaluation of a vendor’s security measures is an utmost priority and requires the discernment of what sort of security access the host company will have, as well as how a company’s data will be monitored and backed up. The protection of customer information is essential to ensure customer privacy and confidentiality.
Other criteria for determining a specific vendor include gauging whether the potential hosted CRM software can meet the needs of a company, as well as measuring the adaptability and scalability of a product to accommodate a variation of business climates and applications. Another essential determinant is whether the software is open source or proprietary, as this trait will significantly impact both cost and user capability. Data import and exportation, and flexibility of reporting are also important considerations of a product’s capabilities.
CRM Reporting Features
The reporting capabilities of a hosted CRM are one of the most important features to help understand your business. With a hosted CRM, you are able to understand customer touchpoints with more data and figure out the plan of action to combat each issue. hosted CRM reports are able to show businesses the success rate, failure rate, and projected CRM sales and revenue based on current data trends. This feature would allow your business to understand customer trends better and upscale or downscale depending on customer demand.
Hosted CRM although easy to deploy, can be quite costly for a small business. Even though hosted CRM systems boast tons of features and benefits that can entice any business, it is important to assess if your company can achieve the desired CRM ROI by deploying a hosted CRM solution. If the cost of the hosted CRM subscription outweighs its benefits, it is safe to say that your business may not be ready for a hosted CRM.
Is the Hosted CRM Automated?
Hosted CRM solutions are a great solution for automating data collection from a company’s website, social media, email, and call center outreach efforts. However, if a hosted CRM can automatically collect customer data from these sources without manual data input, it would be useful in providing accurate data without human errors or the chance for duplication. Automation within your hosted CRM solution can also free up your employees from data entry tasks to help them focus better on other aspects of growing the business while the hosted CRM solution handles and manages customer data.
CRM Maintenance and Technical Support
Although the bulk of the hardware supporting an on-demand, hosted CRM product is operated and maintained remotely, it is still essential to gauge how effectively a hosted CRM solution can be utilized on-site. Ease of use and technical support costs should all be considered before purchasing a hosted CRM. Companies should determine what support measures come with the product, as well as how much training employees and IT staff will need to operate and maintain a hosted CRM solution.
Check Hosted CRM Reviews
It is imperative that your business selects a hosted CRM solution provider that has previous experience in your industry. Consulting with hosted CRM reviews would be helpful to understand this and determine the right type of hosted CRM vendor for your business. Pay attention to customer grievances to determine if the hosted CRM provider is capable of providing adequate customer support.