Many software companies now offer web based CRM for small businesses to help them benefit from technical advancements, gain competitive advantages and enjoy a level playing field with large enterprises.
With SaaS CRM small businesses too can operate globally, hire local talents and create an integrated enterprise environment. Introduction of web based enterprise application suites has brought down the cost of technical solutions significantly.
Earlier companies used to spend millions on acquiring proprietary software and then customizing and integrating it. But now they don’t intend to lose time and money on installing CRM solutions in their ecosystem. Rather, they are frequently opting for downloadable web based solutions that are available in ready to use modules.
However, the task of choosing SaaS CRM vendor isn’t easy, especially as the market demand for sales force automation software is growing and the service providers are struggling to offer advanced level software solutions at budget friendly rates. The situation has further been complicated by the various service level agreements (SLAs) offered by vendors.
SMEs need to be careful about selecting the right kind of services that would resolve their business issues. Listed below are certain factors that SMEs need to keep in mind while selecting web based customer management solution for their business.
Flexibility: Introduction of web based CRM has promoted demand for on-demand customer management solutions that can be adjusted according to the specific business needs of the client. Flexibility of the software that will allow the business to create its own process within the system is therefore an important determinant for SMEs to select an online customer management solution.
Mobility: Mobility is another important aspect to consider while selecting a SaaS solution. A CRM system that can be deployed to users’ mobile devices will allow your sales team to always stay in touch with their prospects and the support team sitting in office. They can receive live feed updates on their prospects and deals to optimize their efforts.
Functionality: The SME must base its choice on online and offline functionalities of the application. Some customer management applications allow integration between online and offline modes that automatically update data inserted during outage when the services are restored. This will save you time in doubly entering the data into the system and minimize chances of data loss.
Data storage: Is the data inserted on the CRM software getting stored online? SMEs need to inquire about data storage and backup facilities offered by service providers. Some vendors integrate storage facilities in their service portal. But if it’s not available then the users might have to find storage facilities separately.
Integration: The CRM needs to be integrated to enterprise application ecosystem to offer better insight on business performance. SMEs must choose a system that can be easily integrated with other enterprise applications and the process of integration isn’t time consuming.
Software maintenance: The service level agreement will have the details regarding the vendor’s responsibilities in maintaining the software and upgrading it time to time. Often with SaaS applications responsibilities of software and infrastructure maintenance rest with the service provider but the degree of support offered vary widely. You may therefore consider the terms and conditions mentioned in the SLA to ensure that those meet your demands.
Author bio: Patricia Jones is an online writer and market researcher. She takes interest in writing about SaaS CRM. She has vast experience in writing about sales force automation software for businesses.