Hosted CRM Overview

By Robin Wilding
Updated: February 10, 2011

Hosted CRM solutions are incredibly popular within the small-to-medium business space—and for good reason. Most enterprise-sized companies have the man-power to install and run their own CRM and they are able to dedicate employees to its maintenance. As this is rarely a possibility for smaller businesses, SMB companies are jumping at the chance to leverage enterprise-level business intelligence via a hosted CRM solution.

By using a hosted solution your implementation costs are almost nil but the ROI possibilities are significant. In addition you can focus your existing resources on implementing programs and campaigns that derive from the data you receive from your CRM hosting company.

Scalability

One of the most important features of Hosted CRM solutions is that they are scalable. Regardless of the size of your business there is a solution available for you. Also, as small and medium sized businesses tend to change in size rapidly, whether to unbelievable growth or corporate down sizing, a hosted CRM will work with these changes. When using a hosted CRM you also do not have to concern yourself with changing licensing needs.

Security

Small-to-medium sized companies simply do not have the security measures in place to properly store and secure sensitive customer data. Customer data is extremely vulnerable and if not stored properly could end up in malicious hands—like a hacker, or worse yet, your competition.

Customer information also needs to be regularly backed-up to a secure location, ready to be recalled at a moments notice. Most small IT shops just don’t have the budget or manpower to stay abreast of the latest security and backup issues, and nor should they. IT departments should be focusing on technological advancements that adds business intelligence, and not on mundane tasks like backup.

Customization

While enterprise CRM solutions offer a myriad of bells and whistles you may not need them. For example AT&T may need cross and up-selling opportunities to be recognized through their CRM but a small company with a single product or service will not. Smaller CRM solutions can be catered to not only the size of your company but your specific vertical as well. It helps to find a CRM Host that has experience in your industry, as the needs of sales companies are significantly different than manufacturing.

Cost

Hosted solutions mean that you have no additional hardware needs nor do you need to worry abut software licensing. Hosted solutions mean you can use not only their hardware and software but the host’s technical know-how and highly trained staff, which saves you the cost of hiring a professional, a consultant or training someone in-house.

Speed

Implementing a successful in-house CRM solution takes an average of 6-8 months before it is up and running. It takes even more time for your staff to catch up from the learning curve of the new software. Hosted solutions means you can hit the ground running and start seeing ROI sooner.

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