Benefits of Online CRM

By Stan Baldwin
Updated: August 18, 2011

Decades ago marketing executives recognized the power of data over intuition in creating programs and processes aimed at attracting and retaining customers. The quest for ever better information, broader statistical insight and “instantaneous” feed-back has only accelerated over the years. Customer (or Client) Relationship Management systems received a huge boost in their ability to collect information about customer behavior, preferences and desires with the advent of the internet. But, as many of us know from painful experience, more data does not necessarily make for easier or better decisions. Data must be transformed into information.

The best CRM systems have grown from their birth as primarily a marketing or sales tool to now coordinate the customer facing activities of Customer Support, Accounting, Operations and R&D, along with Sales and Marketing, to make the most of the customer data collected. There are a number of vendors offering systems which can be implemented as programs running on either company computer hardware, within a “proprietary cloud” managed by the software vendor, within a “general purpose cloud” supplied by one of the purveyors of massive server farms, or as a service delivered across the generic internet.

The balance of control vs flexibility has been moving from owning your own program running on your company hardware to tapping the expertise and cost effective benefits offered by online CRM systems. Fundamental in this shift is the has steady improvement in reliability and security of internet based CRM while the potential vulnerability of in-house programs previously thought to be “inviolable” has been exposed. With comparable security and reliability, the flexibility, cost benefits and access to state-of-the-art data collection and analysis tools makes an online CRM system the easy choice for all but the largest or most specialized organizations.

Featured Research
  • 8 CRM Tools You Need for a Winning Lead Nurture Strategy

    Does your business have an effective lead nurturing strategy? Before you answer that, keep in mind that a good strategy is different than having a few good sequences in place. This is not an area you want to overlook. The more you develop and test your lead nurturing strategy, the more sales you will enjoy - there is a direct correlation between the two. It should be no surprise that CRM tools are one of the secrets to doing this. more

  • 8 Reasons SMBs Should Invest in a CRM

    Adopting a CRM platform early offers many advantages, including the fact that it increases the odds of long-term success. While the cost of CRM software used to be prohibitive for most small businesses, this is no longer true. Cloud-based solutions have made the pricing much more competitive, and as many as 87% of companies now rely on them for their CRM software. more

  • 7 Ways Your CRM Helps Convert Leads

    Failure to convert interested leads can impact your bottom line drastically and simultaneously increase your operational costs and decrease your profits. The most common reason for this failure is lack of follow through from a sales team. Did you know that 74% of CRM users said that their CRM gave them improved access to customer data? And that by properly implementing a CRM, a business could shorten the sales cycle by 8 to 14%? more

  • Is Your CRM a Liability

    Is your CRM a liability? Before you answer too quickly with a no, just think about all the advancements that have taken place over the years regarding this technical solution. In fact, just in over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift away from on-premise systems to cloud based solutions. more

  • 12 Must-Have CRM Features

    Having a CRM is absolutely essential to any modern day business's success. In fact, 91% of companies with 11+ employees now utilize a CRM solution in their business. When making the decision to purchase or upgrade your CRM solution, it can be quite overwhelming determining which features are essential to your success versus those that pack more fluff than punch. more