Column: Is Your CRM in the Cloud Yet? Better Get to It

By David Portnowitz, Director of Digital Marketing, Star2Star

We all know that a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system is the backbone of sales and marketing productivity. Introduced in the 1980s, these relationship management solutions provide businesses with the means to efficiently store, process, and organize customer contact information. What you may not know is that moving your CRM to the cloud can magnify the benefits of CRM, making this move a fast-growing trend today.

A CRM system can generate the many reports (e.g., automated quotes and mail merges) that help us to fine-tune our customer deliverables, but taking full advantage of the software’s benefits requires the power of the cloud. The benefits of cloud-based CRM include unifying your CRM with a cloud-based unified communications (UC) solution for your organization.

If you haven’t moved towards this trend, consider doing so a tactical necessity to keep aligned with your competitors. A majority of businesses have already taken, or plan to take, advantage of the many benefits of CRM software deployed in the cloud. As a matter of fact, Gartner predicts that SaaS deployments of CRM will reach over 50 percent by year-end.

Why is this? Many companies find that cloud-based CRM saves them money in maintenance and upgrades. IT staff demands will go down. The platform allows for optimal growth (or even downsizing).

After you catch up, keep up by staying abreast of the following ongoing CRM trends:

  • Collaboration: Never before has greater attention been paid to the importance of sales/marketing alignment. Having a robust CRM platform allows the two departments to centralize shared data, which was typically siloed before.
  • Mobile: With the workforce becoming increasingly mobile, it’s imperative for employees to have access to their customer data anywhere at any location. Cloud-based CRM systems grant salespeople and marketers access to their CRM systems while on the road, aiding them in closing deals, preparing for meetings, and reporting accurately.

To reap the greatest rewards from cloud-based CRM, you’ll need the assistance of a provider with a powerful UC and CRM integration system.

Star2Star Communications provides a rich suite of UC features, including voice, chat, video, presence management and more, in a single, easy-to-use platform. Using the StarContact CRM integration technology solution, you can easily access those features to help agents interact more effectively with your customers, leading to improved retention rates and profitability.

To contact Star2Star for more information, click here.