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What to Consider in a Cloud CRM Vendor

Cloud CRM Featured Article Archive

January 16, 2013

What to Consider in a Cloud CRM Vendor

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Catering to the needs of the customer and understanding those needs to design solutions according customers preferences is key to long-lasting and profitable revenue.

The latter is one of the benefits of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, yet not all small businesses have the necessary capabilities in place. For many, the cost is a barrier. For others, it’s simply a matter of understanding the options and selecting the solution that best suits their needs.


Fortunately, cloud CRM can offer all the benefits of an enterprise CRM solution without the cost or commitment involved with a large, on-premises deployment. The challenge then is in selecting the right vendor to handle the hosting of the service. Calling on the expertise in this Soffront CRM blog, let’s examine a few tips for selecting the right vendor to support these efforts.

Market-Focused Stability and Experience

Trusting your valuable customer data to a fly-by-night provider is putting your future at risk. The price may seem right, but if the vendor can’t prove focused stability and experience in the SMB market, this is a significant red flag. You want a vendor that has experience tackling the challenges specific to the SMB market and you’ll want to talk with references.

Pricing and Scalability

The pricing presented upfront may appear to be competitive, but does it cover all of the features and capabilities you need? Will it also scale according to your needs, keeping the pricing proportional to the necessary growth? Make sure the cloud CRM solution offered isn’t just a watered down version of an enterprise-based product or the cost may eventually match that of the enterprise when all desired capabilities are finally in place.

Integration

How well the cloud CRM solution integrates with the assets already in place is key to the successful operation of the solution over time. If it doesn’t easily integrate across all platforms and divisions of the SMB, users will spend more time jumping between systems and negate the value the solution was designed to deliver.

Keeping these tips in mind, there is good news on the SMB front when it comes to cloud CRM. According to this ZDNet post, the SMB market is becoming a key target for vendors of all sizes. Even the major players such as SAP, Oracle (News - Alert), Microsoft and Salesforce.com have developed small business units to provide applications and services that cater to companies in this segment of the market.

For Soffront, a strong adoption rate is critical to proving its value in the market. As captured in this TMCnet article, the company has the highest adoption rate in CRM. The key to the company’s success lies in its approach to development and use – the platform was built for salespeople, by salespeople, ensuring the inclusion of everything needed to be successful. At the same time, the platform is easy to navigate and its customized features seamlessly integrate across the SMB.

Given the rapid adoption and preference of CRM among small business owners, this segment is likely to continue to keep growing. This is great news for the SMB as that can also mean more competitive pricing and better development of platforms and applications.

Want to learn more about cloud computing solutions geared specifically toward small to medium-sized businesses?  Don’t miss the Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud4SMB Expo. Follow us on Twitter.


Edited by Rachel Ramsey





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