The gains a business can earn from implementing a CRM software solution means really nowadays it is almost expected to do. CRM means businesses can reach out to more potential customers, improve service so that customers are happier and keep buying and build their profit. As well as better and accessible customer data you can boost sales and make things easier for your employees too. There are actually two widely known approaches to CRM. They are on-premise or on-site CRM and SaaS (Software as a Service).
The more traditional option is on-premise sales CRM software. This is where the software provider comes to where your data center computers in-house are kept and install their software onto them. The responsibility of looking after it, controlling it, maintaining it, and managing how it is used rests on your IT people. It allows you to have all the control over all the different aspects of the CRM system from service level agreements to compliance policies, security concerns, and so on. There is less of a risk that any data becomes inaccessible at any time because of connectivity problems.
SaaS or Software-as-a-Service CRM is becoming more popular than the traditional in-house options. A lot of that is because a lot of businesses are scaled or slimmed down so they might not have a whole IT department to manage it. It might also be a problem with integration or the fact that on-premise software is not as able to adapt as your business grows. A CRM vendor sells you CRM software that is web-based and it is maintained by the vendor and can be configured by either the vendor or your IT person. It is more cost-efficient, gives you access around the world, is more accommodating when things fluctuate and is easier to maintain.
Which CRM software type should you choose?
Factors to help you choose the right approach for your business include;
- Cost to implement - On-premise costs more than SaaS so if coming up with a large sum all at once to cover the hardware, license, facility cost and manpower for on-premise is too high, then SaaS is the better option.
- Do you mind scheduled maintenance - With on-site software, you can manage the maintenance when it is going to cost you less for the downtime. SaaS is not as flexible, you have to accept maintenance and upgrade when the provider offers it.
- What expertise do you have to draw on - Not all businesses and organizations have highly advanced expert IT people. If you do not have the people or enough of them to handle managing the traditional sales CRM software then it makes sense to choose SaaS where they will manage it for you. Even if your IT team could handle it, do they have the time to?
- Customizing and upgrade options - There is less customization with SaaS because multiple users are sharing the same software. Some are still possible but not as much as if you chose the on-site option. If you have something very specific you need then on-site would work better.
- Degrees of flexibility - If you need a CRM system that can adapt and be flexible for you then SaaS works best. But if security is your biggest concern that would be on-site.