CRM is key for businesses in this day and age. Source: Shutterstock

CRM is key for businesses in this day and age. Source: Shutterstock

Why it makes sense for mid-sized businesses to use CRM as a SaaS

RELATIONSHIPS are key to growing businesses.

It’s what the Father of Management Peter Drucker said when he advised companies about entering new markets and expanding reach — and it’s a strategy that has helped the best of companies grow quickly and effectively.

Be it chocolatiers like Leonidas, franchise owners of coffee shops, small logistics managers negotiating rates between exporters and shipping/airway lines plying the route, or any other mid-sized business, relationships are key to growth.

It’s for this reason that most have thought about investing in a CRM system at some point. A CRM, simply known as a customer relationship management system, is a piece of computer software that helps record names of customers, their tastes, preferences, and choices, and how they were sold to.

At first glance, it looks like a tool for salespeople. And although they might be the first and most prominent users of a CRM, the tool is essentially the key to understanding customers, their needs, requirements, finances, and a lot more.

Data from modern-day CRMs can be used in a lot of interesting ways to not only optimize the business but to make the relationship more meaningful and valuable to customers as well.

However, one of the first things to note is that the modern-day CRM is essentially deployed on the cloud and subscribed to as a service.

CRMs are typically one of the first things that businesses encounter when they think about a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. The only other solution that is almost as popular as a SaaS offering is an accounting package sold over the cloud.

The interesting thing about using CRM as a SaaS offering is that it’s incredibly agile.

This alone is enough to get most IT managers and CIOs excited — because traditionally, agility has never been the function of a CRM product.

Agility is important for many reasons. Software products that are agile are usually quite economical because licenses can be paid for individually or in clusters.

Further, SaaS-based CRM solutions usually offer integration capabilities with other software and solutions, meaning, data can be captured from elsewhere, information in the system can be accessed from within other applications, all of which means increased productivity for the business.

To put things in perspective — let’s assume Company X uses a popular SaaS-based CRM solution.

While the product in itself might not offer artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities, developers can use an integration offered by the solution provider to connect the organization’s data to another popular AI/ML platform to crunch the numbers and create interesting insights for business leaders.

Aside from being agile, SaaS-based CRMs are also great for mid-sized businesses because they bring a degree of accountability and reasoning to these firms when it comes to their digital infrastructure.

Often, mid-sized first start off as small-sized businesses. They do a great job leveraging relationships, renewing contracts and repeatedly selling to the same customers — but when the business expands rapidly — from one part of Southeast Asia to all of the Asia Pacific, keeping tabs on customers gets challenging.

Spreadsheets and internal memos tend to get lost, and it is hard to share all the information with new employees joining the sales team or in other parts of the business.

A SaaS-powered CRM is affordable and provides a great way to make sure the organization doesn’t lose track of customers or miss out on key dates and events. It’s the first step towards a better digital infrastructure.

Overall, a SaaS-based CRM provides many benefits to all kinds of organizations — but it’s one of the best tools for mid-sized companies no matter what industry they belong to.