7 benefits of Software-as-a-Service CRM for your business
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has been around since the early 2000’s and is a cost-effective alternative to the traditional IT deployment where you have to buy or build your own IT infrastructures, install the software yourself, configure the applications and employ an IT department to maintain it all.
Even if SaaS applications have been around for a while, businesses still have a lot of questions on whether these apps are a viable option for them.
If you’re one of those who is wondering if SaaS applications are for you, we hope that this article will answer some of your questions.
What is Software-as-a-Service?
Also referred to as “on-demand” and “in the Cloud” software, SaaS offers a connection and subscription to IT services built on a shared infrastructure via the cloud and deployed over the Internet.
In other words, the software that you want to use is delivered and managed remotely by a provider, and you get access via your preferred net browser.
Are businesses continuing to move to the Cloud?
From Microsoft’s Office Web Apps and Google search all the way to Facebook, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the SaaS model runs the IT show these days.
And according to Cisco Global Cloud Index, SaaS deployment will grow by 59% in 2018.
In 2014 the annual global survey of CIOs by Gartner found that 72% of respondents are already using SaaS. And in a recent study by KPMG showed that nearly half of executives surveyed named SaaS as their most likely area for investment.
Who uses SaaS applications?
SaaS is basically suitable for anyone – be it private or business use.
Great for small and medium-size organizations in particular, SaaS is primarily a hassle-free and cost-effective alternative offering new possibilities, flexible costs, as well as easy maintenance and deployment.
You don’t need to own a super powerful computer, an in-house server or to employ an IT genius to be able to store your business information in the Cloud. SaaS allows multiple users to get access to the vast database at anytime and anywhere there is the internet.
All you need is a web browser and an internet-powered device and you’re up and running.
The SaaS revolution in CRM software
When it comes to CRM software, the introduction of the SaaS model can only be compared to a revolution. It changed the deployment of CRM from a “procurement and ownership” model to a “subscription and outsourced services” model.
Bringing numerous advantages for businesses, SaaS CRM applications allow businesses big and small to enjoy the benefits that a CRM system offers in more accessible ways. And the assumption that only big companies with big money can afford CRM has become nothing but a myth.
Let’s take a look at how your business can benefit by opting for the SaaS CRM model.
Key benefits of SaaS CRM for your business
1. No huge initial investment
SaaS operates on a pay-as-you-go method with no large upfront fees. You just pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to use CRM as a service.
This is one of the reasons why SaaS is favored by smaller companies and start-ups who may not find the cash to invest into a CRM solution even if it is considered business critical.
It also means that it can be treated as an operating expenditure (which most of CFOs prefer) rather than an investment.
2. A cost saving option
This is one of the most attractive advantages – SaaS CRM can be a real money-saver.
When you compare the cost of a SaaS CRM solution against the cost of buying the software, at first it may look as if the SaaS option is still expensive.
However, when you take into account the sums you need to spend on buying the necessary hardware as well as hiring and managing the people to maintain it all, it often turns out that the SaaS approach actually is a lower cost option after all.
In other words – using SaaS means you can forget about spending money on extra hardware or the people maintaining the system.
3. Seamless availability
The SaaS model allows you to access your CRM database from anywhere, on any device and at any time.
All you need is just an internet connection and a web browser. Hosted in the cloud and accessible over the Internet, SaaS CRM is particularly great for the sales people who spend most of their time in the field.
4. No IT troubles
A hassle-free IT life is definitely the top selling point of SaaS CRM.
The subscription-based SaaS pricing method entails virtually no system maintenance fees, such as backup, updates and security.
There is no need for a user to buy, install or update any hardware or have a local server installed, which are certainly costly and require maintenance. This, in turn, means that you don’t need to employ a dedicated IT staff.
SaaS CRM solutions are hosted by a SaaS provider, so all upgrades, installations, maintenance, and new users are connected to the system without any effort on the customer’s side.
More so, it is the SaaS vendor’s responsibility to deliver on their promises and ensure that the IT hardware operates the way it should.
5. Expand and integrate as you want
Just some years ago there was one fear in adopting a new software app: that it would clash with the ways you work every day, especially the programs you were used to.
As technology has evolved, users of SaaS CRM apps can integrate with the already available software on the market and expand their CRM solution just as an onsite customer would.
This means that icustomers can carry on using the software they are used to, such as ERP systems or email clients, as they can usually be easily integrated with the SaaS solution.
6. High security levels
Since a SaaS vendor is responsible for the maintenance of the data that a customer entrusts them with, the security issue becomes really serious and customer data becomes super protected.
A SaaS vendor’s livelihood depends on data security, so it is only natural that safeguarding the app is paramount. That is why SaaS providers have their servers scattered in multiple geographical locations and have automatic backups, ensuring a higher level of security than your own enterprise itself would be able to provide.
7. Easy scalability
Finally, SaaS CRM model can be quickly scaled up, meaning that if your organization decided to increase the number of CRM users it can be done within a day.
No need for lengthy requests, testing, changing of the IT architecture, installing additional software, and waiting, just change the subscription and voilà – more users will get access to a SaaS solution. And if you need more storage space or additional service – the process is the same: quick and almost immediately deployable.
Scaling down though may still require a longer time defined by a contract for some vendors.
This is all due to the fact that SaaS providers offer a single version of the product to support their customers.
Once you go SaaS…
The benefits of SaaS are many. Businesses around the globe are moving to the cloud where they can easily rent services and enjoy a worry-free life.
When it comes to SaaS CRM the key benefits are:
- the absence of IT-related troubles, meaning that the user does not need to buy, install and maintain any hardware;
- no large upfront license fees, especially additional payments for maintenance and upgrades;
- easy customization as SaaS offers a flexible and scalable IT solution that is compatible with a range of other business tools.
So, the only thing left right now for those who want to better manage and grow their business is to choose the SaaS CRM provider wisely!