What is web CRM?
CRM is Customer Relationship Software. There are many companies that offer CRM software and lately there has been an influx of web CRM. This web CRM is supposed to be the newest and most affordable CRM solution for companies to use in maintaining contact with potential customers and clients and tracking sales leads. This web CRM does not require any software to be purchased and everything is done by a remote host. While web CRM can be relatively cheap it is falling short of the better Outlook CRM software.
What are the differences between web CRM and Outlook CRM?
The fact is that for a long time CRM solutions were very expensive and could only be afforded by the largest companies. They were difficult systems to install and even more difficult to use. This was because the vast majority of businesses use Microsoft Outlook and these CRM systems are not compatible with outlook. In recent years some companies such as Avidian have developed CRM software that is completely compatible with Outlook. The web CRM has attempted to cash in on this, but falls short because of deficiencies in web CRM.
Is web CRM completely compatible with Outlook?
The fact is that web CRM has many of the same problems that the original CRM solutions have. The web CRM is not always in sync with Outlook so it doesn’t always supply the tools needed by busy sales force managers. In addition, the data on web CRM is kept in a remote location and access may not always be as easy as with the Outlook based CRM software. For example, Email may not always be as accessible with web CRM. The fact is that web CRM depends on how well the Internet is functioning at any given moment.
What does web CRM provide?
The web CRM solutions claim to provide the same things as Outlook based CRM but with the disclaimer that it is not always in sync with Outlook. This makes the web CRM an iffy proposition at best. The web CRM companies also claim to provide all of the reporting and sales lead tracking functions that Outlook based CRM does, but again, it is not always up to par. Busy sales force managers need to access reports instantly. With the good Outlook CRM systems many of the reports are generate automatically and can be easily customized. This is not always the case with web CRM.
What if the Internet goes down with all of the data on web CRM?
This is one of the major problems with web CRM that is not present with Outlook based CRM software. It the Internet goes out then users can’t get much needed information from web CRM. This may not be a problem if it is only out for a few minutes, but if it is a persistent problem with outages that last for hours at a time the loss of web CRM can be devastating for a business. Appointments or follow up activity may be missed and sales opportunities lost simply because the web CRM is unavailable.
Very little is available through web CRM without Internet access.
Some web CRM providers provide the capability to access some data if the Internet is out, but they charge extra for such services. With Outlook CRM everything is always available without any extra charge. This is one reason why at first glance web CRM may seem reasonably priced, but there can be hidden charges. There is little use in trying to save money with web CRM if denial of access to data and hidden charges ends up making it more expensive.
Data may be permanently lost with web CRM services.
One problem that could be encountered with web CRM services is the fact that some of these companies don’t last long. If a business has all of its contact data stored in a remote location with a web CRM host the consequences could be devastating if the company goes out of business and the server is abruptly shut down. This is never a problem with Outlook CRM software as opposed to web CRM.
Every minute counts in the sales business.
In the highly competitive world of sales every minute counts and valuable minutes or even hours can be lost with a web CRM. This is why some companies that have tried web CRM end up coming to companies like Avidian that provides its Prophet brand of CRM software for Outlook. The software is highly superior to what is available in web CRM and has proven to be more reliable.