What is CRM? A Short Guide the Budding Entrepreneur – ShoeMoney

You thought maybe being an entrepreneur meant you were just the ideas guy. Then you got deep into the planning process and realized there was a lot you had to do yourself before you could just be the ideas guy.

Even Elon Musk had to learn business before he could start his engineering and product companies. He had to learn about marketing and other important aspects of marketing.

One key aspect of business and startup marketing is CRM or customer relationship management. This is the center of your customer data. It’s where you store, track, and organize your customer data and interactions.

How do you find the right software? Why should you use it? Keep reading to find out.

How to Choose Your CRM Software

Not all CRM software is created equal. CRM is just an umbrella term for various applications. There are three types of CRM under the main umbrella.

These types are desktop, client/server, and cloud-based.

Desktop systems run on a computer. One single computer. Client/server systems are stored on a server somewhere. They’re often self-hosted through software you can load onto your computer.

Cloud-based systems might seem indistinguishable from client/server systems. They’re not. They run exclusively online and a third-party runs them. They allow you to access the software from anywhere at any time.

How to Compare

We’ve covered the surface-level differences of each, but what are the deeper differences. Like, you should understand how to compare Netsuite cost vs. other software’s cost.

Cost:

Client/server CRM costs will include the purchase of a server. You’ll also need to consider installation time. But with online cloud-based, you don’t need those things. You’ll have little delay in starting and you’ll only have to pay a monthly fee.

Security/Maintenance:

Client/Server CRM will make you responsible for your own IT and security. You might have to hire someone for this job.

Online cloud-based maintains their own servers. They also do their own security. It’s all included in the fee.

Competitiveness:

When you’re using a server-based CRM, you won’t be able to easily keep up with the Joneses. You’ll need to hire someone to keep your software up to date and relevant.

Cloud-based is always up to date because you’re not in control of those features. You’ll get a feature-rich suite that fits your needs automatically. This will keep you ahead of the competition.

Mobility:

If you’re wanting mobility, don’t go with server-based. Server-based depends more on installed software. While this might be more secure in some ways, it limits the kinds of devices you can use to access the information.

Cloud-based is a secure way to access the information from virtually anywhere. You aren’t tied to a specific local software program and you don’t need a VPN to stay secure.

Disaster Recovery:

You are in charge of disaster and recovery if you go with server-based. This will be an extra expense on top of the server/software.

Cloud-based again wins out. They include disaster recovery in their monthly fee. You can minimize your stress through cloud-based CRM.

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