What is Hosted CRM?

Written by Web Hosting Expert

What is Hosted CRM?

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of hosted CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions and their importance in modern businesses. It aims to explore the benefits of using a hosted CRM system, how it can help businesses manage their customer interactions, and why it has become an essential tool for companies of all sizes.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a business strategy focused on managing interactions with customers and improving their satisfaction. It involves the use of technology, processes, and data to gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences, which can be used to tailor marketing, sales, and customer service efforts. CRM systems can be hosted on-premises or in the cloud, with hosted solutions becoming increasingly popular due to their flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Importance of CRM in Modern Businesses

In today's competitive business landscape, customer satisfaction and loyalty are essential for long-term success. CRM solutions provide businesses with a centralized system for managing customer interactions that can help improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and enhance brand loyalty.

With the data and information of the CRM system, businesses can better understand their customers' needs and preferences and tailor their marketing, sales, and customer service efforts accordingly. This can lead to improved customer retention, increased customer lifetime value, and more sales.

Hosted CRM solutions also offer businesses flexibility and scalability, allowing them to adapt to changing business needs and customer demands. With cloud-based solutions, businesses can access their CRM from anywhere, at any time, and on any device, making it easier to stay connected with customers and respond to their needs in real time.

CRM has become an essential tool for modern businesses looking to improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and stay competitive in today's fast-paced business environment.

Understanding Hosted CRM

Hosted CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a software solution that is hosted on a remote server and accessible over the Internet. Unlike on-premises CRM, which is installed and managed locally on company servers, hosted CRM is provided by a third-party provider and hosted remotely.

With hosted CRM, businesses can use the features and functions of the CRM system without the need for a dedicated IT infrastructure. The CRM hosting provider manages the hardware, software, and maintenance of the CRM system, allowing businesses to focus on their core operations.

Hosted CRM solutions typically offer a range of features and functionalities that enable businesses to manage customer interactions. These features can include contact management, lead tracking, sales forecasting, marketing automation, analytics, and reporting.

One of the main advantages of hosted CRM is its scalability. Businesses can easily scale up or down their CRM usage by only paying for the features and services they need. This makes it ideal for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large corporations.

Another benefit of hosted CRM is its availability. Businesses can access their CRM system from anywhere, at any time, as long as they have an internet connection. This allows for greater mobility and flexibility in managing customer interactions, allowing businesses to stay connected with customers and respond to their needs in real time.

Security is also a key consideration with hosted CRM solutions. Hosted CRM providers typically offer robust security measures to protect customer data, including data encryption, firewalls, and regular data backups. This helps ensure that sensitive customer data is protected and secure.

Hosted CRM solutions offer businesses an affordable, scalable, and accessible way to manage customer interactions. By leveraging the features and functionality of a hosted CRM system, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and boost brand loyalty.

Comparison Between On-Premises and Hosted CRM Solutions

On-premises CRM and hosted CRM are two different types of CRM solutions that businesses can choose from based on their specific needs and requirements.

CriteriaOn-Premises CRMHosted CRM
DeploymentInstalled and maintained on local serversHosted on remote servers and accessed over the internet
AccessibilityAccessible only from within the organization's networkAccessible from anywhere with an internet connection
CustomizationHighly customizable to meet specific business needsLimited customization options
Upfront CostsHigh upfront costs for hardware, software, and IT infrastructureLow upfront costs as no hardware or IT infrastructure is required
MaintenanceRequires in-house IT support and maintenanceMaintenance and support are handled by the vendor
ScalabilityScalability is limited by hardware and infrastructureEasily scalable as the vendor can provide additional resources
SecurityOffers greater control over data securitySecurity is handled by the vendor and may be a concern for some organizations
CostMore expensive over the long term due to ongoing maintenance and upgrade costsLess expensive over the long term as the vendor covers maintenance and up

Benefits of choosing a hosted CRM

Choosing a hosted CRM solution can offer businesses an affordable, scalable, and efficient way to manage customer interactions and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Cost-effective: Hosted CRM solutions are typically provided on a pay-as-you-go subscription basis, allowing businesses to pay only for the features and services they need. This can result in significant cost savings, as businesses don't have to invest in expensive IT infrastructure and maintenance.

Scalability: Hosted CRM solutions are highly scalable, allowing businesses to easily add and remove users and upgrade or downgrade subscriptions based on business needs. This makes hosted CRM an ideal solution for growing businesses that need flexible and scalable customer relationship management solutions.

Accessibility: Hosted CRM solutions can be accessed from anywhere, anytime as long as an internet connection is available. This allows businesses to stay connected with their customers and manage customer interactions in real-time, regardless of their location.

Security: Hosted CRM providers typically offer robust security measures to protect customer data, including data encryption, firewalls, and regular data backups. This helps ensure the privacy and security of sensitive customer data

Efficiency: Hosted CRM solutions typically offer a range of features that enable businesses to automate and streamline customer management processes, including contact management, lead tracking, sales forecasting, marketing automation, analytics, and reporting. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, as well as increased customer satisfaction and retention.

Expertise: Hosted CRM providers typically have a team of experts dedicated to managing and maintaining the CRM system. This can give businesses access to expertise and support, which can be particularly valuable for small and medium-sized businesses that may lack the resources to manage their IT infrastructure.

Key Features of Hosted CRM Solutions

Hosted CRM solutions provide businesses with a comprehensive set of features and functionalities that help them manage their customer interactions and relationships, improve efficiency and productivity, and optimize their customer management processes.

Contact and Lead Management
Hosted CRM solutions provide businesses with a centralized system for managing customer data, contact information, interactions, and history. This helps businesses track customer interactions and provides a 360-degree view of the customer. It also includes lead tracking, lead scoring, and lead nurturing.

Sales Automation and Pipeline Tracking
Hosted CRM solutions help businesses automate sales processes, including lead management, opportunity tracking, and quote and order management. This allows businesses to monitor the sales funnel and forecast revenue, making it easier to manage the sales team and resources.

Marketing Automation and Campaign Management
Hosted CRM solutions offer a range of marketing automation features, including email marketing, lead generation, and campaign management. This helps businesses streamline their marketing efforts and improve their ROI.

Customer Service and Support
Hosted CRM solutions provide businesses with tools to manage customer service and support interactions(ticketing, knowledge base management, and self-service portals). This helps businesses improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Reports and Analytics
Hosted CRM solutions give businesses access to real-time analytics and reports(sales performance, customer behaviour and campaign performance). This helps businesses make data-driven decisions and streamline customer management processes.

Integration with Third-Party Applications
Hosted CRM solutions offer integration with third-party applications, such as marketing automation tools, social media platforms, and accounting software. This allows businesses to streamline their workflows and improve efficiency.

Advantages of Hosted CRM

Advantages of Hosted CRM

The advantages of hosted CRM solutions make them an attractive option for businesses looking to improve their customer management processes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.

A. Accessibility and Remote Access
Hosted CRM solutions provide businesses with remote access to customer data, allowing employees to access customer information from anywhere with internet access. This allows businesses to be more responsive to their customers' needs and enables employees to work from anywhere.

B. Scalability and Flexibility
Hosted CRM solutions are highly scalable and flexible, allowing businesses to easily add or remove users, features, or storage as their needs change. This makes it easier for businesses to grow and adapt to changing market conditions.

C. Lower Upfront Costs and Maintenance
Hosted CRM solutions have lower upfront costs compared to on-premises solutions because businesses do not have to invest in expensive hardware or IT infrastructure. Additionally, hosted CRM solutions are typically maintained and upgraded by the vendor, reducing the need for in-house IT staff.

D. Data Security and Backup
Hosted CRM solutions offer robust data security and backup features, including encryption, firewall, and data backup. This helps businesses protect customer data from unauthorized access, theft, or loss due to system failures or disasters.

E. Faster Implementation and Updates
Hosted CRM solutions can be implemented quickly and easily, with minimal disruption to business operations. In addition, providers provide regular updates and new features, so businesses have access to the latest CRM technology and features.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hosted CRM

Business size and specific requirements
The first thing to consider when choosing a Hosted CRM is the size of the company and its specific requirements. Some CRM systems may be better suited to small businesses, while others are designed for larger businesses. Consider factors such as the number of users, the complexity of your sales and marketing processes, and any specific functionality required to meet your business needs.

Ease of use and user experience
A hosted CRM should be easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and easy navigation. The system should be intuitive and require minimal training for users to become proficient. Look for a CRM that offers a good user experience and is designed to streamline processes, improve productivity, and increase efficiency.

Customization options and extensibility
A hosted CRM should offer customization options that allow you to tailor the system to meet your specific business needs. Look for a CRM that offers custom fields, workflows, and reports, and can be easily extended to integrate with other business systems and applications.

Vendor reliability and customer support
Choose a hosted CRM from a reputable vendor with a proven track record of reliability and quality customer support. Look for a vendor that offers comprehensive support and training resources, including user guides, video tutorials, and live support.

Pricing structure and total cost of ownership
Finally, when choosing a hosted CRM, consider the pricing structure and total cost of ownership. Look for a CRM that offers transparent pricing and billing with no hidden costs or fees. Consider the total cost of ownership, including subscription costs, implementation costs, and additional customization or integration costs.

Look for a hosted CRM that integrates seamlessly with other business systems and applications, such as marketing automation tools, accounting software, and social media platforms.

Popular Hosted CRM Solutions

Some of the popular hosted CRM solutions include Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365, SugarCRM, Freshsales, Insightly, Pipedrive, Agile CRM, and Copper.

Comparison of Features, Pros, and Cons

Hosted CRM ProviderFeaturesProsCons
SalesforceSales, marketing, customer serviceCustomizable, scalable, powerful automation capabilitiesExpensive, steep learning curve
HubSpot CRMSales, marketing, customer serviceFree version available, user-friendly interfaceLimited customization, no phone support
Zoho CRMSales, marketing, customer serviceAffordable, comprehensive feature setSlow customer support response times, limited integrations
Microsoft DynamicsSales, marketing, customer serviceIntegration with other Microsoft products, AI-driven insightsExpensive, and requires technical expertise to set up
SugarCRMSales, marketing, customer serviceHighly customizable, flexible deployment optionsLimited third-party integrations, complex configuration
FreshsalesSalesIntuitive interface, AI-powered lead scoringLimited features for customer service and marketing
InsightlySales, marketing, customer serviceEasy to use, affordable pricingLimited customization, no phone support
PipedriveSalesIntuitive sales pipeline management, affordable pricingLimited features for customer service and marketing
Agile CRMSales, marketing, customer serviceAffordable pricing, all-in-one solutionLimited customization, some features are not fully developed
CopperSales, project management, customer serviceNative integration with Google WorkspaceLimited features for marketing, no phone support

CRM solutions have helped businesses in various industries, such as healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing by providing sales automation, customer service, and field service management. Notably several companies have achieved significant success using various CRM platforms. For example,

Coca-Cola leveraged Salesforce to increase sales productivity by 30%

Wholesome Culture boosted sales by 30% using HubSpot CRM

The British Red Cross used Zoho CRM to increase donations by 25%

Heineken implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 to improve sales productivity by 30%

The Loan Arranger used SugarCRM to increase lead conversion by 50%

Canary Learning used Freshsales to increase sales productivity by 20%

VCS IT Solutions used Insightly to increase productivity by 30%

Dubsmash used Pipedrive to increase sales by 40%

Yoga for BJJ used Agile CRM to increase customer engagement by 20%

Airbnb used Copper to increase sales productivity by 30%

Implementing Hosted CRM in Your Business

A. Steps for a successful CRM implementation

  • Define what you want to achieve with your CRM implementation,e.g. improving customer loyalty or increasing sales.

  • Involve employees, managers, and other stakeholders in the planning process to ensure that the CRM solution meets their needs and requirements.

  • Research and compare different CRM solutions to find the one that best meets your business needs and budget.

  • Develop a project plan that outlines the implementation timeline, milestones, and responsibilities.

  • Customize and configure the CRM solution to meet your specific business needs and requirements.

  • Provide your users with comprehensive education and training to ensure they understand how to use your CRM solution effectively.

  • Continuous monitoring and evaluation of implementation to identify problems or areas for improvement.

B. Best practices for user adoption and change management

  • Communicate the benefits of the CRM to users to increase engagement and adoption.

  • Engage users in the onboarding process to increase ownership and adoption.

  • Provide ongoing training and support to help users adapt to the new system and overcome challenges.

  • Recognize and reward positive behaviours and successes to motivate users and increase adoption.

  • Address any resistance or concerns from users and provide solutions to overcome them.

C. Measuring the impact of CRM on business performance

  • Define KPIs to measure the impact of CRM on business performance, such as customer satisfaction, sales revenue, and retention.

  • Collect and analyse data on the KPIs to measure the impact of CRM on business performance.

  • Continuously monitor and evaluate the impact of CRM on business performance to identify areas for improvement and optimization.

By following these steps, best practices, and tips, you can successfully implement a hosted CRM solution in your business, increase user adoption, and measure the impact on business performance.

The Future of Hosted CRM

The future of hosted CRM is one of continued innovation and advancement, as businesses seek to harness the power of cloud-based solutions to improve customer relationships and drive growth.

  • Emerging trends and technologies
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning in CRM
  • Potential challenges and opportunities

Emerging trends and technologies

Cloud-based CRM: Cloud-based CRM solutions are becoming popular because of their flexibility, scalability and cost efficiency. This allows companies to access their CRM system from anywhere, anytime and on any device.

Mobile CRM: With the increasing use of mobile devices, mobile CRM solutions are becoming a necessity. With Mobile CRM, sales reps and other employees can access customer data while on the go and update records in real-time.

Social CRM: Social media has become a big part of customer engagement, and social CRM allows businesses to engage with customers on social media platforms, track brand mentions, and track customer sentiment.

Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics can help companies identify patterns and trends in customer behaviour so they can make more informed decisions and anticipate customer needs and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in CRM

AI and machine learning can help businesses automate and optimize their CRM processes, such as lead scoring and customer segmentation.

Personalization: AI-powered CRM systems can offer customers personalized experiences based on their past behaviours and preferences.

Predictive lead scoring: AI can help predict which leads are most likely to convert into customers, allowing sales teams to focus their efforts on those leads.

Chatbots: Chatbots can be integrated with CRM systems to provide automated customer service and reduce the burden on customer service teams.

Voice-enabled assistants: Voice-enabled assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri can be integrated into CRM systems to provide voice-based access to customer data and sales information.

Potential challenges and opportunities

Data privacy and security: As customer data becomes more valuable, privacy and security will become more important. Businesses must take strict security measures to protect customer data and comply with data protection laws such as GDPR and CCPA.

Integration challenges: Integrating different systems and data sources can be difficult, especially with legacy systems.

Skill gap: AI and machine learning require specialized skills, and companies may struggle to find employees with the required skills.

Opportunity for innovation: The increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in CRM offers companies the opportunity to innovate and differentiate themselves from the competition.



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If you're considering setting up a CRM system, it's definitely worth familiarizing yourself with hosted solutions. They offer a range of benefits and can help streamline business processes, improve customer relationships and ultimately drive growth.

To get started, it's important to do your research and evaluate different hosted CRM providers. Look for providers that offer the features and functionality you need, have a strong track record of reliability and security, and have good customer support. Don't be afraid to ask for references or demos, and take the time to read reviews and compare pricing. With the right hosted CRM solution, you can take your business to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of on-premises CRM?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a popular on-premises CRM solution that offers a range of sales, marketing, and customer service capabilities. It can be tailored to your specific business needs and integrated with other Microsoft tools such as Outlook and Excel. Other examples of on-premise CRM are Oracle Siebel CRM, SAP CRM and Salesforce On-Premise.

Which businesses can use hosted CRM?

Hosted CRM or Cloud-based CRM can be used by many companies in different industries. Hosted CRM is ideal for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large corporations, looking for an affordable, scalable, and flexible way to manage customer relationships.

What is the use of CRM in hotels?

Hotels can greatly benefit from using CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems to improve the guest experience by effectively managing guest data, facilitating guest communication, implementing loyalty programs, managing guest feedback, and optimizing revenue management through efficient interaction management with guests.

Why use a CRM for customer service?

Using a CRM system for customer service can help businesses provide a better and more consistent support experience, leading to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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