Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What does enterprise security, going green and going under have in common?

If you are wondering what enterprise security, going green and going under could could possibly have in common then allow me to elaborate. CRM.

That’s right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) ties these three topics together since they can all be improved by implementing a CRM Software solution. CRM helps enterprises met SOX compliance and maintain a single secure database. Also, CRM aids an organizations effort to cut down on wasted time and resources in their attempts to green up their operations. Finally, with the condition of the market these days’ businesses are searching for ways to reduce operating costs and better track leads to ensure no opportunity ever slips through the cracks.

Enterprise security is not a new worry like the other two mentioned, this is always a number one concern to organizations. Although it is not a new concern I think it is safe to say that with guidelines like SOX compliance, efforts placed on ensuring security will only increase. CRM comes into play here by providing businesses with functionality like custom profile and user role security settings, record level security, field level security, login time and IP access restrictions, advanced administration and audit trails. These features are built into many of the major CRM platforms like Salesforce, Salesboom.com or Netsuite and aid businesses control who can view or edit what information. Leveraging this type of functionality will not only show you who are accessing what for security reasons, it also brings a new level of accountability to an organization.

Next up is going green and the efforts businesses are taking to better align with this concept. Organizations are following many avenues in hopes of making their operation earth friendly which in turn can also save them money. Out on the market today is a wide array of tools designed to clean up businesses by cutting out unnecessary functions. For example, I was recently looking at Interfax and other online fax solutions. In today’s age there really is not much need for the dinosaur way of sending and receiving faxes which wastes paper and time. Let me ask how long does it take you to send a simple fax? This small but still meaningful green solution cuts out the need to first print a document, take the time to walk to the fax machine which isn’t always in your office or even on your floor, stand there and wait just to waste one more piece of paper describing the transaction. All this can be cut out by SaaS solutions which allow you to send document or email to fax or receive fax to email. Tying back to SaaS CRM vendors some of them even integrate with fax providers, I believe Salesforce has this integration as well I’m pretty sure Salesboom.com integrates with InterFax now. This is just one area where organizations can cut down on waste but there are many with Online CRM. The simple ability to access your entire database from any location with an internet connection also cuts out wasted resources. When traveling or working in the field there is no need to print or bring documentation with you, just login to your CRM offline or mobile solution and you have everything you need.

Finally, going under is a rising concern when the market is feeling a pinch. During a time when banks are closing their doors and large corporations like Lehman Brothers are declaring bankruptcy businesses begin searching for ways to save money and secure their future. Hosted CRM Software helps organizations of all sizes manage and track their business which can uncover wasted resources or marketing campaigns with poor ROI. One of the greatest benefits to using Web Based CRM Software is the ability to closing track and report on leads, campaigns, opportunities and accounts. Accurate real time lead tracking is key to making sure no lead is ever forgotten about or passed by. Kind of on this topic, recently I have seen a lot of Real Estate agencies making the move to Web Based CRM. This is most likely for some of the reasons mentioned here like accurate lead tracking along with the fact that it is cost effective and quickly rolled out. Never missing an opportunity is extremely important when purse strings are tightened and consumers are less willing to part with their dollar. This is why businesses large and small need the tools to allow them to track opportunities and leverage analytical and reporting tools to uncover trends in the market, all possible with CRM Software.

4 comments:

David O. said...

Hi Josh,

Great article.

Just wanted to let you know that here at InterFAX, we took it one step forward and developed PostalMethods, a Web-to-Postal Web Service.

You can now send postal letters (yes, snail-mail) directly from your online CRM, any other application or by standard email, without the need to print, fold, insert the letter into an envelope, stamp it and drive to the post office.

Craig Klein said...

Great article Josh!

Its a no-brainer right? Why would anyone install a CRM on their own systems?

Josh Whiting said...

Thanks for your comments. I agree it is a no brainier, SaaS is the way to go. Just look at the power and ease of integration with the example above of web to postal service, the possibilities are endless.

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