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As CRM takes to the cloud, it may become standard in 2015

Customer relationship management software has for years been one of the best ways for companies to improve sales, marketing and customer service.

However, for most of this time, its growth has been hindered by the fact that IT professionals have been in charge of making the decisions and planning a business strategy around it, not executives.

This is beginning to change as companies increasingly move their CRM software into cloud-based systems and use third parties, creating more time for IT departments and requiring company leaders to make CRM decisions.

Business software consultancy Software Advice recently conducted a survey that found 50 per cent of respondents had moved their CRM solution away from an on-premise program. Of these, 96 per cent said they chose the cloud as their new platform.

The most common application that went to the cloud was sales automation, with more than 75 per cent of respondents saying they had requested the service.

What does this mean going forward? Basically, businesses will need to consider CRM solutions a major aspect of 2015 business strategy.

The survey also concluded that improving efficiency was one of the biggest influences for moving CRM to the cloud.

“In their early days, CRM systems were really good at creating operational efficiencies. They still do this today, but now it’s also about how effective they can make each interaction in terms of actually growing revenue, not just cutting costs,” said Paul Greenberg, owner of enterprise applications consulting services firm The 56 Group.

“We need an automated and centralised system to allow our marketing team to be more productive.”

Focusing on advanced CRM solutions will likely be a common trend among all businesses in the coming year..