Keeping documents in a cloud CRM system is a bad idea. Check what you can do to kill draconian storage costs, improve the system speed and collaborate on the documents like a business pro
Many companies prefer to manage customer relations via the cloud. Unlike on-premise solutions, it provides great flexibility and convenience. You can access data from any device on the go and continue working from any location and time of the day. It also puts storage, maintenance, and security on the shoulders of the service provider, and not yours.
However, collecting and storing your documents in a cloud CRM system is not recommended no matter how convenient it is. The reasons listed below may encourage you to reconsider your online document handling strategy and align your efforts with the best practices of using cloud CRM.
- You are paying too much for storage
Many cloud CRM systems allow document management so that people can easily reach related files. These can be proposals, invoices, purchase orders, contract drafts, white papers, presentations and more. Working on a customer or prospect is easier when you have everything at hand. However, all of these needs a lot of space, especially if files are images.
Besides, if you track Outlook emails in the CRM system, it stores all attachments. Depending on the scope of correspondence, your CRM system can get cluttered very fast.
The cost of data storage in the cloud becomes a nagging issue for many organizations.
For example, Salesforce’s free data storage capacity is small, and when free space is over, storage fees can get as huge as a yearly license itself. Additional storage space from Salesforce is available in blocks of 50 or 500MB, with a price of $125/month for 500MB.
The second biggest cloud CRM, Dynamics 365, data storage by default is set at 10 GB for all users, with add-on file storage set at $9.95/ GB/ month. Additional 5 GB storage is granted at no charge at for every 20 full user licenses – but for the entire organization, not for each user.
Does this amount seem like a lot? Imagine, you work in a digital marketing company and you exchange proposals, draft designs, graphics with your customers and prospects and at least a part of it goes into your CRM. How soon will you exhaust the free storage limit? Other players like SugarCRM, Zoho etc. provide free cloud storage, but it is easy to use up, too.
In defense of cloud CRM: it was not designed for document storage in the first place. There are other more advanced and cheaper tools for that. For example, SharePoint – a document management and collaboration system has unbeatable storage pricing – only $0.20 per gigabyte per month. That’s almost 1/50th the cost of Dynamics 365 storage and even lesser of a fraction from Salesforce storage cost. Other potential storage locations can be Azure File Storage, Azure Blob Storage - to your choice.
If you gravitate towards Microsoft cloud products, integration takes only a few minutes. You can start directing documents to SharePoint and save on storage costs dramatically. The only issue is that SharePoint will not extract attachments from the tracked emails but there are tools to automate it.
- You are slowing down your CRM system
You are waiting and waiting for accounts to load, and it takes ages. Annoying, right? Complaints on cloud CRM systems slowing down are quite common on the web these days, and maybe you have experienced it yourself. But do you imagine how much excessive information your CRM processes every day? All invoices, purchase orders, reports, copies of IDs sit in your system, steal its space and harass its processing capacity.
Of course, there are other factors which influence the speed of your cloud CRM but storing documents is one of the gravest.
Minimizing data requests is one of the recommendations of Microsoft, too.
- You are missing out on document collaboration
Over the years, integrating your CRM with a document collaboration system like SharePoint has become a sign of maturity for many organizations. It is a well-thought combination which adds a lot of functionality to CRM.
Companies integrating CRM with SharePoint improve team collaboration. Sales and marketing teams often need to work together on documents. And this is easier when they have a tool for quick linking, editing, retrieving and sharing documents with non-CRM users. Or even sharing particular documents with people outside of organization – for example, with a client while drafting a contact.
Besides, such integration allows better data security via check in/check out and version history. And you can have your documents synced with Desktop Library and Outlook.
This integration improves the productivity of the team, builds trust with customers and eventually increases ROI.
Firstly, decide if you really need to keep documents in the cloud. Is it a habit or a must-have?
If you really need your documents in the CRM system, at least build a “cleanup” routine to get rid of old records like shipping confirmation records from years ago.
Do some planning upfront. If you know that your organization will hoard masses of documents in your CRM system, prepare a mechanism so that it doesn’t impact your company’s performance halfway into important operations.
And finally, if you realize that the documents can sit somewhere else, you can try moving all the documents to cheaper document storage systems manually or use software which does it automatically.
Category: MicrosoftCompany about: Connecting Software is a provider of integration and synchronization solutions. We offer a unique and powerful software integration platform Connect Bridge, as well as SaaS and on-premises products. We’ve held various Microsoft Gold and Silver competencies over the past decade. Highly accredited by Microsoft and listed in Azure Government. Named Business-Critical SharePoint Partner. We innovate in the area of the Industrial Internet of Things and blockchain document sealing technologies. ...
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