The Mobile CRM Conundrum

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The Mobile CRM Conundrum

Mobile CRM is the number one requirement from every business owner looking for a new solution. Managers understand the incredible business value that can be attained from rapid insight into every aspect of company performance. When a sales person or engineer records information directly into the CRM on a tablet or other mobile device, errors drop, productivity improves and, critically, everyone in the business has immediate access to that information, ensuring no unpleasant surprises during any customer interaction. Management can also attain a one glance view of business activity with real time access to Key Performance Indicator (KPI) dashboards and ensure any problems with customers are automatically escalated and visible at any time.

While a mobile empowered business clearly has the ability to respond fast to both opportunities and problems, to date the  adoption of mobile by CRM users remains low, despite the trend towards flexible and remote working and the huge adoption of smart phones and tablets. So what is going on? Why are companies failing to exploit the clear benefits in productivity and customer experience that mobile CRM can deliver?

There can be no denying that most companies have a mobile empowered workforce – mobile commerce now outstrips desktop and more than 1.6 billion smart phones will be purchased globally by 2016.  This is a technology that has huge user acceptance and most sales people will automatically be checking emails on their smart phones or tablets. So how can a business make the next step, and encourage transient staff – sales, service, engineers and managers – to spend more productive time with clients and less unproductive time updating information back in the office?

There are two key issues to address – simplicity and value. Firstly, the process must be simple. If it currently takes a salesperson 30 seconds to update a customer record on a spread sheet, creating a complex, multi-field CRM process that takes several minutes to complete is not going to work. The solution must reflect the role of the individual and be both simple and intuitive. Over complicating CRM is a fast track to failure.

The solution must also support that individual’s day to day activity and deliver tangible value. For example, providing a sales person with immediate access to trusted, up to date customer information is compelling, making it easy to respond to customers, manage appointments, update opportunities and close more deals on the road or at customer sites. In addition, information captured during a customer visit is visible to everyone in the company, offering the chance to improve responsiveness in other areas including customer services. Improving the quality of customer information captured during every interaction helps to build stronger relationships.

By 2016 20% of sales organisations will use tablets as the primary mobile platform for their field sales force¹ – and those companies that are ahead of the game and can deliver a mobile CRM solution that both eases information capture and improves the quality of customer experience can ensure sales staff embrace the technology ahead of the competition. While managers can clearly see the value, it is the proving the case to those on the road that is key to achieving the true benefits of mobile CRM to the business.

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