Mobile CRM – Your workforce have gone mobile. Has your CRM?

Gone are the days when the only sales tools you carried to the customer meetings were a notepad and a phone that could only call. As the workforce is becoming increasingly mobile – with more workers on the field and remote logging and with more reliance on mobile devices such as smart-phones and tablets, it becomes imperative to look for mobile tools that can replicate the office tools on the PC. The mobile phone platforms are also growing in computing power and it is time to give a serious thought to mobile CRM.

According to a study done by Cisco:

60 percent of employees now believe they do not have to be in an office to be productive…users now want the same freedom and convenience that they enjoy with 

their personal devices to be available on the devices they use for work. They want to be able to download the business applications they need, when they need them. 

Common uses cases of a mobile CRM

Use case 1: You have gone to a conference in Boston and in the afternoon you are thinking of meeting a couple of customers in Cambridge. Before you meet each of your accounts, you want to know the contacts in their team, the size of the accounts, their recent requirements and their future purchase plans. How do get all this information?

Use case 2: Your sales person is in a trade show. He meets a bunch of interesting prospects and wants to followup with these hot leads once he gets back to the office. How should he keep track of them all?

Use case 3: You are on a long flight to Singapore on an official trip. You want to read up in your iPad on the latest opportunities and the newest buying trends among your Singapore customers. How can do that?

Use case 4: Your sales force is so comfortable with the iPad that they are questioning the need to carry a bulky laptop. The iPad is cheaper than a typical work laptop, easy to handle, pleasing to read and more importantly has a lot longer battery life. Why should you not give them an option to work from their iPad if they can be more productive with that?

Factors to consider before buying a mobile CRM solution

  1. How secure is the application? You are dealing with sensitive customer information that could be hugely valuable at the ands of a competitor.
  2. Is the application available on the common platforms your sales force uses? If your staff use blackberry and the CRM app is available only for the iOS, it is a deal breaker.
  3. Is the application decided with mobile user in mind? You don’t want a PC application that is mindlessly ported to the mobile. The app must be designed with the mobile worker in mind and has to offer rich feature set on the go.

Balaji Viswanathan

Balaji Viswanathan is the founder of Agni Innovation Labs that helps startups and small businesses with their marketing and management strategy. He has been blogging for the past 8 years on technology, finance and business related topics.

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