Friday, 6 January 2012




Not that long ago, someone leaving their house in the morning usually only had two things they couldn't forget – their wallet/purse and their keys. Today, a mobile phone, often along with another mobile device such as a tablet, is also an essential 'take everywhere' item.
  • The advantage of this to your business is that it's easier than ever to create a truly mobile workforce. But you still need to give your mobile workers the tools they need. And for any business using CRM, with sales people and other employees often on the move, that means mobile CRM.

 What is mobile CRM?

Mobile CRM lets your mobile or remote employees use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access, update and interact with customer data wherever they are. The best mobile CRM solutions let mobile workers do everything they could do with CRM at their desktop, with the addition of advanced mobile CRM features.

Who can use mobile CRM?

With the ability to easily define security and other access preferences to individuals and groups of users, anyone who needs to interact with customer data can use mobile CRM. This includes sales managers and executives, field service technicians, executives, CEOs and other mobile workers.

What are the benefits of mobile CRM?

If you're trying to address: CRM user adoption, sales productivity, sales effectiveness, timelier follow-up of leads or improved lead conversion rates, gaining a competitive edge, or even reducing the cost associated with sales staff turnover, then you've got a reason to further explore how mobile CRM can support your objectives. Why MobileAccess?

What to look for in a mobile CRM solution?

It's not too difficult to find a tool that will "get CRM on my phone", but that's a far cry from a solution that is designed for the optimal user experience, with appropriate security and organizational manageability. When choosing a mobile CRM solution, you need to consider factors such as employee buy-in, ease of deployment, ease of use, security, user experience and advanced feature set. Read Why Mobile CRM?

Why Mobile CRM :-

You have probably noticed more of your co-workers are using smartphones and tablets at the office or while they’re traveling. In fact, you probably use a tablet or smartphone on a regular basis. Today’s workforce is no longer comprised of 9-to-5 workers who leave their work at at the office. A recent Cisco study showed that 60% of employees polled believe that they don’t need to be in the office in order to be productive. For better or for worse, personal and professional lines are increasingly blurring, and employees are demanding the ability to access corporate information from their mobile devices.
“Buyers of CRM continue to focus on investments that promote customer retention and enhance the customer experience, and they are increasingly interested in technologies that encourage development of customer communities and social networks,” said Hai Hong Swinehart, research analyst at Gartner.

A Mobile Strategy Is Necessary For Growth :-

Analysts evaluating enterprise trends have shown that companies need to incorporate mobile into their strategy today in order to survive — and businesses are paying attention.
According to VDC Research, the number of mobile devices bought by companies worldwide will more than double from 2010 to 2014. By 2013 (that’s only two years!), VDC expects more than one third of the world’s workforce to consist of mobile workers.

Employees Demand User-Friendly Business Application :-

If you’ve ever used Flipboard on your iPad, or accessed Salesforce Chatter using Seesmic for Android on your Motorola Droid, you may be impressed by the applications’ fluidity and intuitiveness. Why, then, wouldn’t business users expect, even demand, the same great experience on enterprise applications ? They are, and these are exactly the users and businesses who have helped us build the Seesmic CRM roadmap.
At Seesmic, we believe that enterprise applications should be just as user-friendly and engaging as consumer applications.  That is why Seesmic CRM for Salesforce offers both the robust features business users demand coupled with the enticing user interface of our consumer applications.  We will continue to share more with you as we ramp up for Seesmic CRM’s unveiling at Dreamforce.

What devices work with mobile CRM?

  • Today's mobile CRM solutions work on BlackBerry smartphones and tablets, Android phones and tablets, iPhones, iPads, Windows Phones and other web-enabled mobile devices. But don't assume that means simply taking a CRM form, and pushing it to a phone. The user experience should be optimized for the use case scenarios, and to reflect that a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) is not a desktop computer.
  • Mobile devices also offer capabilities unique to the device, and that aren't available from a computer monitor, such as the ability to capture photos, voice recordings, and GPS data, and upload that into a CRM system – all on the fly. View Mobile Devices.

Mobile CRM: The Cutting Edge of Sales Force Automation :-

Gartner stated that 90% of organizations will support corporate applications on mobile devices by 2014. What does this mean for your company and your CRM system? In order to stay on the cutting edge, your workforce and Sales Force Automation must be mobile. Many businesses provide their employees with mobile phones. More and more departments are being outfitted with 4G smartphones and tablets. This is the future of CRM. Is your company ready to lead the mobile CRM revolution?

Top Ten Mobile CRM Apps :-

 What could be more important to a sales force than mobility? Here are 10 mobile CRM apps for sales people on the go.

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) is about the hottest software market around these days, according to Gartner. The analyst firm expects CRM spending to increase more than any other area of application software this year, according to a recent survey.

  • "Buyers of CRM continue to focus on investments that promote customer retention and enhance the customer experience, and they are increasingly interested in technologies that encourage development of customer communities and social networks," said Hai Hong Swinehart, research analyst at Gartner.

A lot of that investment will head toward mobile CRM applications, which connect the system to a whole lot more users. Here are some of the good ones. (If you have some favorites that aren't mentioned here, use the comment form at the bottom of the article to let us know your favorite.)

  • Sugar Mobile: Sugar Mobile for Apple's iPhone and iPad is an extension of the Sugar Professional or Enterprise Editions. It simplifies the access and interaction with customer data while on the go while allowing users to log calls made on the mobile phone via the Mobile app. Any address can be clicked on to bring up the Google map location, and changes to system data are updated in real time — no need for cradling or synching of devices. For more on Sugar Mobile, see Mobile CRM Review: Sugar Mobile for iPhone.

  • Mobile: Mobile is a favorite of Martin Schneider, senior director of marketing at SugarCRM. lets you organize and view all of your content online in a file/folder structure. Any of these folders can be rapidly turned into a webpage. Widgets can be created to share files on a webpage or blog. The company has now rolled it out to the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android.

  • Salesforce Chatter: Robin Daniels, director of product marketing at (NYSE: CRM), said Chatter is the company's most successful product launch ever, in use by more than 80,000 companies worldwide.

  • Batchbook: BatchBlue Software's Backbook is a social CRM program for small businesses that also comes with an iPhone app to provide mobile access to social networking contacts and basic CRM functionality. All changes are synced with the main Batchbook account.

  • "The new Batchbook iPhone app assures each person in an organization has the best, most up-to-date information possible to better manage their relationships and keep their conversations going," said Pamela O'Hara, President of BatchBlue Software. "An iPhone application has been the number one request for the past year."

  • HubSpot: HubSpot provides inbound marketing that helps companies "get found" on the web and convert leads to new business. It also provides analytics to help improve marketing investments. Most recently, an app was added for Android users for HubSpot Leads.

  • Resco MobileCRM: Resco MobileCRM lite is a mobile client for sales force and field service people that allows field workers to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM data from the iPhone. Instead of having to call the office, field reps can access the data themselves.

  • "The MobileCRM iPhone app is the first one I have been able to use and get access to all my features except for email," said Doron Eskinasi, owner of Professional Software Development Corp. and himself a developer of CRM applications. "The app synched all my data to the iPhone and I am able to access it at ease."

  • Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant and Oracle Mobile Sales Forecast: Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant and Oracle Mobile Sales Forecast connect sales users with their Oracle CRM on Demand applications.

  • RightNow Mobile: RightNow Mobile leverages the RightNow web self-service solution template to deliver mobile CRM. Users can make their mobile web experience better fitted to their screen size, add customer service to an iPhone app, and it also includes chat and email.

  • CWR Mobile CRM: CWR Mobile CRM is a mobile client for field sales and service people using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It works on the Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android platforms.

  • Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP CRM: The Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP CRM application is designed to give sales teams fast, reliable access to SAP CRM data from any mobile devi

Six Tips for Mobile CRM Success :-

Mobile CRM is finally catching on — according to this interesting article on CRM Daily about how mobile CRM is becoming more popular than ever and six tips for making sure your sales team is successful.

We all know it’s always been a problem for sales representatives and
service representatives in the field trying to access their customer account information.
Here’s a quick summary of  six tips for mobile success:

  • Push, But Don’t Expect PullSmartphones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are better for receiving information than for extensive input, and they are usually best at accessing limited amounts of data. In other words, reps can use handheld devices to look up items like customer service call records, but they wouldn’t usually input detailed meeting notes into something like a Blackberry or a Palm.

  • Boil Down the InformationCompanies should focus on just the top handful of activities that sales and service reps need to do their jobs effectively. Examples include account and contact lookups, deal or case information, and follow-up activities.

  • Extend Beyond Sales RepsWhen considering a mobile CRM initiative for the sales team, companies should also think about whether it makes sense to extend CRM capability to their service reps out in the field.

  • Integrate with Other SystemsMobile devices are particularly handy for accessing CRM records and checking email, but why stop there? Sales and service reps out in the field can check inventory, track expenses, and submit orders with just a few clicks.

  • Make It a Team Play - One of the most valuable aspects of mobile computing is its ability to connect multiple team members together in real-time, even when some are on the road or working in remote locations. Mobile CRM applications can be a big help in this area.

  •  Think About Broader Strategy - The top reason that some companies aren’t deploying CRM on mobile devices is because they lack a  comprehensive mobile strategy. Companies need to teach their reps how to use the devices most effectively and also how to tie their newfound mobility back to revenue.


    Carrying a Cell Phone is Only Half the Battle

    • When a customer calls your desk or you call your customer from your office, you have all the information you need right in front of you.  But when you leave the office, the details about your customer are left at the office. 

    • Last week it happened to one of my friends: He had left the office and ended up unprepared for an important call.  A gold star customer called and wanted to renew their contract right away with his company.  The customer asked him to give him a 20% discount.  Not wanting to miss the opportunity, he fumbled and agreed, even though he did not know the details of his contract.  The meeting with his boss didn’t go so well the next day.

    • So what can you do to make sure you are on the ball when you are away from the office? Many CRM companies will now provide you with a mobile version of their application, which works as CRM on the go.  These are pared down versions of your regular CRM application and are easily accessible from your smartphone.  Having CRM on your mobile device will allow you close critical deals with ease, even when you are not at the office.

    Five Critical Factors for Mobile CRM :-

 Computerworld - With almost one-third of the U.S. workforce on the road or working from home, the ability to extend enterprise applications and Web content to mobile devices has become a business imperative. Companies are realizing that mobility is a mission-critical element for achieving higher value from their existing investments in CRM systems, enabling faster and more accurate data collection, improved field productivity and better decision-making.

So what's the key to making mobile CRM pay off for your business? There are many possible answers, but most lead directly back to the considerations taken into account during the application development process. The following are the five most critical factors for a successful mobile CRM solution in our view:

1. Off-line functionality is key.
Sales professionals will use a mobile application only if they can reliably depend on it -- every time. To ensure that the mobile application and CRM data is always available when they need it, mobile applications must support off-line functionality. Contrary to what many in the industry would have you believe, wireless coverage isn't ubiquitous, nor is "broadband wireless" a possibility with current technology. Mobile CRM applications must be designed with the ability to intelligently use a wireless connection when it's available, but to not be dependent on it.

2. Open standards aid integration.

Field professionals don't just need access to customer information in the field; they also need information on promotions, products, competitors, service requests or order status. So selecting a platform based on open standards that can integrate with a variety of back-end systems -- ERP, intranet, legacy, database and e-mail -- is imperative. In addition, support for open standards also ensures that your application can support a wide variety of platforms and is flexible enough to keep up with the rapidly changing device landscape.

3. Security is crucial.

Mobile CRM applications typically contain your field service and sales organization's lifeblood: customer contact information. Handheld applications should be able to provide enterprise-caliber security through authentication, encryption and central, policy-based control.

4. Ease-of-use should be top of mind:

Mobile application performance and ease of use are vital for field professional effectiveness and adoption. Unlike desktop or laptop applications, field professionals use handheld applications in small time increments of one to 10 minutes. This means that users in the field will quickly stop using a system that's slow or difficult to use. To be effective, mobile CRM systems must be instant-on, easy to navigate and require little or no training. Just as important is a user interface that is configurable to each organization's unique workflow and sales process. The right interface can make all the difference to your end users.

5. Timely information is critical.

Features such as server-pushed alerts and scheduled synchronization will simulate an always-connected experience by delivering information to the user as soon as possible given the wireless coverage in a particular area. Mobile applications should accelerate communication, decision-making and customer responsiveness by keeping users in touch.

Up until recently, organizations have been very proficient at automating the flow of information in the back office but have had no effective way of bringing it to field employees, like sales or service people, whose core responsibilities are away from their desks. Using advanced mobile technology, companies are now getting more out of existing enterprise systems by delivering these applications and content directly into the hands of users whenever and wherever they do business.

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