Mobile CRM is a key tool for sales representatives and other customer-facing employees, so it's important to get it right. Gartner Research reported that mobile CRM applications will grow 500 percent by end of 2014, another sign of a shifting market that has more to do with work getting done in the cloud more so than from a server behind the firewall.
Everyone believes that mobile CRM is simply CRM software delivered on a mobile device. This simple thinking fails to recognize that typical CRM objectives such as opportunity management, creating quotes or displaying a 360 degree customer view are seldom well delivered within the form factor of smartphones. Many mobile applications are simply impractical because the (desktop) application is simply resized to a mobile device. Other mobile applications are visually appealing, but not very smart in that they fail to take advantage of the mobile devices unique strengths.
Here are some tips that can help you to succeed with mobile CRM:
1. Proceed with use cases : For mobile to make business sense it must be use case driven. Contact center use cases are few. Sales person use cases are many but vary widely in terms of value. The starting point for mobile CRM strategy is to identify those business processes and information requests most facilitated by anytime/anywhere access.
2. ERP integration : Much of the sales people seek customer information sales during field work — such as orders, invoices, credit memos, payments, RMAs, product availability, credit availability, shipping timeframes and more. All these are housed in the back-office accounting or ERP software. CRM systems which include tight integration with ERP applications delivers richer data experience and supports far more business processes for mobile CRM users.
3. Use the mobile devices unique capabilities : Just pushing legacy CRM software to a mobile device doesn’t produce any synergy. Instead, leverage CRM data with capabilities that are only available with mobile – such as marrying CRM call plans and mobile geo-location, using a touch screen to update a task or activity, or reviewing contact updates from social networks before walking into the contact’s office. Linking CRM use cases to mobile capabilities such as quick information access, touch screen navigation, geo-positioning and anytime/anywhere connectivity to CRM, legacy and online systems is certain to create efficiencies that users will appreciate.
4. Focus on the user experience : PC and mobility operation are meant to be different. Pushing a desktop application to a mobile device isn’t going to achieve a positive user experience. To make the smaller form factors and more limited data entry capabilities work for mobile users, the mobile applications should make data contextual, make information entry as automatic as possible, minimize keystrokes and streamline workflow. Despite being seldom used for data entry (in largest part because the CRM software publishers don’t support it), audio is proven to be the least effort and most efficient mobile data entry method.
The bottom line to mobile CRM adoption is to recognize that staff will only use mobility if it saves them time, increases their productivity or aids their objectives. According to a Nucleus Research study, sales people achieved a 14.6% productivity increase when using mobile CRM applications. Nearly a third of respondents cited a productivity increase of more than 20%, and only 2% said they saw no productivity benefit. When including a combined mobile and social CRM deployment, sales people incurred productivity increases of 26.4%.