Microsoft Dynamics CRM on iPads, Smartphones, and Mobiles: Some of the Hidden Benefits

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The next major update of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, called ‘CRM Anywhere’ is due out shortly (sometime in July 2012 – the actual date is still to be officially confirmed). One of the major enhancements included within this update is that the product will be accessible from different web browsers, not just Internet Explorer, and most of the latest mobile devices and smartphones. These include Windows phones, the iPad and iPad2, Apple iPhones, Google Android, and RIM Blackberrys.

To access Microsoft Dynamics CRM via mobile devices you’ll have to buy an additional type of licence, but each licensed Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile user will be able to access the product on up to three of these devices. Or you could access the ‘non-mobile’ or standard version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 using your smartphone or tablet’s browser. The problem with this is that it won’t be specifically designed or set up for mobile use, which means some information might be difficult to read and the system could be slow to run.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile is available for on-premise or the cloud version of the product Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. There are a whole variety of benefits to be gained from accessing your CRM software via a mobile device: it’s quick, convenient, and provides you with the very latest, fully up to date information. A recent survey of CRM users from the research company Nucleus found that adding mobile capabilities delivered a 14.6% productivity increase, on average, for sales professionals (Nucleus Research m13 – Market Focus: Social and Mobile CRM, February 2012).

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile, users will be able to seamlessly move between using their smartphone to iPad to other mobile device or to office PC workstation. They can also access data offline. But as well as the convenience and productivity benefits, using Microsoft Dynamics CRM mobile can also deliver some less obvious advantages.

The CRM specialists at TSG have implemented mobile accessibility for Microsoft Dynamics CRM within a number of organisations (it’s been possible to do this prior to the CRM Anywhere update by using specialist add-on software). As well as the obvious convenience and productivity benefits mobile accessibility delivered, it’s also delivered benefits that are more subtle, but nevertheless still highly valuable.

Here’s an example of some of these hidden benefits.

One of our clients operates mainly in rural areas and has a lot of sales staff out ‘on the road’ conducting face to face meetings. During these meetings, before mobile CRM, sales people visiting clients would look up customer data and other information using a laptop. They would do this during the meeting so they could provide product information to the clients directly while at the same time updating customer information as necessary.

One of the problems of using a laptop during a face to face meeting, apart from waiting for the machine to boot up, is that it presents a physical barrier between the sales person and client. You can try and position it in different ways, or use the smallest notebook, but you’re nearly always going to have to put the device on a desk or table and open up a keyboard and screen. These can easily find themselves partly or fully between the salesperson and client.

Accessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM on an iPad or smartphone removes the physical barrier presented by a laptop computer (or traditional workstation). This makes face to face and one to one meetings easier because there’s not a screen on the desk or between the sales person and client. In addition, mobile devices are less intrusive. As well as removing a physical barrier, a quick look at a smartphone or iPad is much less likely to interrupt the flow of a sales conversation. It 's also easier to start CRM on a smartphone before or during the meeting without being distracting.

Although removing the physical barrier of a laptop was not one of the defined objectives of the CRM software mobile project (and to be honest the advantages of this were not something anyone involved really foresaw) it helped towards delivering some great results.

Conducting face to face meetings with clients while accessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM on smartphones instead of laptops made sales peoples' jobs easier. This in turn made happier sales people. Happier sales people meant they used the CRM system fully, promptly keeping it up to date with the latest information. It helped the whole company deliver quicker and better customer service. This resulted in more satisfied clients, improved customer relationships, better customer retention, and increased sales. Not bad for some ‘hidden’ benefits!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile offers a whole variety of benefits to businesses, some hidden, and some not so hidden. For more information about using Microsoft Dynamics CRM on a mobile device in the UK, or any of the other enhancements in the ‘CRM Anywhere’ update, please contact the CRM team at TSG.

By TSG – UK CRM, Business Software and IT specialists

1 thought on “Microsoft Dynamics CRM on iPads, Smartphones, and Mobiles: Some of the Hidden Benefits”

  1. Yup, now handling CRM has become more easier and smarter.It can get integrated with other system also provides a flexible solutions in any platform.

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