Good Mobile CRM Programs Start with Strategy - Not Technology

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imageMobile CRM is one of the hottest topics in the CRM world today.  The convergence of increased mobile computing power, cloud storage and BYOD policies have made mobility a “must-have” requirement of most CRM projects.   The amount of mobile CRM solutions and tools in the marketplace has confused and muddied this topic for CRM administrators and project sponsors.

Our advice to those looking at Mobile CRM: don’t confuse tools with solutions.  We have seen too often where people fall for a shiny new mobility tool, only to realize afterwards that it didn’t aid in adoption, or increase productivity or meet any other strategic objective.  So before you embark on a Mobile CRM Program, start with asking, “Why are we doing this?  How will this initiative fit into the strategic objective of our CRM program?”  Below are some of the ways we have seen mobile strategy combine successfully with implementation principles and technology.  These are the ‘why’ of your mobile program.

Increase overall CRM adoption. User Adoption is one of the most important metrics we use to understand the initial success level of CRM projects.  Removing adoption obstacles to remote workers can have a huge effect on user adoption.  By giving uses only the data they need when they are mobile will encourage use without having to resort to carrot and stick tactics.  For example, giving a sales executive real time account data right before she walks into a meeting.  Or being able to respond to an unexpected customer inquiry during the meetings.  Or having a pre-filled call report queued up after the meeting.  These are the kind of value added features that can make mobile users want to use CRM.

Increase data quality in the field.  Data quality is one of the biggest struggles we see when we begin any CRM program.  Some data quality issues can be addressed through DQM services like Trillium, and some can be tackled with CRM technology tools and best practices.  Data input, however, contains a daily human processes that can be harder to understand.

One of our early use cases for mobile CRM was a project focused on retail auditing.  We needed to be able to audit merchandising efforts in real time in retail location across the country.  The auditors had previously recorded their onsite visits with clipboards and carbon paper forms.  One of the copies was supposed to make it back to the auditors home at night where they would login to their system and manually transfer their notes and scribbles into the system.  Clearly, not the best way to ensure data input quality.  With our mobile CRM framework, we were able to design and deploy a new process that allowed auditors to enter data on their tablets of choice and have the data instantly available in CRM.  The auditors did not have (or need or want) full mobile CRM.  They were given easy access to just their audits.

Increase productivity.  A recently published Nucleus Research report  found that adding mobile device access to CRM made sales people 14.6% more productive.  The study found that social elements, such as activity feeds which automatically push notifications, can increase productivity by 26.4%.  Tools that make collaboration easy and real time will increase throughput of projects and sales cycles.

Users demand it. The same Nucleus report found that 67% of mobile CRM users access their CRM system with an iPhone.  This is not endorsement of how great the iPhone is for enterprise; this is a result of enterprise users demanding to use their own devices in their business life.  There is a reasonable expectation that the same devices we use for our personal lives will work with our work lives.

It’s not just your internal users that are demanding mobile solutions.  A recent appcentral study found that 40% of respondents said that now employees are being provided access to in house apps.

Another one of our early mobile CRM solution successes was to build a Customer Portal App that allowed our client’s customers to access CRM and market data from their iPads.  The solution was aimed at an external group that was going to use CRM and external data to engage easily with our client.  We employed the location features of the mobile device.  All of this satisfied the overall business strategy of better customer engagement.

Please feel free to check out our recent webinar recording: CRM Mobility Uncovered

by Customer Effective

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